West Virginia Law Review

Document Type

Student Note


The implied warranty of habitability is a property law concept of relatively recent vintage. The development of this tenant-oriented principle has necessarily involved a departure from the traditional doctrine of caveat emptor. This Note will discuss the implied warranty of habitability itself, the rationale behind it, and the remedies it has made available to the residential tenant subjected to unsafe and unhealthy living conditions. Although much of the Note is devoted to judicial treatment of the implied warranty, particular attention is given to the recent adoption of the warranty by the American Law Institute in its second Restatement of Property. Finally, the status of the implied warranty in West Virginia is considered. Prior to 1978 the state had followed the common law caveat emptor doctrine. In the later half of that year, however, the implied warranty of habitability received separate recognition by both the West Virginia Legislature and the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals. This recent development in West Virginia law is analyzed and compared to the Restatement model.



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