When a leaky roof turns into a legal landlord battle

Renting a home in California can come with endless perks: no expensive monthly mortgages and coverage of maintenance repairs are only a few to start. By the same token, those renting a home under an inattentive or inaccessible landlord can face a mountain of issues. With the pros and cons that can come with renting any property, there are some common red flags tenants can watch out for. 

Perhaps one of the most frustrating problems tenants can have with landlords involves failure to address issues on the property. As Money Magazine relates, timeliness can be crucial when it comes to, for example, repairing a leaky faucet or addressing a heating malfunction; inaccessible landlords can only prolong that wait. Money suggests that tenants dealing with this issue should place all requests and complaints in writing — doing so can ensure that a landlord is held accountable and remains proactive. Tenants may also want to check the fine print of leases to ensure the proper way of submitting written requests, as texts or emails may not constitute as official forms of communication. Should a landlord fail to respond to a written request, tenants may choose to alert state or local health and building inspectors, ending the lease on terms of a breach of lease or even suing the landlord in a small claims court. 

Money Crashers also speculates on the many issues that can arise between landlords and tenants. Although a landlord may own the property, tenants have rights to take legal action in cases where a landlord fails to carry out their duties. There may be, however, varying details regarding the type of court, potential fees and other aspects. Choosing to sue a landlord is viable under the following circumstances: when a landlord fails to respond to requests or refuses to return a security deposit, if the rental property is inhabitable due to a maintenance issue or when a tenant has written proof of a landlord’s negligence.  






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