Your Tenant’s Right to Habitability

What is the Implied Warranty of Habitability when you rent your home? What is the acceptable level of repair and maintenance? What is fair to you to protect your tenant’s rights?

Typically, certain repair and maintenance items are under the care of the landlord. California law and housing and building codes in San Francisco give you protection from living in substandard housing if you live in the city. When my clients are facing an eviction, we examine the maintenance and repair conditions of their home that should have been taken care of by the landlord. While your home might have been in good shape when you moved in, over time a landlord can become unconcerned with fixing the property. Or a new landlord might not be concerned at all.

The Law

According to the California law and San Francisco codes, the Implied Warranty of Habitability is breached when the dwelling contains substantial defects. On the exterior of the building, are there holes in the walls? Are there broken windows or doors? Are the buildings unsanitary? Are there rodents, either living or dead on the grounds or in your home? Has trash accumulated?

On the inside, is the electrical wiring in poor working order? Has the flooring been maintained? Are there defective floor supports? Is there hazardous plumbing or deteriorated plaster?

These are just some of the factors that the law says breaches the Implied Warranty of Habitability.

As a tenant, you have the burden to prove that the Implied Warranty of Habitability is missing. This issue can be tricky depending on the property and your own unique situation. You may wish to consult with an experienced tenant attorney who can advise you on how best to proceed with your claim.

Ready for Aggressive Legal Help?

Talk with a tenant lawyer in an obligation free telephone consultation.

Mary Catherine Wiederhold

Tenant Attorney
1458 Sutter Street
San Francisco, CA 94109

Our offices are conveniently accessible to public transportation.

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