What is the Warranty of Habitability?

All residential leases in California have an implied warranty of habitability. This means that the landlord must do necessary maintenance to the apartment throughout the period of the lease and ensure it is “tenantable.” Before 1974, tenants were viewed as acquiring a...

What is ‘Reasonable Accommodation’?

A landlord cannot discriminate because of a disability. The landlord must make reasonable accommodations for his tenant. An apartment falls under the requirements of the federal Fair Housing Act. The Fair Housing Act does not require that a tenant’s request for a...

The slow evolution of lawsuits against landlords

One of the most vexing issues in representing tenants is the lack of being able to file an affirmative lawsuit against a landlord. In Action Apartment Association, Inc. v. City of Santa Monica (2007) 41 Cal. 4th 1232, the California Supreme Court held that a tenant...

Fire and your wrongful eviction

A fire happens in your building. You get out all right, but your home and all your personal property is damaged. What happens next? The San Francisco Rent Ordinance mandates that the landlord allow a tenant to reoccupy her home after repairs have been made....

The Ellis Act and retaliatory eviction defense

The Ellis Act gives a landlord the absolute right to go out of the rental business. The landlord has the right to evict tenants on the basis that the building is being permanently withdrawn from the rental market. A tenant can possibly defeat an Ellis Act eviction by...