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Sick of paying rent for a place where the hot water is about 70 degrees and the heat barely heats? Where the plumbing does not work? Are there other major problems with the place you are renting? Then this e-book is for you my friend This e-book will show you how to successfully use the legal system in !alifornia to force your landlord to fi" all of the major problems in your residence #t lists all of the major problems that the law considers to affect the habitability of any residence offered for rent or lease in the State of !alifornia And it gi$es you the citations to the statutory and case authority you need in order to force your landlord to %fi" this dump& 'id you know for instance that if your residence does not ha$e deadbolt locks that is considered to affect the habitability of your residence? 'id you know that if your local housing inspector informs your landlord that they need to fi" certain major problems and they do not fi" them within a certain period of time that they cannot collect any rent from you, increase your rent, or serve you with a three-day notice to pay rent or quit? And if they do you can take them to !ourt( e$en small claims !ourt and they can be ordered to not only fi" the problems but pay you damages of at least )*00 00 and not more than )+(000 00( as well as paying your court costs( and attorney fees if you use one? 'id you know that if your local housing inspector informs your landlord that they need to fi" certain major problems and they do not fi" them within a certain period of time the law will presume that your residence is not habitable and if your landlord tries to e$ict you they will likely lose their case( the !ourt will reduce your rent based on the problems( and the landlord will ha$e to pay your court costs( and attorney fees if you use one
This e-book was written by a freelance paralegal / with o$er *, years of e"perience in !alifornia ci$il litigation including unlawful detainers -e$ictions. The author pre$iously worked in residential and commercial property management before becoming a paralegal so he knows the ins and outs of e$ictions This e-book may not ha$e a fancy co$er with lots of pretty graphics or colors but it does ha$e all of the information that you will need to force your landlord to correct any major problems affecting the habitability of your residence
There are numerous affirmati$e defenses 3 a$ailable to a tenant in an unlawful detainer -e$iction. proceeding in !alifornia 0ne of the most powerful affirmative defenses a$ailable is the defense based on habitability of the house( apartment or other dwelling This is due to the fact that the !alifornia Supreme !ourt has ruled that e$ery residential rental agreement has an implied warranty of habitability that is independent of the tenant1s obligation to pay rent See Green v Superior Court -*27,. *0 !al 3d 4*4( 43*-43/ This means that a landlord of residential premises must put the premises in a condition fit for human occupancy and must repair all subse5uent dilapidations that render the premises untenantable The landlord1s duty to the tenant to pro$ide habitable premises is nonwai$able So even if a lease or rental agreement states that the tenant waives the provisions of the Civil Code relating to habitability that waiver is not valid. And if the problems are really se$ere and the landlord does not fi" them within a reasonable period of time then the tenant may only ha$e to pay reduced rent( or no rent at all( or simply mo$e out and owe nothing to the landlord A breach of the warranty of habitability is a$ailable as an affirmati$e defense for a tenant in an e$iction action for nonpayment of rent 6ut it is not a$ailable in a 7' action based on a 30-day notice to 5uit Green v Superior Court( supra( *0 !al 3d at 43*8 Knight v Hallsthammar -*29*. /2 !al 3d ,4( +7 :umerous codes( statutes and regulations in !alifornia detail e"actly what is re5uired in order for a dwelling unit that is offered to rent or lease to be considered
habitable The following is a list of some of the , major items * ;ot water must be supplied to the plumbing fi"tures at a temperature of not less
than **0 degrees <ahrenheit See California Uniform Housing Code( Article +( Section 3/-a.
