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Poor Conditions at REAP Rental Unit at 1621 S Bedford St in Los Angeles – Can I Sue My Landlord?

All rental properties should be in a habitable condition. The rental property at 1621 S. Bedford St. Los Angeles, CA. 90035 is not the exception. This property, owned by Ami Weisz and B Wise Investment LLC. The property is in the Rent Escrow Account Program (REAP) which makes it clear that it is not in a habitable condition.

What does this all mean for the tenants of the property? What options do tenants have if they have been living in unhabitable conditions in rental units? Do tenants have the right to sue? If the rental property that you and your family are living in is in REAP and you have found yourself asking these questions, we recommend that you speak to a lawyer immediately.

The Downtown L.A. Law Group is more than ready to help you with your claim. You have rights as a tenant, and the experts here at our law firm are more than ready to provide you with the guidance that you need to understand your rights and file a lawsuit. If you are ready to speak with the experts here at our law firm, contact us today.

More About the Property

The property in question is a three-unit property. It is located at 1621 S. Bedford St. Los Angeles, CA. 90035 and is associated with APN 4303013006. It is owned by Ami Weisz and B Wise Investment LLC. The property has a value of over $3 million. The property is in REAP, however, as the landlord has failed to keep the property in a habitable condition for tenants.

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What is REAP?

It is essential that tenants understand the Rental Escrow Account Program – or REAP.

REAP was designed to resolve the habitability issues found in countless rental properties in the Los Angeles area. In addition to reducing blight, the program also aims to preserve the city’s affordable housing stock and, more importantly, protect tenants from substandard living conditions.

The program results in reduced rents for tenants and creates an account in which tenants can pay rent into (although tenants still have the option to pay their landlords directly). In addition to reducing rent for tenants, the rental income is withheld from landlords, so landlords are encouraged to address the issues and make repairs as quickly as possible and get their properties out of REAP.

Poor Conditions in Rental Properties are Common

REAP exists to resolve the issues found in rental properties all throughout the Los Angeles area, which are unfortunately all too common. These properties are not put into REAP due to minor issues, rather significant issues that affect habitability and have to be remedied as soon as possible. Considering this, it is common for tenants to have been living in uninhabitable conditions for a long time before the property was finally put in REAP.

Some examples of poor conditions in rental properties include cockroach infestations, bed bug infestations, flea infestations, mice/rat infestations, no running water, no working electricity, etc.

The Warranty of Habitability under California Law

California’s Civil Code 1941.1 outlines the warranty of habitability. All rental units must remain in a habitable condition for tenants. To remain habitable, rental units must

  • Have a roof, exterior walls, and doors that effectively keep the weather out of the unit
  • Have sturdy walls, floors, stairs, and railings
  • Have the necessary trash bins
  • Have working electrical (including outlets and wiring)
  • Have access to hot water
  • Have a functional heater
  • Have a generally clean premises
  • Be free of toxins (including asbestos, lead, mold, etc.)
  • Be free of any vermin or any pests

If a rental property does not meet even one of these points, the property will be deemed uninhabitable. Since landlords must keep their properties in habitable conditions, then tenants could be eligible to take legal action against their landlords for the uninhabitable conditions of the rental units.

A Quick Review of Case Law Relating to Housing.

There are many important cases that can help tenants understand their rights.

The 1974 Green v. Superior Court case, for instance, established the implied warranty of habitability. That is, even if the warranty of habitability was not explicitly stated in the rental or lease agreement, the warranty was implied, meaning that the landlord is still responsible for keeping the rental unit in a habitable condition.

The 1981 case Knight v. Hallsthammar, similarly, made it clear that tenants can withhold rent or make repairs themselves when landlords fail to make repairs to make the property habitable. In addition, it established that tenants are entitled to rent reduction if landlords do not repair the property.

Without a doubt, tenants have rights. Unfortunately, tenants simply are not aware of their rights. In many cases, they do not have access to the information that they need to better understand their rights. Some tenants might not even know where to start looking for this information.

Can I Sue for Uninhabitable Conditions at My Rental Unit?

Yes, you could have the right to sue. This is based on the breach of the warranty of habitability. That is, if your landlord failed to keep the rental property habitable and was aware of the condition of the property, then you can sue your landlord. Certain conditions on the rental property could directly cause physical, mental, and emotional harm to tenants. So, yes – you can sue. Based on the details surrounding the claim, tenants could also be eligible to recover compensation. This could potentially include compensation for medical costs, lost wages associated with injuries, out-of-pocket repair costs, relocation costs, etc. These claims can be worth anywhere from $75,000 to $1 million – and sometimes even more. For more information about your right to sue and the potential value of your claim, we recommend that you seek legal assistance with the experts here at our law firm as soon as possible.

The Team at the Downtown L.A. Law Group is Ready to Help

Our lawyers are more than ready to provide you with the guidance that you need to understand your rights as a tenant and the legal options available to you after having lived in a rental unit that was deemed to be uninhabitable. Regardless of the specific condition that makes the rental unit uninhabitable, you could sue for the harm suffered. The lawyers here at our law firm have decades of experience and are more than ready to go above it all to fight for your rights and get you the highest recovery available.

We offer free legal services, which include free consultations and free second opinions. During these free legal services, our expert legal team will be available to answer questions and address concerns, providing you with all the information that you need to understand your rights as a tenant and pursue your claim against your landlord. If you are ready to benefit from these free legal services, contact the experts here at our law firm today.

Our Zero-Fee guarantee ensures that our clients will never be required to pay upfront legal costs to speak with our lawyers. In addition, we work on a contingency structure, meaning that our clients will not have to pay anything unless their claims are successful.

For more information about the legal options available to you and your family for the uninhabitable conditions at 1621 S. Bedford St. Los Angeles, CA. 90035, contact us today. Our team is ready to help you.

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