Slum Housing/ Slumlord

Parts of Southern California are overflowing with apartments and rental properties that are uninhabitable or in a state of disrepair, yet people are living in them and paying rent. California law requires every residential landlord in the state to maintain their residential rental properties in a habitable, or livable, condition, and that includes ensuring the property is up to code and devoid of bug infestations, toxic mold contaminations and other health hazards. If your family has suffered wrongful treatment at the hands of your landlord, stand up for your rights as a tenant in California and contact our tenants’ rights attorneys at DAG Law Firm, APC today for legal help.

1) Slum Housing Attorney

California housing laws have established strict requirements regarding the habitability of rental homes and apartments, and slum landlords in Southern California who fail to maintain a decent living environment for their tenants are in direct violation of these laws. We understand that filing a claim against your landlord can be scary and intimidating, especially if your landlord has unlawfully threatened eviction or another form of retaliation against you and your loved ones. Know that our skilled attorneys at DAG Law Firm, APC are committed to representing victims of slum housing/slumlord situations and will ensure that your rights are protected throughout the process.

2) Damages Resulting from Unsanitary Housing Issues

California’s “implied warranty of habitability” law is inherent in every residential lease agreement and requires that landlords maintain their rental property in a condition that is fit for the occupation of human beings. A “slumlord” or “slum landlord” is an owner or manager of a rental property that does a poor job of abiding by this law and continues to gets away with it. Unfortunately, when a rental property is by law considered uninhabitable and there are people living in it, serious health problems can result. Some common issues that may allow you to file a claim for damages against your landlord include:

  • ​Plumbing that doesn’t work
  • Floors, stairways or railings in disrepair
  • No heat or water
  • Improper ventilation
  • Gas or sewage leak
  • Gas leaks that cause carbon monoxide poisoning
  • Chronic leaks and collapsing ceilings
  • Electric wiring that is not up to code

Even if the issue with your rental property doesn’t put you at risk for physical injury, you may still be able to sue for damages.

3) Your Rights to Sue Your Landlord

According to the law, California rental properties must be habitable when a tenant moves in, which means the apartment or house must comply with building codes, must not put the tenant’s safety at risk, must not be in disrepair, and must be free of any bug infestation or toxic mold contamination.

The very definition of a slumlord is an unscrupulous landlord who cares little about the health and safety of tenants and refuses to spend money on repairs to maintain habitable rental properties, and that makes many landlords in Southern California slumlords. If your landlord refuses to properly maintain your rental home or apartment, it is your right as a tenant in California to notify state or local health inspectors, “repair and deduct” the cost of repairs from your rent, or sue your landlord if he or she fails to address problems or health hazards. Even if your landlord included in your rental agreement a clause that releases him or her from liability for toxic mold and other habitability issues, you may be able to seek compensation for damages.

4) Seeking Compensation for Slum Housing/ Slumlord Injuries

As a tenant in California, you have the right to demand a standard of living that is adequate for the health and safety of yourself and your family. If a problem exists at the time you are due to move in to your rental, you can either refuse to move in and demand your security deposit be refunded, or request that your landlord fix the problem before you move in. If the problem occurs after you move in, it is your duty to notify the landlord about the problem and request that it be taken care of in a timely manner. If the landlord refuses to fix the problem, or ignores your request altogether, you have the right to take action against the landlord, including suing for damages. It is against the law for any landlord in California to evict or otherwise retaliate against a tenant for requesting repairs or exercising his or her right to “repair and deduct.” If you are living in an unsafe or poorly maintained apartment and your slumlord refuses to make repairs or otherwise ensure your apartment is habitable, you may be able to seek compensation for the following losses:

  • Rent paid while living in an uninhabitable dwelling
  • Moving expenses
  • Cost of a hotel stay
  • Medical expenses
  • Breach of warranty of habitability
  • Breach of contract
  • Emotional trauma
  • Attorney’s fees
  • Punitive damages

If your rental home or apartment has been in violation of California’s “implied warranty of habitability law” for the entire time you’ve lived there, you may be entitled to compensation.