3 An ade5uate number of appropriate receptacles with close fitting co$ers for garbage and rubbish as may be considered necessary by the enforcement agency shall be pro$ided for the occupant of e$ery dwelling unit by the owner or operator of e$ery structure or building subject to this subchapter ?ach receptacle shall be kept in a clean condition and in good repair See California Uniform Housing Code( Article +( Section 39 .-a.eating facilities must be pro$ided capable of maintaining a minimum room temperature of 70 degrees <ahrenheit at a point three feet abo$e the floor in all habitable rooms( and when the heating facilities are not under the control of the tenant or occupant of the building owner and=or manager( shall be re5uired to pro$ide that heat at a minimum temperature of 70 degrees <ahrenheit( /. hours a day These facilities shall be installed and maintained in a safe condition and in accordance with !hapter 37 of the 7niform 6uilding !ode( the 7niform >echanical !ode( and other applicable laws :o un$ented fuel burning heaters shall be permitted All heating de$ices or appliances shall be of the appro$ed type See California Uniform Housing Code( Article +( Section 3. Any building or portion thereof including any dwelling unit( guestroom or suite of rooms( or the premises on which the same is located( in which there e"ists any of the following listed conditions to an e"tent that endangers the life( limb( health( property( safety( or welfare of the public or the occupants thereof shall be deemed and hereby is declared to be a substandard building: .+ / .
Lac of connection to required sewage disposal system -*+. Aack of( or improper water closets( la$atories( and bathtubs or showers per number of guests in a hotel -3. #nfestation of insects. Lac of hot and cold running water to plumbing fi!tures in a dwelling unit -4. -b. Boom and space dimensions less than re5uired by this code -*0.. Lac of.. Aack of minimum amounts of natural light and $entilation re5uired by this code -2. or rodents as determined by the health officer. Lac of required electrical lighting -**. Lac of adequate heating -7. or improper operation of required ventilating equipment -9. #nade5uate sanitation shall include( 4 but not be limited to( the following@ -*.-a. vermin. or bathtub or shower in a dwelling unit -/. Ceneral dilapidation or improper maintenance -*. or improper itchen sin -. -*/. Lac of. lavatory. Aack of hot and cold running water to plumbing fi"tures in a hotel -+. Lac of. or improper water closet. Lac of adequate garbage and rubbish storage and removal facilities as determined by the health officer. Structural haDards shall include( but not be limited to( the following@ . -*3. "ampness of habitable rooms.
'eteriorated or inade5uate foundations 7 .-*.
. >embers of walls( partitions( or other $ertical supports that are of insufficient siDe to carry imposed loads with safety -4. >embers of walls( partitions( or other $ertical supports that split( lean( list( or buckle due to defecti$e material or deterioration -+. -e.-/. 'efecti$e or deteriorated flooring or floor 9 supports -3. <ireplaces or chimneys which are of insufficient siDe or strength to carry imposed loads with safety -c. <looring or floor supports of insufficient siDe to carry imposed loads with safety -.. $ll plumbing. Any nuisance -d. <ireplaces or chimneys which list( bulge( or settle due to defecti$e material or deterioration -2. e!cept that which conformed with all applicable laws in effect at the time of installation if it is currently in good and safe condition and wor ing properly. e!cept plumbing that conformed with all applicable laws in effect at the time of installation and has been maintained in good condition. >embers of ceiling( roofs( ceiling and roof supports( or other horiDontal members that are of insufficient siDe to carry imposed loads with safety -9. $ll wiring. >embers of ceilings( roofs( ceilings and roof supports( or other horiDontal members which sag( split( or buckle due to defecti$e material or deterioration -7.
and that is free of cross connections and siphonage between fi!tures. 'eteriorated or ineffecti$e waterproofing of e"terior walls( roof( foundations( or floors( including broken windows or doors -3. 'eteriorated( crumbling( or loose plaster -/. 'efecti$e or lack of weather protection for e"terior wall co$erings( including lack of paint( or weathering due to lack of paint or other appro$ed protecti$e co$ering -. All materials of construction( e"cept those which are specifically allowed or appro$ed by this code( and which ha$e been ade5uately maintained in good and safe condition . All mechanical e5uipment( including $ents( e"cept e5uipment that conformed with all applicable laws in effect at the time of installation and that has been maintained in good and safe condition( or that may not ha$e conformed with all applicable laws in effect at the time of installation but is currently in good and safe condition and working properly -g. Any building or portion thereof( de$ice( apparatus( e5uipment( combustible waste( or $egetation that( in the opinion of the chief of the fire department or his deputy( is in such a condition as to cause a fire or e"plosion or pro$ide a ready fuel to augment the spread and intensity of fire or e"plosion arising from any cause -#.. <aulty weather protection( which shall include( but not be limited to( the following@ -*. 6roken( rotted( split( or buckled e"terior wall co$erings or roof co$erings -h.or that may not have conformed with all 2 applicable laws in effect at the time of installation but is currently in good and safe condition and wor ing properly. -f.
