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CalAttorney2, Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 10244
Experience:  I am a civil litigation attorney with experience representing HOAs, homeowners, businesses and others in real estate matters.
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If a repair is too costly and prohibitive, because tenants

Customer Question

if a repair is too costly and prohibitive, because tenants had not paid their rent for 4 moths before the septic needed to be pumped, and there are no funds for any future diagnostics what avenues does the landlord have for removing the tenants ad getting the funds owed by the tenats rent to fix a septic for an unknown blockage, after tenants overtaxed the septic with 8 people in a 4 person agreement, and illegally sublet to 4 more people,
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Real Estate Law
Expert:  CalAttorney2 replied 1 year ago.

Dear Customer,

You have a somewhat difficult problem here - the tenant's complaint is one of "habitability" (the tenant has a right to a working sewer independent of the landlord's right to payment of rent).

However, if your unlawful detainer is based on multiple breaches (non-payment of rent, non-permitted tenants, and damage to the property (including most importantly, damage to the sewer in question), a court may be willing to grant you your unlawful detainer judgment in any event.

(This really is a "close" case (any time the tenant raises a viable habitability argument, it becomes an issue the landlord should take very seriously), and I would highly encourage you to retain a lawyer to represent you as soon as possible (a landlord/tenant attorney could step in and help you with this before Thursday).

I do know that customers do not come to this site to be told "go hire a lawyer" but if you lose your case on a habitability claim, not only will you be forced to make the repairs, but you are going to find yourself stuck with these tenants for a lot longer (they can raise this as a defense for the next six months, claiming that future attempts to evict them are "retaliatory"). Frankly, you probably have at least a reasonable case (if not a good one), but it must be handled carefully as the repercussions can be significant!

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
thank you.
Expert:  CalAttorney2 replied 1 year ago.

You are welcome, and I do wish you the best with this matter.

Thank you for using our forum, and please do not forget to rate my service so that I can receive credit for assisting you.

If you would like to direct future questions to me specifically, you can do so by starting your new question with "For William B. Esq." and a moderator will notify me.

Thank you again, and again I wish you the best.


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