California Renters Rights
Do you know your California renters rights? As a renter it is often hard to know what your rights are and where to turn when you do have problems with your rental. Of course, we all know that we try to contact our landlord first to resolve any issues but sometimes the landlord is just not willing to help and you begin to wonder if it the problem with the apartment is something he should fix or is it your responsibility. This article is written to just touch on some of what some of the basic California Renters Rights so that you might understand what those rights are.
Implied warranty of habitability
It is your right to have a place that is fit to live in. That means that it needs to meet the state and local building and health codes and be safe so as to not affect your health or safety. What are some issues that may affect your health and safety if not taken care of in your rental or apartment? The following are issues that might fall under this category.
- Is your furnace or air conditioning not working properly in your rental unit?
- Do the locks on your door and windows work properly to make your apartment or rental safe from intruders?
- Is your water heater working properly so that you have running hot and cold water? Does your toilet, sink , shower or tub all work properly? Are they in a room that allows you privacy?
- Are there electrical problems in your rental unit? Do you have plugs that don’t work?
- Do you have smoke detectors in your apartment and are they working?
- Are the hallways in your apartment building in good repair and well lite so that you can see in all the corners and down the hallway? If you have stairs in your building are they safe to walk up and down without any broken steps or missing handrails?
- Are there plenty of trash containers to hold your trash outside and is the trash picked up and disposed of in a timely manner?
- Do you have problems with bed bugs, roaches, ants, spiders or rodents in your apartment? Is the problem bad enough it needs an exterminator to take care of the problem?
- Do you have mold in your apartment that needs to be cleaned up? Is your landlord aware of this problem?Your California renters rights require that you take on certain responsibilities also. Listed below are a few of those responsibilities.
- You have the responsibility to make sure that your unit is clean and liveable.
- You are responsible to make sure that you handle the electric, plumbing and use and operate any gas fixtures properly. This means you do not overload your electrical outlets. You do not flush foreign objects down the toilet. You must keep all electrical, gas or plumbing fixtures clean and not allow them to become filthy.
- Dispose of your trash in a sanitary manner.
- You or anyone else should not damage the rental in any way or you will be responsible for the damage.
Does your landlord enter your apartment without giving you notice? Does he enter at inconvenient times for you? Do you feel your privacy has been violated?Your California renters rights state that he should give you 24 hour notice that he will need to enter your rental. He is to be allowed to enter your apartment or rental to make repairs and your should work with him so he can fix things. He can enter your apartment without the 24 hour notice if there is an emergency.
SECURITY DEPOSIT REFUND
How long after you leave your apartment does the landlord have to return your security deposit?Your landlord has 21 days after you leave to return your security deposit minus any costs for damages caused by you or your family members, other tenants living in the apartment or rental or any damage caused by pets. Within that 21 days he must send you an itemized list of the cost of repairs. He cannot charge you for normal wear and tear of carpets and furnishings. He can charge you for cleaning of your apartment if it is not as clean as it was when you first moved in. One of the best things you can do to protect yourself is to take pictures of your apartment when you move in and when you move out to make sure that you have proof that things are clean and that any damage that was there when you moved in is documented so that can’t charge you for damage caused from previous tenants.When you are ready to move out, California renters rights require that the the landlord give you a written notice of your right to request an initial inspection of the rental and that you be present during that inspection. If you do this inspection with the landlord, you will be able to find out things he wants fixed so that you can get your security deposit back after you vacate the rental. This normally is not sooner than 2 weeks before your move out date. He must give you 48 hours advance written notice of the inspection telling your the date and time of the inspection,
Have you been illegally evicted? Have you been locked out of your apartment or have your utilities been turned off? If you have been served with a 3 day notice to vacate, you must respond to it and take the actions required to fix the problem if the eviction can be resolved, such as you are late on your rent payment. You can’t be locked out of your apartment without the landlord going through the proper court channels. You are entitled to a court hearing if you believe you are being evicted for the wrong reasons. So that means the landlord can’t force you to move by locking you out, removing outside doors or windows or cutting off your utilities or removing your belongings.
If any of your rights above have been violated, you should file a complaint with the Rental Protection Agency.