or safety ha'ards. offal. stagnant water. debris. rodent harborages. combustible materials. vegetation. dead organic matter. and similar materials or conditions constitute fire. garbage. Any building or portion thereof that is determined to be an unsafe building due to inade5uate maintenance( in accordance with the latest edition of the 7niform 6uilding !ode . All buildings or portions thereof not pro$ided with ade5uate e"it facilities as re5uired by this code( e"cept those buildings or portions thereof whose e"it facilities conformed with all applicable laws at the time of their construction and that ha$e been ade5uately maintained and increased in relation to any increase in occupant load( alteration or addition( or any change in occupancy When an unsafe condition e"ists through lack of( or improper location of( e"its( additional e"its may be re5uired to be installed -m.l. health. All buildings or portions thereof occupied for li$ing( sleeping( cooking( or dining . -k. All buildings or portions thereof that are not pro$ided with the fire-resisti$e construction or fire-e"tinguishing systems or e5uipment re5uired by this code( e"cept those buildings or portions thereof that conformed with all applicable laws at the time of their construction and whose fire-resisti$e integrity and fire-e"tinguishing systems or e5uipment ha$e been ade5uately maintained and impro$ed in relation to any increase in occupant load( alteration or addition( or any change in occupancy -n.-j. &un . %hose premises on which an accumulation *0 of weeds.
3 / .ealth and Safety !ode@ -a.purposes that were not designed or intended ** to be used for those occupancies -o.* 4 A dwelling shall be deemed untenantable for purposes of Section *2. Glumbing or gas facilities that conformed to applicable law in effect at the time of installation( maintained in good working order .owe$er( a condition that would re5uire displacement of sound walls or ceilings to meet height( length( or width re5uirements for ceilings( rooms( and dwelling units shall not by itself be considered sufficient e"istence of dangerous conditions making a building a substandard building( unless the building was constructed( altered( or con$erted in $iolation of those re5uirements in effect at the time of construction( alteration( or con$ersion See Health and Safety Code F *72/0 3 + The lessor of a building intended for the occupation of human beings must( in the absence of an agreement to the contrary( put it into a condition fit for such occupation( and repair all subse5uent dilapidations thereof( which render it untenantable( e"cept such as are mentioned in section nineteen hundred and twenty-nine See Civil Code F *2.* if it substantially lacks any of the following affirmati$e standard characteristics or is a residential unit described in Section *72/0 3 or *72/0 *0 of the . ?ffecti$e waterproofing and weather protection of roof and e"terior walls( including unbroken windows and doors -b. #nade5uate structural resistance to horiDontal forces ESubstandard buildingE includes a building not in compliance with Section *3*.
?lectrical lighting( with wiring and electrical e5uipment that conformed with applicable law at the time of installation( maintained in good working order -f.eating facilities that conformed with applicable law at the time of installation( maintained in good working order -e.* * 7 -a. 0n and after Huly *( *229( the landlord( or his or her agent( of a building intended for . An ade5uate number of appropriate receptacles for garbage and rubbish( in clean condition and good repair at the time of the commencement of the lease or rental agreement( with the landlord pro$iding appropriate ser$iceable receptacles thereafter and being responsible for the clean condition and good repair of the receptacles under his or her control -h. . <loors( stairways( and railings maintained in good repair See Civil Code F *2. A water supply appro$ed under applicable */ law that is under the control of the tenant( capable of producing hot and cold running water( or a system that is under the control of the landlord( that produces hot and cold running water( furnished to appropriate fi"tures( and connected to a sewage disposal system appro$ed under applicable law -d. 6uilding( grounds( and appurtenances at the time of the commencement of the lease or rental agreement( and all areas under control of the landlord( kept in e$ery part clean( sanitary( and free from all accumulations of debris( filth( rubbish( garbage( rodents( and $ermin -g.-c.
