When is a Landlord Guilty of Negligence?

Everyone deserves to live in a safe and healthy environment, whether in their own home or a rental property. If you are one of the latter people who are renting or considering it, it is important that you know that in the state of California, landlords must meet strict requirements.

These requirements are intended to ensure that rental properties are in habitable conditions and that they do not put the health of their tenants at risk. This is what the guarantee of habitability refers to, and as a tenant, you have rights that ensure that these conditions are met.

Unfortunately, many tenants encounter landlords who try to break the law and fail to meet health and safety standards, whether to save money, due to lack of time, for convenience, carelessness, or simply lack of interest.

In either case, when landlords violate health and housing codes, they are considered negligent, and this negligence would be the key to a lawsuit against them.

Below we will give some examples of situations in which landlords could default and act negligently.

§ Lack of repairs on the property. When something goes wrong in the place you rent, it is important that you notify your landlord as soon as possible, especially if it is something that requires immediate repair. Any lack of repair that may represent a danger and result in health problems or injuries will be the landlord’s responsibility. This is because landlords have a legal obligation to make sure your apartment, house, and surrounding facilities are free of hazards.

§ Ignore a repair request or do it a long time after. Once you notify your landlord of something that needs to be repaired, you must give your landlord a reasonable amount of time to complete the repair. However, when the safety or health of a tenant is compromised, the landlord must make this repair immediately. Therefore, to ignore it or to do it months later would be acting negligently.

§ Presence of pests. It is the landlord’s responsibility to eradicate any type of pest before renting the place and to also inform the tenant of this situation. Doing so can prevent injury or damage to the health of the people who inhabit the place.

If you’re having trouble with your rental and aren’t sure what you can do, contact us today. At the law firm Friedman & Chapman, we will help you ensure your rights are respected.

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