Under current law, a warranty of habitability (warranty) is implied into every rental agreement for a residential premises. The bill makes the following changes related to the warranty:
- Current law requires written notice before a landlord can be held liable for a breach of the warranty (breach). The bill expands the acceptable notice to also include electronic notice, defines electronic notice, and specifies the time within which the landlord is required to commence remedial action ( sections 3 and 4 of the bill).
- Jurisdiction to provide injunctive relief related to a breach is expanded to include a county court, including a small claims court ( sections 1, 2, and 6 ).
- The absence of mold is added to the basic requirements for a habitable residence ( section 5 ).
- As long as certain conditions are met, a tenant is authorized to deduct the cost of repair from subsequent rent ( section 6 ).
- The requirement that a tenant notify a local government before seeking an injunction is repealed ( section 7 ).
- The prohibition on retaliation for a tenant's alleging a breach is modified to specify damages and to eliminate presumptions ( section 8 ).
(Note: This summary applies to the reengrossed version of this bill as introduced in the second house.)