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habitable

adj. referring to a residence that is safe and can be occupied in reasonable comfort. Although standards vary by region, the premises should be closed in against the weather, provide running water, access to decent toilets and bathing facilities, heating, and electricity. Particularly in multi-dwelling buildings freedom from noxious smells, noise and garbage are included in the standard. This can become important in landlord-tenant disputes or government actions to force a landlord to make the premises livable (abatement of deficiencies). Example: if the roof begins to leak, the water goes off, the electricity shorts out or the toilet breaks, in most states the landlord has a duty to make repairs when requested or the tenant may order the repairs and deduct the cost from the rent.

See also: landlord and tenant 

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The People's Law Dictionary by Gerald and Kathleen Hill Publisher Fine Communications