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California Landlord Tenant issue. The garbage disposal keeps…

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California Landlord Tenant issue...

California Landlord Tenant issue. The garbage disposal keeps on breaking down and the landlord blames me and deducts the $100 cost of the repair from my deposit. I've been a homeowner for 40 year prior to renting. I built a home and have lived with a septic system and a delicate food waste disposal system, owned homes both with and without a garbage disposal. I am a commercial food producer, chef and have had products sold nationally. I have designed, owned, and manages many commercial kitchen. and food production. Bot***** *****ne, I know how to operate a garbage disposal without breaking it. I believe the one on my apartment is old and needs replacement . I am not the reason it keeps breaking and do not want to be charged $100 to fix it. There has been standing water in my sink for days. I need to resolve this dispute with an appropriate letter to my landlord. Would you please help me compose it or at least give me a brief summary of the points to argue on my behalf? Thank you kindly

Lawyer's Assistant: Because real estate law varies from place to place, can you tell me what state this is in?

Read the question. The answer is in the header. I just asked this question earlier from my phone but cant get my card to work from my phone for some reason.

Lawyer's Assistant: Has anything been filed or reported?

No

Submitted: 7 months ago.Category: Landlord-Tenant
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Answered in 3 hours by:
11/29/2017
Lawyer: Lucy, Esq., Attorney replied 7 months ago
Lucy, Esq.
Lucy, Esq., Attorney
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Satisfied Customers: 32,264
Experience: Attorney
Verified

Hi,

I'm Lucy, and I'd be happy to answer your questions today.

Cal. Civ. Code, Section 1950.5(e) states that a landlord may not impose any claim against a security deposit for conditions that existed before you moved in, or for reasonable wear and tear, or for the cumulative effects of wear and tear that occurred over many years. If you've got an old property with a garbage disposal that's several years old, he cannot charge you to replace it. It might help to look up the model (and the year, if you can find it), to see if you can find out what the original warranty is. Once the warranty period is expired, they can't charge you to replace or repair it. You could also try bringing in a plumber to get an estimate who can explain to the landlord that the disposal has simply reached the end of it's life. That's not your fault.

If you look at subsection (f)(2), it says that the landlord may send the tenant an itemized list of repairs and deductions from the security deposit "based on the inspection." The inspection is only done after a tenant announces that they intend to move out, or when a lease for a set term terminates. There is nothing in Section 1950.5 that allows a landlord to make deductions from a tenant's security deposit during the tenancy.

Section 1941.2 says that a landlord doesn't have to fix items broken by the tenant, but even that doesn't allow him to deduct the cost of repairs from the security deposit. However, Section 1942 allows you to do the repairs yourself and deduct the cost from the rent. The statute requires that you give the landlord notice, which you've done. If he doesn't make the repairs within a reasonable time (defined as 30 days in most circumstances, although you could argue that the standing water makes it less), then you're allowed to do the repairs yourself and take the money out of the rent. You must send the landlord a picture of the receipt.

That's risky, as he could file for eviction, but it is another option. Another option is to pay for the repair, then sue him in Small Claims Court for the $100 plus your filing fees.

If you have any questions or concerns about my response, please reply WITHOUT RATING. It's important that you are 100% satisfied with my courtesy and professionalism. Otherwise, please rate my service positively so I am paid for the time I spend answering questions. If you are on a mobile device, you may need to scroll to the right. There is no charge for follow-up questions. Thank you.

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Lawyer: Lucy, Esq., Attorney replied 7 months ago

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The responses above are from individual Experts, not JustAnswer. The site and services are provided “as is”. To view the verified credential of an Expert, click on the “Verified” symbol in the Expert’s profile. This site is not for emergency questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals. Please carefully read the Terms of Service (last updated February 8, 2012).

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