As a tenant, it is your legal right to request repairs. Sometimes asking for repairs to be made to your unit can be intimidating but we’re here to tell you that your landlord is prohibited from retaliating against you for requesting repairs.
Legally, your landlord has to make your unit “habitable.” Cal. Civ. Code § 1942.5(a)(1)-(5). Unlawful retaliation includes attempting to evict a tenant, pressuring a tenant to vacate, increasing the rent, decreasing services or threatening to report a tenant’s immigration status. Cal. Civ. Code § 1942.5 states that a landlord who engages in such retaliation may be liable for civil penalties of up to $2,000 for each violation.
CA Civil Code 1941.1 states that a “habitable” unit must include the following:
- Effective waterproofing and weather protection of roof and exterior walls including broken windows or doors.
- Plumbing facilities in good working order, including hot and cold running water, connected to a sewage disposal system.
- Gas facilities in good working order.
- Heating system in good, working order.
- Electric system, including lighting and wiring, and equipment in good, working order.
- Building and grounds kept clean, sanitary, free from garbage, rodents and vermin.
- Adequate number of garbage cans or dumpsters in good repair. Floors, stairways, and railings in good repair.
If your unit does not meet these standards, your landlord is required to repair, upgrade, or install the necessary elements. Your landlord is not responsible for painting your walls or changing your carpet unless it’s actually ripped or hazardous. To start the process of getting repairs made, you have to request them in writing via a letter. This will ensure that you have proof of the requests you’ve made. We can help you with that.