Tenant not entitled to damages under the implied warranty of habitability for injuries from slipping on an icy driveway

The Supreme Judicial Court of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts held, in Goreham v. Martins, 147 N.E.3d 478 (Mass. 2020), that a landlord is not liable for injuries to a tenant who slips on ice in the driveway under the implied warranty of habitability because such claims are, in effect, strict liability claims and injuries to the body in the context of landlord-tenant law are governed by the law of negligence. In this case, because the jury found the tenant to be more at fault than the landlord, there could be no recovery for negligence either under state law.


The court also held that the warranty of habitability only applies to conditions inside the dwelling unit, that the landlord did not violate any provisions in the housing code, and that the tenant could have used the front entrance (rather than the rear entrance where the accident happened) and avoided injury.

See also: Leaseholds