What Can I Do If My Rental Unit Is Inhabitable?

When a landlord rents a property, they must follow certain rules and obligations. California’s warranty of habitability requires all landlords to ensure that their homes are habitable and safe for tenants, both at the time of delivery and throughout the duration of the lease.

At the same time, tenants have an obligation to take care of the property and to notify the landlord of any damage and situation that may cause the dwelling in question to not meet the safety requirements and to cease to be habitable.

Unfortunately, there are landlords who really like the idea of ​​receiving money for their properties but not fulfilling their obligations. For this reason, it is important that tenants are informed about what can cause a home to not meet the guarantee of habitability.

These situations include:

– Faults and structural problems

– Mold and moisture problems

– Plumbing malfunction

– Malfunction of electrical systems

– Rodents, bed bugs, cockroaches, and other pests

– Lack of heating and/or air conditioning

– Unsanitary bathrooms and kitchens, among others.

If you are a person who is renting a home and you have any of these problems, here are some steps you can take:

– Notify your landlord of the situation as soon as possible. Once they have been informed, your landlord must make the necessary repairs within a reasonable period of time (between 1 and 2 weeks) unless the damage is so serious that it requires a longer period, in which case, it is the responsibility of the landlord to let you know

– If your landlord refuses to make the necessary repairs, you may have the right to withhold rent for you to do so.

– In the same way, you could have the right to terminate the contract and vacate the house without prior notice. California law allows for these situations when the safety of tenants and their families is at risk.

It is always important to contact a lawyer who can advise you in case you are not sure about what to do or if you decide to take legal action. The lawyers at Friedman & Chapman have extensive experience in this type of case, and we can help you. Call us today!

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