Uninhabitable Real Estate

In this week’s blog we want to share extremely valuable information for renters in California. This information will help you define when the home you are renting is definitely not habitable and if you should leave as soon as possible.

California law guarantees tenants livable conditions when they rent or lease from a landlord. It is possible, due to the conditions of the rental unit, that a tenant determines that he or she simply cannot live there any longer and vacates the unit. What rights does the tenant have if this happens?

Habitability Guarantee

California law ensures that a landlord only rents or leases units that are considered habitable. This simply means that the home is fit for one person to live there. This law is quite specific as to what it means for a dwelling to be considered “livable.” The California Civil Code requires landlords to ensure that certain conditions are in place before they lease a unit to a tenant, including:

  1. Effective waterproofing of the roof and exterior walls.
  2. Well-maintained plumbing and gas fixtures that were current at the time of installation
  3. A water supply that produces hot and cold water
  4. Adequate heating installations
  5. Well maintained lighting
  6. The building and grounds are kept sanitary and free of debris and pests.
  7. Enough trash cans or dumpsters
  8. Floors, stairs and railings in good condition
  9. Appropriate locks including a deadbolt lock on each main entrance door and window security for any windows that can be opened

The landlord is responsible for keeping the property habitable:

Houses and apartments wear out and eventually some things stop working properly. Water heaters break and roofs leak. Normally, if something breaks, you should request that the landlord take care of fixing it. The landlord has a grace period to take care of any repairs, 30 days from the time of the request.

If these conditions do not improve, you have the right to leave the property and receive your entire deposit back.

Call us if you need help.

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