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Uninhabitable Living Conditions

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When Your Landlord Won’t Fix Things, You Have Rights!

California law requires that landlords provide renters with a place to live that is safe and secure.  Landlords are required to fix any problem with your rental unit that makes it “uninhabitable.”  Although there is no strict definition of what makes a place “uninhabitable,” it generally refers to conditions that make the rental unit unsafe or unhealthy.  It doesn’t have to make the place unlivable and can be as simple as a missing window screen, torn carpet, defective electrical outlets or peeling paint.  It can also be something unhealthy, like cockroaches, bedbugs, rats or mold, or dangerous like missing locks or criminal activity.

You Don’t Have to Live in Slumlord Conditions.

If your landlord refuses to fix problems that make your rental unit “uninhabitable,” it’s time to act.  Our attorneys are passionate about protecting tenants’ rights and have obtained millions of dollars in settlements and verdicts on behalf of our clients.

We frequently handle cases involving the following unsafe or unhealthy conditions:

  • No heat or no hot water
  • Cockroach, bedbug and other insect infestations
  • Rat infestations
  • Mold growing on the walls and ceilings
  • Plumbing issues, including leaky pipes, broken toilets that overflow or won’t flush and sinks that are plugged up
  • Failure to repair Health and Safety Code violations
  • Broken doors and windows
  • Holes in walls, ceilings and floors
  • Rotten cabinets
  • Exposed electrical wiring
  • Structural hazards
  • Lead based paint that is deteriorated, peeling or chipping

What Should You Do?

If you or a member or your family is being abused by a landlord, there are a few things that you should do immediately to protect your rights.  Doing these things will strengthen your case.

  • Make complaints in writing. When you notify your landlord of the problems with your unit, make your complaint in writing by certified letter, email or text.  Save all your correspondence with the landlord.
  • Take photos and videos. Photographs and videos are powerful evidence of the unsafe and unhealthy conditions at the property.
  • Call code compliance and the health department. A Health and Safety Code violation gives you additional rights and protections under the law.
  • Continue to pay rent. Do not withhold rent.  Landlords will use this as an excuse not to fix the issues at your unit.
  • Call an attorney. An attorney can help you understand your rights and help you decide whether you have a case or not.

What Should You Do If You Find Mold In Your Apartment?

  • Notify your Landlord Immediately. When you notify your landlord of the mold in your apartment, make your complaint in writing by certified letter, email or text.  Save all your correspondence with the landlord.
  • Document the Mold. Take photographs and videos of the mold.  Call a certified mold testing company to test your apartment for mold.
  • Call code compliance and the health department. A Health and Safety Code violation gives you additional rights and protections under the law.
  • Move out. Breaking your lease should be a last resort, but if your health and safety is at risk, it may be necessary.
  • Call an attorney. An attorney can help you understand your rights and help you decide whether you have a case or not.

Other Practice Areas

Health & Safety Code Violations

If you are a tenant that lives in a unit which has violations from government agencies, you may have a claim against your landlord for collecting rent while these violations persist.  At NPN Law we routinely represent tenants who live in residences which have been violated by health, housing, building and safety departments.   We can help to subpoena these files from government agencies so that the tenant is aware of the problems with the rental unit. 

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Unpermitted Units

Prior to renting a unit the unit must have a certificate of occupancy. Common examples of unpermitted units include: Converted garages, Converted closets, Unpermitted building additions. If you live in any of these types of units you may be entitled to a return of the rent that you have paid. 

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Retaliatory Eviction

It is illegal for a landlord to retaliate against a tenant for exerting their legal rights such as complaining to a government agency regarding the conditions of the tenant’s residence. If you have complained to your landlord or a government agency regarding the conditions of your residence and the landlord has thereafter sought to evict you contact NPN Law to protect your rights.   You may be entitled to damages for the landlord’s retaliation.

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Call Us

(805) 639-8600

Fax: (805) 228-4669

Camarillo

NPN Law Building
4015 Mission Oaks Blvd., Suite B
Camarillo, CA 93012

Oxnard

NPN Law Building
220 S. "A" St.
Oxnard, CA 93030

Los Angeles

777 S. Alameda, 2nd Floor
Los Angeles, CA 90021