human habitation shall do all of the following@ *3 -*. #nstall and maintain an operable dead bolt lock on each main swinging entry door of a dwelling unit The dead bolt lock shall be installed in conformance with the manufacturer1s specifications and shall comply with applicable state and local codes including( but not limited to( those pro$isions relating to fire and life safety and accessibility for the disabled When in the locked position( the bolt shall e"tend a minimum of *3=*4 of an inch in length beyond the strike edge of the door and protrude into the doorjamb This section shall not apply to horiDontal sliding doors ?"isting dead bolts of at least one-half inch in length shall satisfy the re5uirements of this section ?"isting locks with a thumb-turn deadlock that ha$e a strike plate attached to the doorjamb and a latch bolt that is held in a $ertical position by a guard bolt( a plunger( or an au"iliary mechanism shall also satisfy the re5uirements of this section These locks( howe$er( shall be replaced with a dead bolt at least *3=*4 of an inch in length the first time after Huly *( *229( that the lock re5uires repair or replacement ?"isting doors which cannot be e5uipped with dead bolt locks shall satisfy the re5uirements of this section if the door is e5uipped with a metal strap affi"ed horiDontally across the midsection of the door with a dead bolt which e"tends *3=*4 of an inch in length beyond the strike edge of the door and protrudes into the doorjamb Aocks and security de$ices other than those described herein which are inspected and appro$ed by an appropriate state or local go$ernment agency as pro$iding ade5uate security shall satisfy the re5uirements of this .
0n and after Huly *( *229( the rights and remedies of tenant for a $iolation of this section by the landlord shall include those a$ailable pursuant to Sections *2. The tenant shall be responsible for notifying the owner or his or her authoriDed agent when the tenant becomes aware of an inoperable dead bolt lock or window security or locking de$ice in the dwelling unit The landlord( or his or her authoriDed agent( shall not be liable for a $iolation of subdi$ision -a. unless he or she fails to correct the $iolation within a reasonable time after he or she either has actual notice of a deficiency or recei$es notice of a deficiency -c./ +( an action for breach of contract( and an action for injuncti$e relief pursuant to Section +/4 of the !ode of !i$il Grocedure Additionally( in an unlawful detainer action( after a default in the payment of rent( a tenant may raise the $iolation of this .section *./( *2.( and *2./ . #nstall and maintain operable window security or locking de$ices for windows that are designed to be opened Aou$ered windows( casement windows( and all windows more than */ feet $ertically or si" feet horiDontally from the ground( a roof( or any other platform are e"cluded from this subdi$ision -3. -/. #nstall locking mechanisms that comply with applicable fire and safety codes on the e"terior doors that pro$ide ingress or egress to common areas with access to dwelling units in multifamily de$elopments This paragraph does not re5uire the installation of a door or gate where none e"ists on Hanuary *( *229 -b.
This section shall not apply to any building which has been designated as historically significant by an appropriate local( state( or federal go$ernmental jurisdiction -g. The delayed applicability of the re5uirements of subdi$ision -a. / of the !ode of !i$il Grocedure -d.* 3 9 The landlord is responsible for installing at least one usable telephone jack and . and -b. Subdi$isions -a.section as an affirmati$e defense and shall *+ ha$e a right to the remedies pro$ided by Section **7. :othing in this section shall be construed to affect any authority of any public entity that may otherwise e"ist to impose any additional security re5uirements upon a landlord -f. shall not apply to any building intended for human habitation which is managed( directly or indirectly( and controlled by the 'epartment of Transportation This e"emption shall not be construed to affect the duty of the 'epartment of Transportation to maintain the premises of these buildings in a safe condition or abrogate any e"press or implied statement or promise of the 'epartment of Transportation to pro$ide secure premises Additionally( this e"emption shall not apply to residential dwellings ac5uired prior to Huly *( *227( by the 'epartment of Transportation to complete construction of state highway routes 7*0 and /39 and related interchanges See Civil Code F*2. shall not affect a landlord1s duty to maintain the premises in safe condition -e. A $iolation of this section shall not broaden( limit( or otherwise affect the duty of care owed by a landlord pursuant to e"isting law( including any duty that may e"ist pursuant to Section *7*.
