Articles Posted in Landlord-Tenant

jon-moore-400422-unsplash-copy-300x200Everyone wants the assurance that their home is their safe place, but unfortunately this is not always the case. Sometimes, landlords can be lazy and fail to perform regular toxic mold inspections or remediation, and tenants may not notice until they start to exhibit symptoms. If you believe you are living with toxic mold in your apartment, follow the steps below and contact the toxic mold attorneys at Willoughby Brod to learn more about your rights and options.

California Laws Regarding Toxic Mold

While federal law regulates the disclosure and prevention of lead paint, it makes no mention of toxic mold. California law requires landlords to disclose the presence of toxic mold in a residence building, when the level of mold exceeds a safe level, to tenants but does not provide any rules or guidelines for preventing or clearing out toxic mold.

brandon-griggs-82205-300x200Bed bugs are possibly the worst type of pest to find in your home and cause the most anxiety for residents. Luckily for California residents, as of January 2017, tighter laws are in place to protect tenants from bed bug infestations in their homes. If you are preparing to rent a new apartment in California, make sure you ask the landlord for bed bug disclosures, and if you currently have bed bugs in your home, make sure you familiarize yourself with the following laws so you know what your rights are and how to approach your landlord.

If you are currently looking for an apartment, make sure you familiarize yourself with the following laws:

  • Civil Code §1954.602: A landlord cannot show or rent a unit that he or she knows has a bed bug infestation. If the unit happens to have a bed bug infestation but it is not apparent, and the landlord does not know about it, then the landlord cannot be held responsible for showing a unit with bed bugs. If you have been shown a unit that very clearly has a bed bug infestation, contact our landlord-tenant attorneys immediately so we can help you seek the compensation you deserve for any damages you incurred from being in a bed bug infested apartment.

scott-webb-386701-copy-202x300Everyone likes to believe that his or her home is the safest place, but many people unknowingly live in mold-infested environments that are far from safe. While not all mold poses a threat to your health, toxic mold can result in neurological damage, and at worst, death. If you have been harmed by living in an apartment in San Francisco that is infested with toxic mold, you have the right to sue your landlord for compensation. Contact an experienced toxic mold lawyer today to learn more about your rights and your options for recourse.

What is Toxic Mold?

Toxic mold refers to a specific type of mold that releases mycotoxins, such as Stachybotrys, that can pose serious health risk to humans and animals. It is also known as “black mold” or Stachybotrys, after the scientific term for a specific type of toxin released in toxic mold.

antonina-bukowska-142087-copy-300x200Oakland Just Cause for Eviction Ordinance

Oakland is a “Just Cause for Eviction” city, which means a landlord cannot evict a tenant unless he or she can prove “just cause” in at least one of 11 ways. The Oakland Just Cause for Eviction Ordinance lays out the specific conditions under which landlords are permitted to evict their tenants in Oakland. This ordinance, along with the Oakland Rent Adjustment Program (RAP), is one of the most important housing protections for residents of Oakland as it prevents tenants from losing their homes due to a change in property ownership, inability to raise rent, or other reason unrelated to the tenant’s behavior.

To Whom the Just Cause for Eviction Ordinance Applies

quin-stevenson-14794-unsplash-copy-200x300Lead poisoning is the most common environmental illness in children in California today and can lead to lifelong injuries, including learning disabilities, speech impairment, and other developmental issues. There is no known level of lead that can exist in the body safely, so any amount of lead that seeps into your body can be considered lead poisoning. Luckily, lead poisoning is preventable in most instances, so educating yourself on what lead poisoning is and where lead particles can be found in your daily life can help prevent injury to yourself or your child. However, there are times when you may encounter lead in your home as a result of your landlord’s failure to notify you of the existence of lead in your building or another violation of California lead regulations. Call the attorneys at Willoughby Brod if you suspect there may be lead in your building or have suffered from lead poisoning.

Lead Poisoning in Your Daily Life

Paint

lili-popper-29464-300x169California law prohibits any harassment by landlords in order to push their tenants out of their homes. Even though the landlord owns the building, the tenant lives there and has the right to live peacefully in his or her home. If your landlord is harassing you in any way, call the experienced landlord tenant attorneys at Brod Law Firm to provide a fast and aggressive defense of your rights.

What is Landlord Harassment?

Landlord harassment is when a landlord purposely creates undesirable living conditions that are designed to push the tenant out of the home. Examples of landlord harassment may include the following:

todd-quackenbush-222-copy-300x183California law requires that landlords make residential rental properties habitable, that is, livable for tenants. In other words, the landlords must ensure that rented houses and apartments are safe.  The sections of California law that deal with the subject of habitability are Civil Code 1941.1 and Health and Safety Code 17920.3. Since almost any kind of damage to the structures of the rented residential property or any infestation by pests could make the property unsafe if the damage is not repaired or if the pests are not removed, it is not possible for the legal code to list every possible safety hazard that constitutes grounds for a landlord/tenant lawsuit. In general, the most serious hazards are the ones that have to do with insect infestations and toxic mold. If your landlord has allowed the property you rent to become unsafe, contact an attorney dealing with habitability issues.

Is Your Rented Apartment or House Habitable?

Anyone who has lived with a roommate knows that “sufficiently clean” can be a subjective measure. California law is clear, though, that landlords must ensure that rented properties are safe before a tenant suffers a serious injury or illness because of the poorly maintained property.  These are some problems that can be the basis for habitability disputes.

milind-kaduskar-87650-copy-300x300Why are people so afraid of bed bugs? Unlike mosquitoes, bed bugs cannot transmit malaria.  Unlike termites, bed bugs cannot destroy the wooden structures in your house. Unlike bees, bed bugs do not transmit deadly venom. Despite the dangers they do not pose, bed bugs are among the most troublesome pests found in the United States. Eradicating them from your apartment and possessions and preventing future infestations can be a herculean task, but in rental properties in California, it is a landlord’s legal obligation to deal appropriately with bed bug infestations. If you are renting a residential property, and your landlord has failed to take adequate measures to remove the bed bugs, despite your repeated requests, consult an attorney who works with landlord-tenant law cases related to habitability.

Recent Bed Bug Lawsuits in California

In the past year, courts in the State of California have issued several rulings in favor of tenants who complained of bed bug infestations in their rented apartments and houses. Here are some recent California cases involving bed bugs.

mike-wilson-175347-225x300As rents in certain areas of the country skyrocket, more and more tenants are asking why there is not some – or a better – form of rent control. As of right now, most landlords can increase the rent as much as they like as long as they give proper notice. One of the reasons for this in California is the Costa-Hawkins Rental Housing Act, which was passed in 1995. The Act imposes limits on the kind of rent control policies cities can adopt. However, a measure to repeal the Act may be headed to the next November ballot in California.

The Costa-Hawkins Rental Housing Act

There are a few significant provisions with the Act that many tenants believe are harmful in today’s real estate market. The Act bans cities from using rent caps on any unit built after February 1995. This a majority of apartments in California’s major cities cannot be rent controlled. All of the new development going up in cities like San Francisco can have exceedingly high rents and there is little local governments can do about it.

jon-moore-400422-unsplash-copy-300x200In mid-February, the California Supreme Court denied hearing a number of paint manufacturers’ appeals. The paint manufacturers, ConAgra, NL Industries, and Sherwin-Williams, were ordered in November by the Sixth District Court of Appeal in San Jose to pay a significant sum to the state to enable it to remove lead paint from older homes, where the paint still has the potential to cause people serious harm, particularly children. The manufacturers are responsible for homes built before 1951. The potential lead paint cleanup is intended for 10 cities and counties throughout the state, and is estimated to cost $400 million.

The ruling stands for now, however the manufacturers have been fighting this suit since 2000 and are not finished. They have indicated that they may appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court. They also intend to place an initiative on the California ballot, known as the Healthy Homes and Schools Act. If passed, taxpayers would carry the burden for the $2 billion bond ultimately used to fund the lead paint cleanup.

The Threat of Lead Paint