Renting an Illegal Unit

October 1, 2018

What is an illegal, unwarranted, non-conforming, or unpermitted unit? Illegal units are dwellings that do not have the required Certificate of Occupancy, which is a document that certifies that a residential building complies with all state and local building codes and is safe to live in. An illegal unit is also sometimes referred to as […] Read More

Landlords’ Duty To Prevent Crime

September 12, 2018

Landlords have a duty to take reasonable measures to protect their tenants from foreseeable crime on their properties. Landlords have a duty to take reasonable steps to protect tenants from the foreseeable criminal acts of another. CAL. CIV. CODE § 1714. Criminal acts can include conduct such as assault, battery, robbery, murder, rape, drug abuse, […] Read More

Noise Complaints: What can a Tenant do About Excessive and Continuous Noise Distrubances

August 13, 2018

Are tenants entitled to live in an apartment free from constant loud noise? Excessive continuous noise can impact a person’s health and well-being. Implied in all California leases is a covenant of “quiet enjoyment”. CAL. CIV. CODE § 1927. Landlords have a duty to ensure that tenants can peaceful possess their rental unit free of […] Read More

Smoking in an Apartment Building

June 18, 2018

Can landlords prohibit tenants from smoking cigarettes? Yes. Landlords have the right to prohibit smoking of cigarettes or other tobacco products in and around a rental property as long as it is written into the lease agreement. CAL. CIV. CODE § 1947.5. Many leases ban smoking of any kind, including cigarettes, e-cigarettes, and marijuana. E-cigarettes […] Read More

Tenants with Disabilities

August 23, 2017

Understanding Your Rights as a Tenant with a Disability Covered Disabilities Disabled tenants are protected against housing discrimination by California’s Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). FEHA defines disability broadly to include both physical and mental impairments, including:  HIV/AIDS, multiple sclerosis, bipolar disorder, clinical depression, epilepsy, heart disease, […] Read More

Housing Discrimination

November 23, 2010

Housing Discrimination Claims Under California law, landlords, master tenants, realtors and property managers are prohibited from discriminating against tenants on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, marital status, national origin, ancestry, familial status, age, medical condition, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, source of income or disability.  Gov’t Code § 12927(a) and Civil Code § […] Read More

Landlord Sexual Harassment

November 16, 2010

Landlord Sexual Harassment Under California law, a tenant can recover against a landlord for sexual harassment under the Fair Employment and Housing Act or the Unruh Civil Rights Act.  Brown v. Smith, 55 Cal. App. 4th 767 (1997) and Civil Code § 51 et seq. Unruh Civil Rights Act To prove a claim for sexual harassment […] Read More

Utility Shut-Offs

September 5, 2010

Causes of Action for Shut-Off Where a landlord shuts off or interrupts utilities intending to terminate occupancy, a tenant has causes of action against the landlord for (1) breach of contract, (2) negligence, (3) violation of statutory protections under Civil Code section 789.3, (4) wrongful eviction, and (5) violations of local rent control ordinance, where […] Read More

Mold

Mold is Serious Mold is a microscopic fungus that grows in almost every damp setting. Improperly maintained dwellings can have toxic mold levels. Mold infestations will flourish in areas with excess moisture, such as leaks, showers with no ventilating fans, wet basements, and air ducts. Because it only takes a day or two for colonies […] Read More