Articles Tagged with habitability

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.

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.

nicolas-barbier-garreau-267667-copy-300x200When you move into your apartment, a number of appliances may already be there, like a refrigerator, stove and oven, microwave, dishwasher, air conditioning unit, and washer and dryer. You assume you are responsible for the daily care of these appliances, but what about when they break? Is it up to you to get a broken appliance repaired? If the issue cannot be fixed, who replaces it? In some situations, your landlord should repair or replace an appliance for you. However, this is not always the case.

Does Your Landlord Have to Repair or Replace an Appliance?

The first question is whether the landlord is required to provide that appliance by state law, local ordinance, or the lease. California law does not require landlords to provide appliances. It is unexpected to see an apartment without the basics like a refrigerator and stove. However, renting a unit without them is not unlawful.

boris-smokrovic-136175-copy-300x200As a tenant, you have a right to live in an apartment or house that is free from rodents, insects, and other vermin. You are not required to live within an apartment overrun by mice that are eating and dirtying your food or covered in bed bugs that are biting you day and night. Through the implied warranty of habitability and local and state laws, your landlord is required to get rid of infestations within your unit or the common areas of an apartment building. If your landlord does not uphold his or her duty, you may have the right to move out or hold your landlord financially responsible for fixing the problem. However, you should not do anything yourself without understanding your rights and the potential consequences. Speak with a San Francisco tenant rights attorney from Brod Law Firm first.

The Implied Warranty of Habitability

The implied warranty of habitability is an automatic promise you receive as a tenant that the premises you rent are safe and appropriate to live in. This is not a promise you receive in writing with your lease. It is an obligation dictated by law. It gives you the right to a habitable place to live and requires the landlord to keep the unit up to a certain standard.

h_xf5vhzmrm-neha-deshmukh-200x300The sooner you realize you have bed bugs, the faster you can ask your landlord to have an exterminator come out and solve the problem. In recent years, newer chemicals and heat treatments have been developed that are highly effective in getting rid of bed bugs. However, the longer you have these insects in your home, the more there will be and the harder they will be to eradicate. Considering the San Francisco-Oakland-San Jose area is within the top ten cities for bed bug service calls in 2016, according to Orkin, this is information you cannot afford to ignore. By knowing the signs, you can communicate with your landlord right away and prevent a habitability issue.

Signs of Bed Bugs

Fortunately, bed bugs are relatively easy to spot. They have some distinct habits that can differentiate them from other pests. Look for: