Fry Law Corporation enjoys helping tenants in seeking justice against landlords. In a landlord-tenant relationship, the landlord holds all the cards and unfortunately, landlords have taken advantage of this fact. This “confidence” coupled with the fact that very little lawyers handle landlord-tenant disputes has resulted in landlords essentially doing as they please and banking on not getting sued. Fry Law Corporation is not a name they want to see!
There are three main grounds for a lawsuit against your landlord. First, a breach of the warranty of habitability. Second, a breach of your right to quiet enjoyment of your property. And third, a breach of your lease or rental agreement.
WARRANTY OF HABITABILITY
In every landlord-tenant relationship, there is an implied warranty of habitability. This means that the property offered up must be in a condition fit occupation. (Civil Code section 1941.) This not only requires that the property be in that condition but that the landlord repair all subsequent conditions rendering the property untenantable. (Ibid.)
The warranty of habitability says that the landlord must provide adequate 1) weather protection; 2) plumbing and gas; 3) water; 4) heating; 5) electricity; 6) clean and sanitary premises; 7) trash facilities; 8) safe floors, stairways and railings; and even 10) locking mail receptacles. (Civil Code section 1941.1)
One of the most common areas Fry Law Corporation encounters relates to whether the property is clean and sanitary. The most common example is cockroaches or other pests like rats or other vermin.
If you can prove that you put the landlord on notice of a violation and they did not take the appropriate steps to remedy it, you may be able to recover some or all of your rent paid, emotional distress damages for the stress and anxiety of dealing with it and in some cases, punitive damages punishing the landlord (slumlord)! In most cases, the landlord has to pay your attorney’s fees!
RIGHT TO QUIET ENJOYMENT
In every lease agreement there is an implied right to quiet enjoyment. (Civil Code section 1927.) Quiet enjoyment means the landlord must provide possession and beneficial enjoyment of the premises and must prevent any issue trampling on this right.
The most common issue presented is the situation where there is some outside source impeding on your right to enjoyment. Examples include a loud co-tenant or neighbor, excessively noisy or disruptive construction, excessive crime, etc.
In most cases, if you prevail, you may get awarded damages for rent paid. If the action is egregious, you may be able to recover emotional distress damages and in very rare instances, punitive damages!
BREACH OF CONTRACT (LEASE AGREEMENT)
Most rental agreements are in writing. These agreements contain the rules that must be followed. If a landlord breaks any of these rules, you may sue for breach of contract.
Lease not in writing? That’s okay! So long as your lease agreement is not for a year or more, you may still have claims!
Dealing with landlord-tenant issues can be tough. It is a complicated area of law that most attorneys are afraid of. Call Fry Law Corporation for a full evaluation of your landlord tenant issue. We know what we are doing and will go to bat for tenants being taken advantage of by landlords!