TENANTS LEGAL CENTER
In California, the law requires a landlord, in a residential tenancy, to maintain the dwelling so as to keep it in a habitable condition. The landlord is also generally responsible for other "non-habitability" item repairs. The tenant will be responsible for damages they caused by abuse or misuse of the property beyond normal wear and tear.
Habitable, or "Tenantable" means the dwelling is free from substantial defects (including MOLD ) that affect health and safety. Cosmetic defects generally do not qualify as habitability items.
Some rental agreements attempt to make the tenant responsible for this maintenance. These provisions are generally not valid although under very limited circumstances, a tenant may accept a rental with certain defects in exchange for compensation.
1. Do a check-in sheet upon moving in noting pre-existing problems, or potential ones.
If you do not get a favorable response,
1. Take photos in case a dispute later arises.
The general standards for habitability are set out in a law known as Civil Code section 1941.1 which states
California law for San Diego is applied in these pages. Such laws may or may not be applicable in other jurisdictions. The information provided herein is of a general nature and is not intended to be taken as specific legal advice. For legal advice in a particular situation, promptly consult with an appropriate attorney.