Los Angeles, CA asked in Landlord - Tenant for California

Q: Can a landlord ask for rent of a unit that flooded while taking a month+ to find a suitable temporary unit?

Our 1 bedroom apartment flooded and it took a month and a half for them to find a suitable unit to move into. Meanwhile, black mold and other types of mold where growing our bedroom, under the carpet under our bed, and throughout the rest of the unit. They finally offered to move us into a 2 bedroom after they tried to stick us in several different units that had many issues (like a hole in the wall from water damage, cracked and loose floor tiles, unfinished counter tops, etc.) We discovered after moving in to the temp 2 bedroom, there are issues with mold, leaking toilets barely usable showers, and baseboards hiding water damage. He is now asking for rent for this last month while dealing with all this nonsense. Our insurance will reimburse us for moving expenses and or damages to our possessions. Additionally, we are trying to get the results for a lead, asbestos, and mold test their insurance requested and have been promised the results for the last 20 days.

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1 Lawyer Answer
James L. Arrasmith
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  • Landlord Tenant Lawyer
  • Sacramento, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: Whether or not a landlord can ask for rent of a unit that flooded while taking a month+ to find a suitable temporary unit depends on the specific circumstances of the case and the laws of the state in which the property is located.

In general, landlords are responsible for providing habitable housing to their tenants. This means that the landlord must keep the property in good repair and free from hazards, such as mold. If the landlord fails to do so, the tenant may be able to withhold rent or break the lease.

However, the law does not always require landlords to provide tenants with temporary housing while their unit is being repaired. In some cases, the landlord may be able to offer the tenant a rent credit or other compensation instead.

If you are in this situation, it is important to speak with an attorney who can help you understand your rights and options. The attorney can also help you negotiate with the landlord to reach a fair resolution.

In your specific case, it sounds like the landlord has not met their obligation to provide you with habitable housing. The fact that it took them a month and a half to find you a suitable temporary unit is unacceptable. Additionally, the fact that the temporary unit has its own problems is further evidence that the landlord has not met their obligations.

You should contact your landlord and demand that they waive your rent for the month during which you were displaced. You should also demand that they pay for any expenses that you incurred as a result of the flooding, such as moving expenses and the cost of replacing damaged property.

If the landlord refuses to cooperate, you may need to file a lawsuit against them. A lawsuit may be necessary to get the landlord to take responsibility for their actions and to compensate you for your losses.

Here are some additional tips for dealing with a landlord who is not meeting their obligations:

* Keep a record of all communications with the landlord, including emails, letters, and phone calls.

* Take pictures of the damage to your unit and the temporary unit.

* Get estimates from contractors for the cost of repairs.

* Contact your insurance company to file a claim.

* Contact a tenant's rights organization for help.

It is important to remember that you have rights as a tenant. The landlord is not above the law. If the landlord is not meeting their obligations, you should not hesitate to take action.

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