Articles Tagged with landlord-tenant relations

dominik-martin-311-copy-300x199Various forms of marijuana are now legal in California. However, it is still heavily regulated and illegal based on federal law. This creates a great deal of gray area and questions. If you are a tenant, you may wonder how your right to possess, use, and grow cannabis can be affected by your lease. Does your landlord have the right to dictate that there is no marijuana on the premises? Or can you fully enjoy marijuana so long as you are obeying California law?

If you are having trouble with your landlord in relation to your marijuana use or possession, contact our San Francisco tenants’ rights attorneys at Brod Law Firm to learn more about your rights, limitations, and legal options to deal with your current situation.

When is Possessing Marijuana Legal in California?

antonina-bukowska-142087-copy-300x200Once you rent an apartment, the unit is yours. You are entitled to a great deal of freedom and privacy within your apartment, with only specific limitations and exceptions. For instance, you are entitled to determine who comes in and out of your unit. You control your guests. Meanwhile, your landlord, despite being the unit’s owner, has lost his or her right to the unit. Your landlord cannot come and go from your unit as he or she pleases. However, your landlord may not explain that to you. Many California landlords try and take advantage of a tenant’s lack of knowledge to snoop around or harass tenants and their guests.

When Your Landlord can Enter Your Apartment

For your landlord to be able to come into your apartment, there must either be a valid, lawful reason or you have to give your consent. Your landlord has the right to enter your unit without your permission only if:

brandon-griggs-82205-300x200Renting in California can be extremely difficult. There are not enough apartments to go around, which puts landlords in a position of power. They can raise rents, and even when they should not, they can get picky about who they let live in their units. To remain in a position of power and to benefit from the situation as much as possible, some landlords will resort to lying. You should look out for these common lies and understand how to protect your rights.

Lies Your Landlord May Tell You

There are certain fibs a landlord may tell in California, including:

taller-de-ilustracion-digital-256-300x199There are many types of mold, and none are actually toxic like some news outlets would have you believe. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “toxic mold” is a misnomer. Some molds can produce toxins, but are not themselves poisonous or toxic to individuals. This does not mean you should let mold spread throughout your apartment. Mold can lead to allergy symptoms, respiratory issues, asthma attacks, as well as pneumonia and infections in individuals with compromised immune systems. You can rest a little easier knowing there is little connection between mold and serious or rare diseases, though you should work with your landlord to have the mold removed and the issue causing it repaired. If you are having issues with mold in your rental unit, contact a San Francisco tenants rights attorney at Brod Law Firm right away.

Common Types of Molds in Apartments

From the fuzz that grows on overly ripe fruit to the black dots spreading across your apartment’s wall, molds range in colors and likely physical reactions. A few of the most common types of mold are cladosporium, aspergillus, and stachybotrys atra. They can all be found in buildings where moisture is present, which can come from leaky roofs, broken washing machine hoses, and poorly sealed windows. Cladosporium can cause allergy symptoms and the rare infection. Aspergillus can similarly cause fungal infections and allergic reactions, but is generally no issue for individuals with healthy immune systems. Stachybotrys is what many people think of when they consider mold, since it is greenish black. It is no more “toxic” than the other types of mold, but can also cause allergic reactions.

800px-For-rent-sign-300x200Has your landlord been harassing you or bothering you for no good reason? Harassment can make your life miserable, and may cause you a lot of unnecessary stress and anxiety. In San Francisco, as in other places, landlords are not allowed to bother their tenants. Laws prevent landlords from taking unreasonable actions against their tenants. A landlord can not simply try to force you to leave without proper reason.

Landlord Cannot Act in Bad Faith

The landlord cannot act in bad faith. There are a number of acts that may be considered bad faith. For example, threatening a tenant with harm, trying to get a tenant to leave through intimidation, or interfering in a tenant’s privacy are all considered actions of bad faith. The law requires that a landlord evict tenants only if they have a legitimate reason for doing so.  

784px-Free_Happy_Rainbow_Water_Droplet_on_GreenIf you expect that you will be needing to rent an apartment in a few years, your experience will likely be significantly different from that of modern-day renters. Today, your payment of rent covers the cost of your room as well as your water use. This is because most apartment buildings do not have individual water meters (called submeters) to measure the amount of water you personally use. This is about to change thanks to surveys and studies like the one conducted using Los Angeles tenants that found water usage among the tenants remained unaltered despite the state’s drought and the governor’s order that water usage be reduced by 25%.

New Law Requires Submeters Installed

Senate Bill 7 (signed into law by Governor Jerry Brown in September 2016) will now require every new apartment building constructed on or after January 1, 2018 to have submeters installed for every unit so that the tenants of each unit can be billed separately for their individual water consumption. Supporters of the law hope that merely being able to see one’s water consumption on a monthly basis will help encourage apartment dwellers to cut back on their water usage. A this time, the law does not require that existing apartment buildings  to be retrofitted with submeters.