#f within a reasonable time after written or oral notice to the landlord or his agent( as defined in subdi$ision -a.* . of Section *24/( of dilapidations rendering the premises untenantable which the landlord ought to repair( the landlord neglects to do so( the tenant may repair the same himself where the cost of such repairs does not re5uire an .maintaining the inside telephone wiring in good*4 working order( shall ensure that the inside telephone wiring meets the applicable standards of the most recent :ational ?lectrical !ode as adopted by the ?lectronic #ndustry Association( and shall make any re5uired repairs The lessor shall not restrict or interfere with access by the telephone utility to its telephone network facilities up to the demarcation point separating the inside wiring E#nside telephone wiringE for purposes of this section( means that portion of the telephone wire that connects the telephone e5uipment at the customer1s premises to the telephone network at a demarcation point determined by the telephone corporation in accordance with orders of the Gublic 7tilities !ommission See Civil Code F*2. days is considered a reasonable time( although with really major problems a shorter time would be considered reasonable( such as lack of heat( no plumbing( no hot water( etc Civil Code F*2./ states that( -a. #n order to a$ail themsel$es of the right to habitable premises( a tenant has to gi$e either written or oral notice (written notice is much better) to the landlord or his agent of the problems The landlord or his agent must be gi$en a reasonable time to repair the problem or problems Thirty -30.
shall not be a$ailable if the condition was caused by the $iolation of Section *2/2 or *2. The remedy pro$ided by this section is in addition to any other remedy pro$ided by this chapter( the rental agreement( or other applicable statutory or common law So the law allows tenants to repair a problem and deduct the amount from their rent pro$ided that they comply with the pro$isions of Civil Code F *2.* / -d. <or the purposes of this section( if a tenant acts to repair and deduct after the 30th day following notice( he is presumed to ha$e acted after a reasonable time The presumption established by this subdi$ision is a rebuttable presumption affecting the burden of producing e$idence and shall not be construed to pre$ent a tenant from repairing and deducting after a shorter notice if all the circumstances re5uire shorter notice -c.e"penditure more than one month1s rent *7 of the premises and deduct the e"penses of such repairs from the rent when due( or the tenant may $acate the premises( in which case the tenant shall be discharged from further payment of rent( or performance of other conditions as of the date of $acating the premises This remedy shall not be a$ailable to the tenant more than twice in any */-month period -b. The tenant1s remedy under subdi$ision -a./ as outlined abo$e :ote that the %reapir and deduct& remedy can only be used by a tenant twice in any */ month period( and the cost of the repairs cannot e"ceed one monthIs rent 0r the tenant can simply $acate the premises and be discharged from paying any further rent starting from when they $acate the premises .
. +e very sure that you have a good case before you decide to &ust move.ave plenty of evidence that you gave proper notice. The conditions were not caused by an act or omission of the tenant or lessee in . The dwelling substantially lacks any of the affirmati$e standard characteristics listed in Section *2. and the delay is without good cause -.* if all of the following conditions e"ist@ -*.*ote that simply vacating the premises *9 is a ris y move as the landlord will most li ely not agree and will try to go after the tenant in Court. -3.* *( is deemed and declared substandard pursuant to Section *72/0 3 of the . and did not e!ceed one month’s rent. . that the repairs were truly necessary.ealth and Safety !ode( or contains lead haDards as defined in Section *72/0 *0 of the .ealth and Safety !ode -/. before you decide to simply leave. !alifornia law will presume that a landlord has breached the habitability re5uirements of Civil Code F *2. The conditions ha$e e"isted and ha$e not been abated 40 days beyond the date of issuance of the notice specified in paragraph -/. A public officer or employee who is responsible for the enforcement of any housing law has notified the landlord( or an agent of the landlord( in a written notice issued after inspection of the premises which informs the landlord of his or her obligation to abate the nuisance or repair the substandard or unsafe conditions identified under the authority described in paragraph -*. #n other words get your -duc s in a row. you waited a reasonable time.
