There are a number of obligations that a landlord must meet at a minimum in order for a property to be habitable. If you are a California landlord it is important that you provide these items for your tenant. First because it is a health and safety issue if your tenant does not have access to running water, heat, electricity, etc., but also if you need to evict your tenant for non-payment of rent then any of the following might delay the process if the tenant has good reason for failure to pay.
The landlord’s minimum habitability obligations are:
- Effective waterproofing of roof and exterior walls, including unbroken windows and doors.
- Plumbing and gas facilities installation maintained in good working order.
- A water supply capable of hot and cold running water, fixtures, and connection to a sewage disposal system.
- Heating facilities maintained in good working order.
- Electrical lighting maintained in good working order.
- Building and grounds kept clean and sanitary, free from all accumulations of debris, filth, rubbish, garbage, and rodents.
- An adequate number of rubbish (trash) receptacles.
- Floors, stairways, and railings maintained in good repair.
If the property is declared “untenable” for 35 days, the landlord can be fined $5,000 if he or she attempts to collect rent, issues a three-day notice to quit, or a notice to increase rent.