Poor Conditions at REAP Rentals in 90002 Zip Code – Can I Sue My Landlord for Unsafe Conditions?
Under California law, all rental properties are required to remain in a habitable condition. All properties in California are subject to this requirement. Yet, there are countless properties in the 90002 zip-code that are in poor condition – so much that they were put in the Rent Escrow Account Program (REAP). Ultimately, these properties were put in the program because of the poor state that they were in, which can significantly affect habitability.
What does this mean for you and other tenants? Unfortunately, this means that tenants might have been paying rent and being forced to live in a property that the city determined was uninhabitable. If you and your family have been living in poor conditions, you should seek legal assistance as soon as possible. Ultimately, if the rental that you and your family are living in was deemed uninhabitable and placed in REAP, you could have grounds to file a lawsuit.
If you are interested in learning more about the legal options available, contact us today. At the Downtown L.A. Law Group we are committed to fighting for the rights of tenants and upholding the state’s housing laws. Our lawyers have decades of experience and are ready to evaluate your current situation and guide you with your housing claim. If you are ready to speak with one of our attorneys, contact us at your earliest convenience.
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What is REAP?
The Rental Escrow Account Program – REAP – is a program designed to address the habitability issues preset in rental homes in the city of Los Angeles. Some of the program’s goals include the following:
Preserving the city’s stock of affordable housing
Protecting tenants from uninhabitable living conditions
What happens when a property is placed in REAP? Many things happen when a property is placed in the program. For instance, tenants can get a reduction in rent. The program creates an account that tenants can pay rent into, although it is important to note that tenants can continue to pay their rent directly to landlords. Any rental income from this account is withheld from the landlord until they address the issues on the property and make repairs. Property owners can only access these funds by applying and proving that they will use the funds for repairs.
For more information about the program, contact us today. Our team is ready to answer all of your questions.
The 90002 Properties in REAP
The properties in the Zip Code that are in the program include the following:
9708 S Central Ave. Los Angeles, CA 90002 (APN 6049014019) – a 4-unit property owned by Juventino Lopez.
729 E 90th St. Los Angeles, CA 90002 (APN 6042010008) – a 2-Unit Property Owned By Edgar Figueroa.
10713 S Compton Ave. Los Angeles, CA 90002 (APN 6065014018) – a 2-unit property owned by Miguel Arevalo.
10007 S Anzac Ave. Los Angeles, CA 90002 (APN 6046023019) – a 6-unit property owned by Janet L Bobbitt.
8766 S Central Ave. Los Angeles, CA 90002 (APN 6043003019) – a 12-unit property owned by Richard & Barbara Braxton.
1817 E 107th St. Los Angeles , CA 90002 (APN 6065032030) – a 2-unit property owned by Hommer Mccall Jr.
10713 S Compton Ave. Los Angeles, CA 90002 (APN 6065014018 ) – a 2-unit property owned by Miguel Arevalo.
9826 S Wilmington Ave. Los Angeles, CA 90002 (APN 6046017012) – a 2-unit property owned by Martin H Anguino.
9222 S Graham Ave. Los Angeles, CA 90002 APN 6048025007) – an 8-unit property owned by Ewca Com I LLC.
1468 E 107th St. Los Angeles , CA 90002 (APN 6065013013) – a 3-unit property owned by Felix H Ramos & Gerardo Bernal.
1520 E 106th St. Los Angeles , CA 90002 (APN 6065015030) – a 2-unit property owned by Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp C/O Indy Mac Bank.
8706 S Avalon Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90002 (APN 6042004016) – a 4-unit property owned by Whisky Tango LLC.
634 E 87th St Los Angeles, CA 90002 (APN 6042004044) – a 3-unit property owned by Deutsche Bank Natl Trust C/O American Home Mortgage Serv.
9407 1/2 Compton Ave. Los Angeles, CA 90002 (APN 6048003026) – a 4-unit property owned by California Kingdom Builders Inc.
9519 S Compton Ave. Los Angeles, CA 90002 (APN 6048004026) – a 4-unit property owned by Deutsche Bank National Trust Company.