or issue a three-day notice to pay rent or quit pursuant to subdi$ision -/. The dwelling substantially lacks any of the affirmati$e standard characteristics listed in Section *2.$iolation of Section *2/2 or *2.* * or $iolates Section *72/0 *0 of the .ealth and Safety !ode( or is deemed and declared substandard as set forth in Section *72/0 3 of the . of Section **4* of the !ode of !i$il Grocedure( if all of the following conditions e!ist prior to the landlord/s demand or notice: -*./ 3 apply in their case then the law will presume that the dwelling is not habitable and the tenant will ha$e a $alid affirmati$e defense and will most likely ha$e their rent amount reduced to compensate them for the landlordIs failure to maintain the premises in a habitable condition !alifornia law also states that a landlord cannot demand or collect rent.* / *2 -b. issue a notice of a rent increase.ealth and Safety !ode because conditions listed in that section e"ist to an e"tent that endangers the life( limb( health( property( safety( or welfare of the public or the occupants of the dwelling . The presumption pro$ided in this section shall apply only to rental agreements or leases entered into or renewed on or after Hanuary *( *294 See Civil Code F *2. does not arise unless all of the conditions set forth therein are pro$en( but failure to so establish the presumption shall not otherwise affect the right of the tenant to raise and pursue any defense based on the landlord1s breach of the implied warranty of habitability -c./ 3 #f a tenant can show all of the conditions listed in Civil Code F *2. The presumption specified in subdi$ision -a.
* *( which significantly or materially affect the health or safety of the occupants of the rental dwelling and are uncorrected #f the court orders repairs or corrections( or both( the court1s jurisdiction continues o$er the matter for the . The pre$ailing party shall be entitled to reco$ery of reasonable attorney1s fees and costs of the suit in an amount fi"ed by the court -c. and not more than fi$e thousand dollars -)+(000. A public officer or employee who is /0 responsible for the enforcement of any housing law( after inspecting the premises( has notified the landlord or the landlord1s agent in writing of his or her obligations to abate the nuisance or repair the substandard conditions -3. -/. A landlord who $iolates this section is liable to the tenant or lessee for the actual damages sustained by the tenant or lessee and special damages of not less than one hundred dollars -)*00. Any court that awards damages under this section may also order the landlord to abate any nuisance at the rental dwelling and to repair any substandard conditions of the rental dwelling( as defined in Section *2.. and the delay is without good cause <or purposes of this subdi$ision( ser$ice shall be complete at the time of deposit in the 7nited States mail -.* / -b. The conditions were not caused by an act or omission of the tenant or lessee in $iolation of Section *2/2 or *2.-/. -*. The conditions ha$e e"isted and ha$e not been abated 3+ days beyond the date of ser$ice of the notice specified in paragraph -/.
/ . The tenant or lessee shall be under no obligation to undertake any other remedy prior to e"ercising his or her rights under this section -e./ . This is very advantageous for the tenant as the landlord will have to go to Court . apply in their case then the law will presume that the dwelling is not habitable and the landlord cannot collect any rent at all until they can show they ha$e corrected the problems They also cannot issue a three-day notice #f they do then the tenant can take them to !ourt to ask a Hudge to award them damages of at least )*00 00 and not more then )+(000 00( and also order the landlord to pay their attorneyIs fees and costs as well as ordering the landlord to fi" the problems A tenant who does not ha$e the money for an attorney can sue their landlord in small claims !ourt for the damages :ormally e$ictions are not allowed in small claims !ourt but as long as the tenantIs claim does not e"ceed )7(+00 00 the case can be filed in small claims !ourt pursuant to Civil Code F *2.-e. Any action under this section may be maintained in small claims court if the claim does not e"ceed the jurisdictional limit of that court -f./ . of 'i$ision 7 of Title * of the Co$ernment !ode See Civil Code *2.purpose of ensuring compliance /* -d. And if a tenant can show all of the conditions listed in Civil Code F *2. The remedy pro$ided by this section may be utiliDed in addition to any other remedy pro$ided by this chapter( the rental agreement( lease( or other applicable statutory or common law :othing in this section shall re5uire any landlord to comply with this section if he or she pursues his or her rights pursuant to !hapter */ 7+ -commencing with Section 7040.
