The renter’s right is to live in a dignified and humane living condition which is considered as everybody’s basic renters right in California. The State of California through the state law had established the safety standards, healthy living condition and the exclusivity to use the rented dwellings. Here is some sample situation that several renters have experienced with their landlord which is in violation of their right.
1. Non functioning heater or air-conditioning system in the rented dwelling unit.
2. Some door locks, window safety latch are broken or simply need to be replaced before the renter had to move in.
3. There is no water connection, or the plumbing system is broken, the toilet does not function well or the sink and bathroom. The drainage is clogged.
4. The electrical wiring, outlets, switches and lights are not functioning and in the worst case, are unsafe that it may cause electrical shock or fire.
5. The rented unit should have a fire alarm system or a fire exit system.
6. Does the common areas like hallway, main entrance, stairways, garbage box area are well cleaned and maintained. It is properly lighted and it is safe. Does the building is safe from intruders and the living area of the rented unit. Does have the individual renters have their own privacy?
7. Is there any problem with rats, roaches, bed bugs, etc., in the rented unit? If there is, the renter has the right to demand the extermination of such pests.
8. There should be no leaking roof on the rented place. Molds and mildew grow should be reported immediately to the landlord for its proper removal.
The renters after informing and demanding from their landlord to make proper repair or cleanup of the rented dwelling unit and the landlord refuses to do so, they have the right to hold their rental payments until such time that the repair or cleanup had been made and completed. The renters may opt to make the repair themselves and the cost of repairs will be deducted from their monthly rental payment. However, the landlord should have been duly notified of such before the actual repairs had been done.
While it is true that the renters have the right under the California State Law, such law also confers to the renter’s some basic responsibilities to the landlord and the dwelling unit. Here are some of them:
1. It is the responsibility of the renter to keep the dwelling unit clean at all times.
2. The renter should take necessary measures to handle and use safely all electrical appurtenances in the dwelling place as well as the plumbing system, cooking gas and other flammable materials.
3. The renter has the obligation to dispose his own trash and garbage properly.
4. He has the responsibility and obligation to safeguard the dwelling unit from any damages.
5. That he will only use the dwelling unit as intended for living and not for any other use as may have agreed with his landlord.
It is important for the renter to know his right under the California Law so that in the event of any misunderstanding with his landlord he will not worry too much.