Can a Landlord Disclose Information About My Medical Condition?
A landlord remains liable for the safety condition of the housing it owns, even if it has contracted with a management company to provide all service and maintenance in relation to the housing. A landlord must provide working locks on doors and repair broken doors within a reasonable time after notice. However, a landlord generally isn't liable for the criminal conduct of a tenant, unless the landlord had reason know of the criminal activity. A landlord has a duty to protect tenants from reasonably foreseeable criminal activity. For example, if a tenant is dealing on drugs the rental property, a landlord is usually required to have knowledge of the drug dealing or other illegal activities to be held liable. A landlord may be required to install extra security measures if the area is a high crime area or there has been a history of break-ins.
An implied term in residential rental leases is the warranty of habitability. If the landlord causes the rental to become uninhabitable or fails to make repairs so that the premises are uninhabitable, a constructive eviction may occur. This may allow the tenant to withhold rent, repair the problem and deduct the cost from the rent, or recover damages. A failure on the landlord's part to correct a problem affecting the habitability of the premises may be cause for termination of the lease when not caused by any fault on the tenant's part.
In general, a warranty of habitability requires landlords to maintain safe and sanitary housing fit for human habitation. The warranty of provides protection against those conditions that materially affect the health and safety of the tenants or those deficiencies that, in the eyes of a reasonable person, deprive a tenant of those essential functions which a residence is expected to provide. "Habitability," for purposes of a landlord's warranty of habitability is not the same as no risk of harm. An apartment can provide adequate shelter and amenities, as promised, and still be a place which presents some risk.
This warranty is implied into all leases and generally requires the landlord to deliver livable quarters at the tenancy's inception and to maintain the premises in a habitable condition throughout the term, and conditions the tenant's covenant to pay rent on the habitable condition of the premises. A landlord is required to make all repairs and do whatever is necessary to put and keep the premises in a fit and habitable condition. To constitute a breach of the warranty, the defect complained of must be shown to be of a nature and kind which will prevent the use of the dwelling for its intended purpose to provide premises fit for habitation by its dwellers.
Factors to be considered in determining whether a condition or defect constitutes an actionable breach of the warranty include:
(1) whether the condition violates a housing law, regulation, or ordinance;
(2) the nature and seriousness of the defect;
(3) the effect of the defect on safety and sanitation;
(4) the length of time the condition has persisted; and
(5) the age of the structure.
Lack of hot water or heating may constitute a breach of the warranty of habitability.
A condition which may endanger or materially impair the health or safety and well-being of an occupant is sufficient to violate the warranty of habitability Factors aiding a court's determination of the materiality of a landlord's alleged breach of a residential lease include:
(1) the seriousness of the claimed defects and their effect on the dwelling's habitability
(2) the length of time the defects persist,
(3) whether the landlord received written or oral notice of the defects,
(4) whether the residence could be made habitable within a reasonable time, and
(5) whether the defects resulted from abnormal conduct or use by the tenant.
Additionally, to assert a breach of the implied warranty of habitability except where otherwise provided by statute, the tenant must prove that he or she gave notice to the landlord of the defect or condition, that the landlord had a reasonable opportunity to make the necessary repairs, and that he or she failed to do so.
The answer regarding statements about medical issues depend on how the information was obtained, whether it is true, and whether it has caused damages. For example, if you told the landlord about a medical condition, he/she may claim you waived a right to privacy. Invasion of privacy involves making something public in which a person has a reasonable expectation of privacy. To prove an invasion of privacy, the court must find a person had a "reasonable expectation of privacy." Courts are not in agreement on the precise definition of the legal standard of a "reasonable expectation of privacy." Invasion of privacy is the intrusion into the personal life of another, without just cause, which can give the person whose privacy has been invaded a right to bring a lawsuit for damages against the person or entity that intruded. It encompasses workplace monitoring, Internet privacy, data collection, and other means of disseminating private information. A non-public individual has a right to privacy from: a) intrusion on one's solitude or into one's private affairs; b) public disclosure of embarrassing private information; c) publicity which puts him/her in a false light to the public; d) appropriation of one's name or picture for personal or commercial advantage.
Defamation is an act of communication that causes someone to be shamed, ridiculed, held in contempt, lowered in the estimation of the community, or to lose employment status or earnings or otherwise suffer a damaged reputation. Such defamation is couched in 'defamatory language'. Libel and slander are subcategories of defamation. In order to prove defamation, the plaintiff must prove:
1.; that a statement was made about the plaintiffs reputation, honesty or integrity that is not true;
2.; publication to a third party (i.e., another person hears or reads the statement); and
3.; the plaintiff suffers damages as a result of the statement.