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My landlord hasnt fixed my heating since January 7th when…

Customer Question
Hi there, my landlord...

Hi there, my landlord hasnt fixed my heating since January 7th when the gas company shut it off for a gas leak and cracked firebox, since it is a house from the 1920's they have been dragging their feet. I got the code enforcement division to serve them today. How should I go about getting out of this lease and can they retaliate because I got the code enforcement involved?

Lawyer's Assistant: What steps have you taken so far? Have you prepared or filed any paperwork?

I have sent multiple complaints and they got a two day notice to solve this issue, I have been really cold since January and havent been compensated at all Ultimately the landlord doesnt maintain this old property and I want out

Lawyer's Assistant: Where is the house located?

Customer:***** Los Angeles, 90048

Lawyer's Assistant: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?

That my heat was shut off Jan 7th

Submitted: 4 months ago.Category: Landlord-Tenant
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Answered in 1 minute by:
3/28/2018
Lawyer: legalgems, attorney replied 4 months ago
legalgems
legalgems, attorney
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Satisfied Customers: 13,899
Experience: Just Answer consultant at Self employed
Verified

Hello! I will be reviewing your question and posting a response momentarily; if you have any follow up questions please respond here. Thanks!

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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
When can I expect a response? I ultimately want to hire a real estate lawyer to break my
lease and get my deposit back
Lawyer: legalgems, attorney replied 4 months ago

CA strictly enforces the warranty of habitability which does include heat; please see:

This is required -one moment please - I'm providing more information in just a moment; the downloads took a bit and I'm still waiting on the statute.

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Lawyer: legalgems, attorney replied 4 months ago

Civil Code 1941.1 specifically requires that a unit be heated in order to be habitable; please see:

https://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/codes_displaySection.xhtml?lawCode=CIV&sectionNum=1941.1.

That is discussed here:

http://www.dca.ca.gov/publications/landlordbook/problems.shtml#footnote139

This was established in case law Green v. Superior Court;

If the tenant provides written notice to the landlord and the landlord fails to rectify the situation within a reasonable time the tenant may determine there is a "constructive eviction" and terminate the lease. However it is imperative to have adequate documentation since the landlord may attempt to claim the tenant breached the lease by leaving early and suing for damages (ie lost rent).

So evidence is key.

This explains the tenant's options:
pay for repairs and deduct

constructive eviction

rent withholding

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

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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
I just got an aggressive call because I filed with the code enforcement
Customer reply replied 4 months ago
Since I didnt have heat for 3 months doesnt that break my lease
Lawyer: legalgems, attorney replied 4 months ago

Generally since the landlord must rectify the situation in a reasonable time, the court typically determines 7 to 10 days as excessive. It does depend on the particular judge.

Retaliatory eviction is not permitted if a tenant complains of an uninhabitable unit:

http://www.dca.ca.gov/publications/landlordbook/retalitory-actions.shtml

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Lawyer: legalgems, attorney replied 4 months ago

The landlord, breaking the lease by not providing a habitable unit, may be deemed as "constructively evicting" tenant- that is addressed above and the tenant may vacate and sue for damages (ie moving costs, increase in rent etc). Evidence is key for a successful outcome.

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Lawyer: legalgems, attorney replied 4 months ago

Hello; just checking in on the above.
If you have further questions please post here and I will do my best to get you the requested information.
Otherwise
kindly rate positively (hopefully you feel I have earned 5 stars) to help maintain my high customer satisfaction score and so I know you were satisfied with my services.

The above information is for educational purposes only. An attorney in one's jurisdiction can be located at https://www.americanbar.org/groups/legal_services/flh-home.html
Thank you.

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