Q: Tenant's rights
I've been living in the same apartment for 20 years, get my rent 20% increased every 3-4 years...
Never had interior repair, never had carpet change. Ants and termites are all over the place.
Several years ago I asked the manager to do something about it, and the answer was- we'll repairs if you will pay extra rent.
I heard, I am entitled to regular repairs and also to collect interest on my security and last month deposits.
I keep quiet because I am afraid of eviction- the rental agreement is "at will" of both parties. Now I have get rid off my outside grill, because they've installed one "community" electric grill for all tenants and for some reason they don't allow us using our own. Nutts!
What can you advise me to do?
A: If the house is uninhabitable, you may have a cause of action. If the carpets are deteriorated, you have ants invasions, leaky faucett, running showers, etc., then you may have a case for violation of the warranty of habitability. it is not like you are not paying any rent. You have said you are paying almost 20 percent increase every four years. So, you are entitled to a livable house. Talk to an attorney near you and ask to help you demand a better living condition. Best of luck.
A: First, the current law prohibits a 20% increase during a 12 mo period, max is 10%. Civ Code 1947.12, so if they have a 0% in one year and a 20% the second year, it is unlawful. Next, there is the "repair and deduct" law, CC 1942, which is limited to one month's rent and twice in 12 months. You have to give reasonable notice to LL of intent to repair and deduct, DO IT IN WRITING WITH PROOF OF DELIVERY (Cert/RRR). Infestation of vermin is one of the things you can repair and deduct, see CC 1941, 1941.1. You may not be entitled to "regular repairs" check 1941.1, the property must be "tenantable". 20 years for a carpet seems excessive. Take lots and lots of photos, then go back and take more. People always forget to take the one they want. If you get evicted, you can defend by proving the eviction was retaliatory for asserting your rights, then you get 180 days no rent increases, no eviction, but you have to be current in your rent.
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