Although many people have a goal of owning their own home, it is not a possibility for all. Some people depend on rental properties. Even though some might be lucky to find a great rental property managed by a great landlord, others get stuck dealing with the opposite – substandard rental properties and landlords that couldn’t care less.
According to California law, landlords have a duty to keep their rental properties in a habitable condition. If they fail to do so, then they could be sued. If your landlord failed to repair your unit, your rental unit might be inhabitable – and you might have grounds to file a lawsuit. For more information about your legal options, do not hesitate to seek legal assistance with the experts at our firm as soon as possible.
We are a law firm with many years of experience handling all sorts of cases, including landlord-tenant cases. Here at Downtown L.A. Law Group, we understand the difficulties that can come with inhabitable living conditions, and we are ready to help you take action against your negligent landlord. If you would like to discuss your current situation with the experts at our law firm, contact us immediately.
About the Warranty of Habitability
The warranty of habitability is described under California’s Civil Code 1941.1 (most states also have specific laws regarding their warranty of habitability). In summary, the warranty of habitability required landlords to maintain their rentals in a habitable condition. In addition, according to a court case from 1974, the warranty of habitability is implied in all residential rental agreements.
What does the warranty of habitability include? Some of the conditions that must be met to ensure that the rental property remains habitable includes the following:
- A roof, exterior walls, windows, and doors that effectively keep weather out of the unit
- Access to hot water
- A functioning heater
- Electrical lighting (wiring and equipment must work)
- Sturdy walls, floors, stairs, and rails
In addition to the conditions listed above that are explicitly included in the warranty of habitability, landlords should also keep up repairs of pretty much every element in their rental unit. Keeping up with repairs ensures that the unit stays habitable and also cuts down on more expensive costs associated with repairing issues that have gone ignored too long.
The following are the top ten most common repairs to rental properties:
- Smoke detectors
- Water leaks
- Water heaters
- HVAC systems
- Garbage disposals
- Electrical work
Although a rental property might be in tip-top shape at one point, it is normal for things to stop working and need repairs. According to the warranty of habitability, landlords must identify and address issues in their rentals to make the appropriate repairs and keep their rentals in a habitable condition.
What if the tenant caused the issue? Unfortunately, many tenants do not put in effort to keep their rental in good condition. Their actions can directly lead to issues in the property that could make it inhabitable. If the tenant caused the issue, whatever it may be, the landlord still has to act fast to address the issue; however, the tenant might be responsible for the costs.
My Landlord Failed to Repair Our Sinks
Many issues in a rental can cause sinks to stop working. Issues with plumbing might result in the sink being backed up. The sink might also leak water. There might be an odd smell coming from the sink as a result of other issues in the home. The sink might not be properly connected to the water, or there might not even be access to hot water. Whether this is a kitchen sink or a bathroom sink, there is no excuse for it not to be functional. If your landlord failed to repair your sinks, the rental unit could be considered uninhabitable – and you could have grounds to take legal action.
My Landlord Failed to Repair Our Unit
Besides having to repair sinks that are not working as they should be, landlords also have the duty to repair the entire unit – regardless of the specific issue that is present. There might be issues with the roof (like leaks, for instance), walls, windows, and doors. There might be issue with the plumbing or even the water heater, which could affect the access to hot water. There might be electrical issues that cause short-circuits and could even present a fire risk. In addition, issues with floors, stairs, or railings can present a fall risk. Whatever the issue present in the rental unit, it is the landlord’s duty to repair any issue or issues present in the unit to ensure that the unit is habitable. As previously mentioned, if your landlord failed to repair the rental unit, then the rental unit could be considered uninhabitable, and you could have the right to pursue a claim against your landlord.
What if my landlord breached the Warranty of Habitability?
If your landlord failed to repair any issues present throughout your rental, he or she definitely breached the warranty of habitability. You could take legal action for this breach alone. However, there are a number of issues in rentals that, if not addressed and repaired, could potentially lead to heath concerns. If you and your family were harmed because of the unsafe conditions in the rental unit, then you could have grounds to file a lawsuit against your landlord for the harm suffered.
For more information about your legal options and your rights as a tenants living in a rental that does not meet the standards set by the warranty of habitability, do not hesitate to seek legal assistance with the experts at our law firm immediately. Our lawyers are ready to guide you every step of the way.
Could You Be Compensated?
Yes, you could be eligible to recover monetary compensation if you decide to file a lawsuit against your landlord. The specific type and amount of compensation that you could recover will depend on the details surrounding your lawsuit. If you have questions about the possible value of your claim or even average values of claims similar to yours, do not hesitate to seek legal assistance with our experts immediately. Our experts are ready to answer all your questions regarding the potential value of your claim. Of course, we are also more than ready to fight for your right to the highest recovery possible.
Contact Us Today
If you are ready to discuss your lawsuit against your landlord with the experts on landlord-tenant issues, do not hesitate to contact Downtown L.A. Law Group immediately. Our lawyers are more than ready to provide you with the guidance that you need to pursue your claim and recover what you are owed. When you contact our firm, you will find that we offer free legal services, which include free consultations and free second opinions. During these legal services, our experts will be available to provide you with all the information that you need to pursue your claim. We are proud to offer a Zero-Fee guarantee, meaning that our clients will never have to worry about paying upfront legal costs. In addition, since we work on contingency, our clients will not have to pay anything until winning their claims.
If you are ready to discuss your lawsuit with the experts at our firm, contact us today.