Sometimes you're evicted when you stop paying your rent. Or your landlord decides to take over your apartment and moves in. Other times, your landlord makes the living conditions so unbearable or unsustainable you can no longer live there. This is what is referred to as a constructive eviction. When this happens, the law gives tenants certain rights.
Under state law, every landlord must ensure that the property that they rent out to tenants must meet certain living standards and they must ensure that the property is maintained to fit these standards. Tenants must do their part as well by keeping their units clean and sanitary (disposing of all trash appropriately), using all utilities properly (electrical, gas, and plumbing fixtures), and using the unit in the way it was intending. For instance, a violation could be that you're operating a business at your residence.
Just because something is malfunctioning in your unit doesn't mean that you have experienced a constructive eviction. One of the first things to look at for a constructive eviction is the guarantee that the landlord provides for habitable conditions. Specifically, this includes the following conditions:
In assessing whether there is a constructive eviction, the specific facts of the case will determine whether it exists. While property suffers some wear and tear over time, (with features eventually wearing out), your landlord is responsible for fixing these problems as soon as you let them know. When you've made a request and it has been a reasonable length time for the landlord to have addressed the problem, and they ignore it, then there a few things that you can do.
Usually there's a certain time frame for when the repairs need to be completed, depending on the type of problem. But after it reaches a reasonable time and the property is not longer, habitable, your landlord has essentially evicted you. This is what is considered a constructive eviction.
How can you be sure if the situation is actually not habitable? Although each case is different and will depend on specific circumstances, you should use the requirements for a habitable condition as a guideline. And if it poses a serious risk to your health, then it usually applies. Generally, the most severe hazards involve your health and safety, including pest infestations and toxic mold. Or if there is a situation such that it presents a fire hazard to you, like non-functioning smoke detectors or exposed electrical wires.
What to Do in Case of a Constructive Eviction
Talk to a Wolford Wayne Constructive Eviction Attorney
If you believe that you need help for a constructive eviction, you should talk to one of our Wolford Wayne skilled attorneys who can help you figure out your options. Whether you choose to move out and/or sue your landlord for the eviction, we can help. Contact us today.
Recovered on behalf of a group of 30 tenants living in an SRO in San Francisco who were living with horrendous conditions in their rent controlled apartments, including rodents, bedbugs, mold, water leaks and harassment.Read More
Recovered on behalf of three families living in a building in San Francisco’s SOMA neighborhood who were forced to live with substandard conditions for years as a result of their landlord’s negligence, including issues with lack of heat, lack of hot water and cockroach/rat infestations.Read More
Recovered on behalf of a couple living in a rent-controlled home in the outer Sunset neighborhood. Our clients were forced to vacate after the landlord served them with an Owner Move-In Eviction Notice. After the landlords failed to move into the property, our clients filed suit for wrongful eviction.Read More
Recovered on behalf of a San Francisco tenant in Russian Hill. Tenant was forced to vacate her illegal apartment in retaliation for reporting unlawful rent increases to the San Francisco Rent Board.Read More
Recovered for a single long-term tenant in San Francisco. Our client was forced to move out of his apartment as a result of extreme landlord harassment.Read More
Recovered on behalf of three long-term tenants in San Francisco’s Castro neighborhood who were constructively evicted due to noise and nuisance conditions created by their downstairs neighbors, which the owner refused to address.Read More
Recovered on behalf of elderly, disabled tenant who was forced to move out of her rent-controlled San Francisco apartment of 50 years after landlord/owner failed to resolve numerous building code violations that remained outstanding for over a decade.Read More
Recovered on behalf of seven tenants living in a makeshift boarding house in East Palo Alto.Read More
Recovered on behalf of two former San Francisco tenants who were evicted via an Owner Move-In Eviction and owner failed to occupy the unit as her primary place of residence.Read More
Recovered on behalf of an elderly long-term tenant who was forced to vacate her long San Francisco apartment as a result of her landlord’s refusal to address longstanding defective conditions, including lack of heat, mold, rodent infestations, and defective plumbing. Read More
Recovered on behalf of a San Francisco tenant who was forced to vacate his home as a result of ongoing, disruptive construction and the owners’ refusal to provide him with alternative housing. Read More
Recovered on behalf of a San Francisco family that was constructively evicted from their home in the Richmond District as a result of unlawful rent increases, defective conditions and tenant harassment.Read More
Recovered on behalf of a tenant living in an illegal “in-law” unit. In this case, a new owner purchased the building and then demolished our client’s unit without permits while she was displaced for seismic retrofitting.Read More
Recovered on behalf of two long term San Francisco tenants who were fraudulently evicted from their home of over twenty years under the pretext of an owner move-in eviction.Read More
Recovered for tenant who was injured when their stairway railing collapsed at the tenant’s Mission District apartment building.Read More
Recovered in action for a group of tenants forced to vacate their San Francisco apartment house due to severe habitability defects including mold and water leaks.Read More
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For more information or to discuss your legal situation, call us today at (415) 649-6203 for a phone consultation or submit an inquiry below. Please note our firm can only assist tenants residing in San Francisco, Oakland & Berkeley.