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Good morning, I live in California and am renting an apartment…

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Good morning, I live in California...
Good morning,

I live in California and am renting an apartment on a month to month agreement. My unit was recently flooded due to a plumbing issues that I advise the landlord about and he failed to act. The apartment is uninhabitable and the landlord just advised me that he is going to condemn the unit and I have to move out, no notice given. What are my rights?
Submitted: 6 years ago.Category: Landlord-Tenant
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Answered in 8 minutes by:
2/16/2012
Lawyer: Ely, Counselor at Law replied 6 years ago
Ely
Ely, Counselor at Law
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Satisfied Customers: 103,582
Experience: Attorney
Verified
Hello and thank you for the opportunity to assist you. Please remember that there might be a delay between your follow ups and my replies because I am typing out my answer, or taking a quick break.

I am sorry for your situation. Under Green v. Superior Court (1974) 10 Cal.3d 616 [111 Cal.Rptr. 704], the landlord has a duty of an implied warranty of habitability. This means that the landlord must repair substantial defects in the rental unit and substantial failures to comply with state and local building and health codes. Id. This is also expanded on in Civil Code Section 1941 et seq.

So the landlord has the duty to provide a livable space. If they do not, then they technically would be liable for the difference between the cost of your new apartment and theirs for a month (since this is a month by month lease) plus reasonable relocation costs.

You'd pursue this in small claims court as a 'negligence per se' claim. Negligence per se is an evidentiary doctrine codified at Evidence Code section 669. Under subdivision (a) of this section, the doctrine creates a presumption of negligence if four elements are established: (1) the defendant violated a statute, ordinance, or regulation of a public entity; (2) the violation proximately caused death or injury to person or property; (3) the death or injury resulted from an occurrence the nature of which the statute, ordinance, or regulation was designed to prevent; and (4) the person suffering the death or the injury to his person or property was one of the class of persons for whose protection the statute, ordinance, or regulation was adopted. Spates v. Dameron Hosp. Assn. (2003) 114 Cal.App.4th 208, 218, 7 Cal.Rptr.3d 597..

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Customer reply replied 6 years ago

Do I have to request the repairs in writing, even though they have the report from the plumbing company? Also, what's a response time I should expect from the landlord to correct the repairs? What are my options if I don't have the money to move?

 

Thank you

Lawyer: Ely, Counselor at Law replied 6 years ago
Hello,

The answer is yes, but even if you do not, the landlord should still fix the matter because they are aware of it at this point. There is no specific period for landlord to act. The law usually considers 30 days to be reasonable, but a shorter period may be considered reasonable, depending on the situation. For example, if the furnace is broken and it's very cold outdoors, two days may be considered reasonable (assuming that a qualified repair person is available within that time period).*

*CA Dept. of Consumer Affairs.

If you cannot relocate, I am afraid you have limited options - you may have to if the landlord has the building condemned, but you may sue like I said.

While the legal system tries to be inclusive of every possibility, sometimes people are morally wronged but have limited avenues to seek relief. Please understand that this is not the expert’s fault. I am sure that you prefer that I tell you the truth rather than tell you what you want to hear. Please do not “shoot the messenger.” This medium of communication may not always effectively express emotion but do know that I understand that this may not be easy to hear and I empathize.

I hope you found my answer helpful, and if so please do not forget to click ACCEPT. This is the only way for me to get credit for my work – I receive no credit for my time with you unless you actually press ACCEPT, even if you already have a subscription. If you need more information, please use the REPLY button and I’d be more than happy to answer to your satisfaction. There is no fee for follow up questions before or after accepting, if we continue the conversation. If you feel that I went an extra step to help you, a bonus in the form of another accept or an “add on” (available after you accept) is truly appreciated. You can always link to my profile for another question at a later time:

http://www.justanswer.com/law/expert-elyJD/
Ely
Ely, Counselor at Law
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Satisfied Customers: 103,582
Experience: Attorney
Verified
Ely and 87 other Landlord-Tenant Specialists are ready to help you
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Customer reply replied 6 years ago
THank you for your advice
Lawyer: Ely, Counselor at Law replied 6 years ago
My pleasure and best of luck.
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DISCLAIMER: Answers from Experts on JustAnswer are not substitutes for the advice of an attorney. JustAnswer is a public forum and questions and responses are not private or confidential or protected by the attorney-client privilege. The Expert above is not your attorney, and the response above is not legal advice. You should not read this response to propose specific action or address specific circumstances, but only to give you a sense of general principles of law that might affect the situation you describe. Application of these general principles to particular circumstances must be done by a lawyer who has spoken with you in confidence, learned all relevant information, and explored various options. Before acting on these general principles, you should hire a lawyer licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction to which your question pertains.

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