The implied warranty of habitability is a traditional concept that states landlords must keep their properties in a safe and livable condition. This warranty exists in every lease, whether written or oral, and cannot be waived. As such, tenants have certain rights to demand repairs and utility access regardless of individual lease provisions.
The dedicated San Francisco tenant rights lawyers at Wolford Wayne LLP have spent years helping Bay Area renters understand their legal right to safe and healthy living conditions under both the warranty of habitability and California housing statutes. If your rental unit has become unlivable, confidentially contact our dedicated housing advocates today by calling (415) 649-6203 or connecting with us online.
While the warranty of habitability still exists in California, specific housing regulations address most modern habitability issues. Cal. Civil Code § 1941.1 sets forth the following general conditions rendering rental properties uninhabitable:
Additionally, San Francisco landlords must abide by health and safety protocols governing mold remediation, lead paint, asbestos, and hazardous building materials. California law will consider the premises uninhabitable for substantial violations of the above provisions. Landlords cannot generally request tenants waive these rights, refuse to make timely repairs, pass essential repair costs to tenants via contract, or otherwise force tenants to make or pay for said repairs.
Renters must first notify the landlord of the dilapidated condition and give them time to make necessary repairs. The amount of time afforded to the landlord depends on the damage. For example, landlords may have a few months to fix heaters that broke during the summer but only a few hours to address sewage leaks. If a landlord refuses or fails to address a serious issue in a reasonable time frame, then tenants have three main options: (1) leave the apartment and pursue constructive wrongful eviction protections; (2) bring an action at the Rent Board for a decrease in services; or (3) file a complaint with the Department of Building Inspection. However, tenants should never trigger these remedies without speaking with a dedicated warranty of habitability lawyer near them.
Our dedicated San Francisco habitability lawyers often encounter landlords who misunderstand their repair and maintenance responsibilities. They often mistakenly believe they can pass these responsibilities to tenants, waive these rights in writing, or otherwise force tenants to make these repairs. Many issues also arise when landlords agree to make the repairs but fail to do so in a timely manner. Bay Area tenants forced to live in uninhabitable conditions should discuss their legal options with the experienced California habitability lawyers at Wolford Wayne LLP immediately by calling (415) 649-6203 or contacting us online.
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.