Landlord’s Legal Minimum Obligations

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:

  1. Effective waterproofing of roof and exterior walls, including unbroken windows and doors.
  2. Plumbing and gas facilities installation maintained in good working order.
  3. A water supply capable of hot and cold running water, fixtures, and connection to a sewage disposal system.
  4. Heating facilities maintained in good working order.
  5. Electrical lighting maintained in good working order.
  6. Building and grounds kept clean and sanitary, free from all accumulations of debris, filth, rubbish, garbage, and rodents.
  7. An adequate number of rubbish (trash) receptacles.
  8. 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.

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