10616 S Central Ave. Los Angeles, CA 90002 (APN 6065010026) – a 4-unit property owned by Ngo Kimberly.
1046 S Wilmington Ave. Los Angeles, CA 90002 (APN 6066001015) – a 2-unit property owned by Us Bank Natl Assn Tr.
2251 E 105th St. Los Angeles , CA 90002 (APN 6066015061) – a 2-unit property owned by Serrano Maria C.
9708 S Central Ave. Los Angeles, CA 90002 (APN 6049014019) – a 4-unit property owned by Juventino Lopez.
9407 1/2 S Compton Ave. Los Angeles, CA 90002 (APN 6048003026) – a 4-unit property owned by California Kingdom Builders Inc.
Why are Properties Placed in REAP?
Rental properties are placed in the program with the goal of resolving the issues on the properties. A property is not placed in REAP for minor issues, but rather for major issues that impact habitability. Unfortunately, many tenants live in poor conditions for months and, often, even years before something is done about the situation. In many cases, landlords ignore the conditions on their rental properties until they are put into REAP and their rents are withheld. Some examples of the conditions that make these properties uninhabitable can include the following: no running water, no working electricity, and pest infestations (cockroaches, rats, mice, fleas, bed bugs, etc.).
What is the Warranty of Habitability?
Under California law, specifically under Civil Code 1941.1, rental units must remain in a habitable condition. To remain habitable, rental units must meet all of the following requirements:
Be free of toxins, like asbestos, lead, and mold
Be free of vermin/pests
Have a functional heater
Have access to hot water
Have working electrical
Have sturdy floors, walls, stairs, and railings
Have a generally clean premise
Have the required trash bins
Have exterior walls, doors, and a roof that effectively keep the weather out of the rental unit
When a rental unit does not meet even one of the points above, then the unit is considered to be uninhabitable under state law. If these poor conditions ultimately harm tenants, tenants could have grounds to file a lawsuit against their landlords and recover compensation.
A Summary of Housing-Related Case Law
There are quite a few cases that tenants should be familiar with. Two of these cases, specifically, include Green v. Superior Court (1974) and Knight v. Hallsthammar (1981). In the 1974 case, the court established the implied warranty of habitability; that is, even if the rental or lease agreement did not explicitly state that there is a warranty of habitability, it is still implied, making the landlord/property owner responsible for keeping their rental units habitable regardless of the terms of the rental agreement. In the 1981 case, it was established that tenants can withhold rent and make repairs themselves if landlords fail to make repairs; additionally, the case established that tenants are entitled to rent reductions if landlords fail to repair the rental property.
Unfortunately, most tenants are not aware of their rights and are not aware of the duty that landlords have to keep their rentals safe. Because of this tenants often put up with the poor conditions without ever looking into their rights and the different legal options available to them.
Can I Sue for the Uninhabitable Conditions in My Rental in the 90002 Zip Code?
Yes – you could have grounds to file a lawsuit for the uninhabitable conditions at your rental property. Your right to sue is based on the warranty of habitability explained above. That is, if your landlord failed to keep the rental in a habitable condition, they could be held accountable – both for the breach of contract and for any harm resulting from the poor conditions on the property. Depending on the specific details surrounding your case, you could potentially have the right to recover compensation. Some of the categories of compensation that you could be entitled to receive include medical costs, lost pay, moving costs, out-of-pocket repair costs, and legal costs, for instance. In general, these cases can be associated with high settlement values ranging from $100,000 to $1 million – and sometimes more. If you are interested in learning more about your right to pursue a claim and potentially recover compensation, contact the experts here at our law firm as soon as possible.
Contact the Downtown L.A. Law Group Today
Our lawyers here at the Downtown L.A. Law Group are ready to provide you with the guidance that you need to fight for your rights as a tenant and recover the payout that you are owed. You could have the right to sue – and out lawyers are ready to provide you with the representation that you need to fight for your rights and help you recover the settlement that you are owed. Here at our law firm, our team has decades of experience handling these types of cases. We are committed to making the legal process as simple as possible; therefore, we offer free legal services. Some of the legal services that we offer include free consultations and free second opinions. During these free legal services, our expert housing lawyers will be available to answer all your questions, address all your concerns, and provide you with absolutely all the information that you need to either begin or continue your claim. To benefit from our free legal services, contact us today.
Our team offers a Zero-Fee guarantee, meaning that our clients will never be required to pay any upfront legal costs for any of our legal services. Additionally, we work on a strict contingency structure, meaning that our clients will not be required to ay anything unless their claims are successful.
If you live in a rental home that is in the 90002 Zip Code and are interested in exploring your legal options, contact us today. Our lawyers are ready to guide you every step of the way.
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