.without an attorney. e"cept as otherwise pro$ided in subdi$ision -b.( shall award . may order the landlord to make repairs and correct the conditions which constitute a breach of the landlord1s obligations( -. #n an unlawful detainer proceeding in$ol$ing residential premises after default in payment of rent and in which the tenant has raised as an affirmati$e defense a breach of the landlord1s obligations under Section *2. shall order that the monthly rent be limited to the reasonable rental $alue of the premises as determined pursuant to this subdi$ision until repairs are completed( and -+. shall determine the reasonable rental $alue of the premises in its untenantable state to the date of trial( -/.* of the !i$il !ode or of any warranty of habitability( the court shall determine whether a substantial breach of these obligations has occurred #f the court finds that a substantial breach has occurred( the court -*. shall deny possession to the landlord and adjudge the tenant to be the pre$ailing party( conditioned upon the payment by the tenant of the rent that has accrued to the date of the trial as adjusted pursuant to this subdi$ision within a reasonable period of time not e"ceeding fi$e days( from the date of the court1s judgment or( if ser$ice of the court1s judgment is made by mail( the payment shall be made within the time set forth in Section *0*3( -3. thus the tenant and landlord // will be on equal footing #n an e$iction proceeding where the tenant has raised the affirmati$e defense of the breach of habitability if the !ourt determines that a substantial breach of the warranty of habitability has occurred then the !ourt can declare the tenant to be the pre$ailing party( deny the landlord possession of the premises( and award the tenant their court costs and attorney fees if allowed by contract or statute -a.
of 'i$ision 7 of Title * of the Co$ernment !ode See Code of Civil Procedure F **7.* of the !i$il !ode or of any warranty of habitability by the landlord or if the tenant fails to pay all rent accrued to the date of trial( as re5uired by the court pursuant to subdi$ision -a.the tenant costs and attorneys1 fees if pro$ided by( /3 and pursuant to( any statute or the contract of the parties #f the court orders repairs or corrections( or both( pursuant to paragraph -3. #f the court determines that there has been no substantial breach of Section *2.( then a judgment shall be entered in fa$or of the landlord( and the landlord shall be the pre$ailing party for the purposes of awarding costs or attorneys1 fees pursuant to any statute or the contract of the parties -c.( the court1s jurisdiction continues o$er the matter for the purpose of ensuring compliance The court shall( howe$er( award possession of the premises to the landlord if the tenant fails to pay all rent accrued to the date of trial( as determined due in the judgment( within the period prescribed by the court pursuant to this subdi$ision The tenant shall( howe$er( retain any rights conferred by Section **7. As used in this section( Esubstantial breachE means the failure of the landlord to comply with applicable building and housing code standards which materially affect health and safety -d. :othing in this section is intended to deny the tenant the right to a trial by jury :othing in this section shall limit or supersede any pro$ision of !hapter */ 7+ -commencing with Section 7040. / #f you get one thing from this e-book you need to understand that in order to use the affirmati$e defense that your residence is not habitable you will need to be able to document e$erything ?specially the following@ . -b.
deny that they owe any rent because landlord has breached the warranty of habitability & 0r %'efendants made needed repairs and deducted Jour landlord has refused to do anything to fi" the problems within a reasonable period . calendar days to respond Court holidays are not counted in calculating the five days( and if the last day to respond is a Saturday( Sunday or !ourt holiday the tenant has until the end of the ne"t business day to file a response with the !ourt Jour Answer should be filed on !alifornia Hudicial !ouncil <orm 7'-*0+( Answer7nlawful 'etainer This e-book assumes that you know how to fill out most of the Answer so # will only concern myself with certain items on the Answer !heck bo" /-b. and state( %'efendant-s.* / There is a major problem or problems of /. the kind listed abo$e with your residence Jou ga$e your landlord notice( preferably written notice( of the problems 0r a local building or health inspector has gi$en your landlord written notice of the problems !heck the phone book or online and call the local building and=or health inspector #f they inspect the building or residence and find major problems that will really help you in !ourt 3 of time #f you can document those three items listed abo$e then and only then do you ha$e a chance of winning in !ourt :ow we will go o$er how to assert your affirmati$e defense if your landlord tries to e$ict you 0nce a tenant has been ser$ed with the Summons and !omplaint for 7nlawful 'etainer they ha$e fi$e -+.
