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Tina
Tina, Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 5436
Experience:  17 years of legal experience including real estate law.
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I am renting a very expensive home and there are a large

Customer Question

I am renting a very expensive home and there are a large number of items in the home that have been inoperable or nonuseable since July
I have spoken to the owner and realtor nd been assured that thy would be corrected and to date only two out of ten have been fixed. I have lost patience and want to leave the lease
Submitted: 13 days ago.
Category: Real Estate Law
Expert:  Ray replied 13 days ago.

Hi and welcome to JA. Ray here to help you today.Please bear with me a few moments while I review your question, conduct and prepare your response.

Customer: replied 13 days ago.
I've talked to owner, renting realtor and new property manager for months same old crap we'll take care of it and nothing
Expert:  Ray replied 13 days ago.

I would claim they are in breach of contract and the house is uninhabitable.Give them notice that based on their breach and uninhabitably you are vacating the premises.Tell the landlord if they don't refund your deposit it is your intent to sue for it in small claims.

Just document here you prior attempts, pics of problems in case you have to sue for deposit.You have great facts that they have failed to repair on more than on occasion.

Expert:  Ray replied 13 days ago.

REPAIRS AND HABITABILITY

A rental unit must be fit to live in; that is, it must be habitable. In legal terms, "habitable" means that the rental unit is fit for occupation by human beings and that it substantially complies with state and local building and health codes that materially affect tenants' health and safety.129

California law makes landlords and tenants each responsible for certain kinds of repairs, although landlords ultimately are legally responsible for assuring that their rental units are habitable.

Landlord's responsibility for repairs

Before renting a rental unit to a tenant, a landlord must make the unit fit to live in, or habitable. Additionally, while the unit is being rented, the landlord must repair problems that make the rental unit unfit to live in, or uninhabitable.

The landlord has this duty to repair because of a California Supreme Court case, called Green v. Superior Court,130 which held that all residential leases and rental agreements contain an implied warranty of habitability. Under the "implied warranty of habitability," the landlord is legally responsible for repairing conditions that seriously affect the rental unit's habitability.131 That is, the landlord must repair substantial defects in the rental unit and substantial failures to comply with state and local building and health codes.132 However, the landlord is not responsible under the implied warranty of habitability for repairing damages that were caused by the tenant or the tenant's family, guests, or pets.133

Generally, the landlord also must do maintenance work which is necessary to keep the rental unit liveable.134 Whether the landlord or the tenant is responsible for making less serious repairs is usually determined by the rental agreement.

The law is very specific as to what kinds of conditions make a rental uninhabitable.

Expert:  Ray replied 13 days ago.

Conditions that make a rental unit legally uninhabitable

There are many kinds of defects that could make a rental unit unlivable. The implied warranty of habitability requires landlords to maintain their rental units in a condition fit for the "occupation of human beings. "136 In addition, the rental unit must "substantially comply" with building and housing code standards that materially affect tenants' health and safety.137

A rental unit may be considered uninhabitable (unlivable) if it contains a lead hazard that endangers the occupants or the public, or is a substandard building because, for example, a structural hazard, inadequate sanitation, or a nuisance endangers the health, life, safety, property, or welfare of the occupants or the public.138

A dwelling also may be considered uninhabitable (unlivable) if it substantially lacks any of the following:139

  • Effective waterproofing and weather protection of roof and exterior walls, including unbroken windows and doors.
  • Plumbing facilities in good working order, including hot and cold running water, connected to a sewage disposal system.
  • Gas facilities in good working order.
  • Heating facilities in good working order.
  • An electric system, including lighting, wiring, and equipment, in good working order.
  • Clean and sanitary buildings, grounds, and appurtenances (for example, a garden or a detached garage), free from debris, filth, rubbish, garbage, rodents, and vermin.
  • Adequate trash receptacles in good repair.
  • Floors, stairways, and railings in good repair.

In addition to these requirements, each rental unit must have all of the following:

  • A working toilet, wash basin, and bathtub or shower. The toilet and bathtub or shower must be in a room which is ventilated and allows privacy.
  • A kitchen with a sink that cannot be made of an absorbent material such as wood.
  • Natural lighting in every room through windows or skylights. Windows in each room must be able to open at least halfway for ventilation, unless a fan provides mechanical ventilation.
  • Safe fire or emergency exits leading to a street or hallway. Stairs, hallways, and exits must be kept litter-free. Storage areas, garages, and basements must be kept free of combustible materials.140
  • Operable dead bolt locks on the main entry doors of rental units, and operable locking or security devices on windows.141
  • Working smoke detectors in all units of multi-unit buildings, such as duplexes and apartment complexes. Apartment complexes also must have smoke detectors in common stairwells.142
  • A locking mail box for each unit. The mail box must be consistent with the United States Postal Service standards for apartment housing mail boxes.143
  • Ground fault circuit interrupters for swimming pools and antisuction protections for wading pools in apartment complexes and other residential settings (but not single family residences).144

http://www.dca.ca.gov/publications/landlordbook/problems.shtml

Make sure you send this certified mail and keep copy of it and the green card from mail for your files.

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