on the first page( also check bo" 3-b. and +-d. & Also check bo" .the cost from the rent & /+ !heck bo" 3-a. and state&<air rental $alue is e"cessi$e because landlord has breached the warranty of habitability & !heck bo"es +-c. 6e sure to also date and sign the Answer on page /( and also date and sign the Kerification $ll defendants who are answering should date and sign the $nswer. only one "efendant has to sign the 0erification :ow you need to use <orm >!-0/+( attachment to Hudicial !ouncil form At the top write in capital letters( %ATTA!.-b. if you made repairs and deducted the cost from your rent 0n page / at the top check the bo" that says %All facts are stated in attachment 3-j.>?:T 3-j. 0n or about LLLLLLLLLLLLLLLthe landlord was notified in writing by the local building=health inspector of problems with my residence The landlord has still not fi"ed . T0 A:SW?B-7:AAW<7A '?TA#:?B& Then write in the facts which support your case An e"ample would be@ %The landlord has breached the warranty of habitability because of the following@ * 0n or about LLLLLLLLLLLLLL # notified the landlord that my heat did not work The landlord has still not fi"ed the problem with my heat / 0n or about LLLLLLLLLLLLLLL# notified the landlord that my plumbing did not work The landlord has still not fi"ed the problem with my plumbing 3 True and correct copies of my written notices to the landlord are attached hereto as ?"hibit %A& and incorporated herein by reference .
1se it as a guide and put in the dates and facts to fit your particular situation. Attach <orm >!-0/+ and its attachments to <orm 7'-*0+ 0nce e$ery 'efendant has dated and signed the Answer and you ha$e attached e$erything( make / copies of e$erything Jou will need to ha$e someone mail a copy of e$erything to the landlord or their attorney That person must fill out and sign a proof of ser$ice 7se <orm G0S-030 All forms needed are a$ailable at http@==www courtinfo ca go$=forms >ake / copies of the proof of ser$ice Attach one to the package mailed to the landlord or their attorney Staple the original answer and attachments together 'o the same with the copy Take them to the !ourt for filing ?ach 'efendant answering must pay a filing fee( the fee is around )/00 00 or so but some counties charge more #f you are unemployed or low income you may get a fee wai$er Co to http@==www courtinfo ca go$=forms The fee wai$er forms are <W-00*( <W00*-#:<0( and <W-003 0nce your Answer is filed you should use <orm '#S!-003 <orm #nterrogatories( 7nlawful 'etainer and send to the landlord or their attorney !arefully read the 5uestions and check the bo"es that apply to your particular situation Then ha$e someone mail a copy to the . or that the landlord received from the local building2health inspector. +e sure to attach copies of any written notices that you gave to the landlord.the problems mentioned in the letter True /4and correct copies of the written notice to the landlord is attached as ?"hibit %6& and incorporated herein by reference "o not &ust use the e!ample here.
days to answer the <orm #nterrogatories if you mail them #f they are personally deli$ered they will ha$e fi$e -+. days #f they do not Answer you can ask the !ourt to order them to Answer( or that they not be allowed to produce any e$idence because they did not Answer the <orm #nterrogatories !opyright /0*/ Stan 6urman All rights reser$ed MstrongN'#S!AA#>?B@M=strongN Glease note that the author of this document( Stan 6urman is :0T an attorney and as such is unable to pro$ide any specific legal ad$ice The author is :0T engaged in pro$iding any legal( financial( or other professional ser$ices( and any information contained in this document is :0T intended to constitute legal ad$ice These materials and information contained in this document ha$e been prepared by Stan 6urman for informational purposes only and are not legal ad$ice Transmission of the information contained in this document is not intended to create( and receipt does not constitute( any business relationship between the author and any readers Beaders should not act upon this information without seeking professional counsel .landlord or their attorney That person must again /7 fill out and sign <orm GS-030 Jou can mail this form in the same en$elope that you use to mail the Answer 3ou do not have to file this form with the Court The landlord will ha$e ten -*0.
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