Serving the Entire California Bay Area

Habitability Issues

Habitability Issue Lawyers In San Francisco Bay Area

A frequent area of conflict in California between tenants and landlords is the poor condition of residential or commercial premises being leased.  This is sometimes referred to as a habitability issue.  Habitability disputes essentially arise out of building code violations and manifest themselves in various large and small defects.  These habitability defects include:

  • Lack or defective utilities such as heat, water or electricity
  • Ineffective waterproofing or broken windows and doors
  • Hazards such as lead or mold that endanger the occupants or the public
  • Structural hazards
  • Defective plumbing or sewage issues
  • Working smoke detectors in multi-unit buildings
  • Safe fire and emergency exits

The law does not require the leased premises to be a palace but they cannot be a slum either.

Habitability/Repair issues in Residential Premises in California Bay Area

There are significant differences in the ways that the law threats habitability issues in residential and commercial tenants.  Residential landlords must keep premises they rent habitable.  Landlord responsibilities for repairs include:

  • Repairing conditions that seriously affect the rental unit’s habitability
  • Repairing defects in the unit and substantial failures to comply with state & local building codes
  • Regular maintenance work

However, landlords are not responsible for repairing damages caused by the tenant, the tenant’s family, guests or pets, and tenants have their own responsibilities which include:  

  • Taking reasonable care of the leased premises
  • Repairing all damage caused by their neglect or abuse
  • Repairing any damage caused by anyone for whom they are responsible (i.e. family, guests, or pets)


Habitability/Repair Issues in Commercial Premises in California Bay Area

Habitability issues in commercial leases are treated very different from residential leases.  Unlike in residential leases, commercial landlords and tenants can agree in the lease about what maintenance and repair responsibilities will be assigned to tenants and which maintenance and repair responsibilities will be assigned to landlords.  Some unwitting commercial tenants sign residential leases that obligate them to pay for all repairs to the inside and outside to the building, other commercial leases designate the outside and the structure of the building to be a landlord responsibility and the inside a tenant responsibility, and yet other commercial leases provide that the landlord be responsible for maintenance of premises.  


Contact our Habitability Issue Attorneys In San Francisco Bay Area

The Zurada Law Group attorneys represent landlords and tenants concerning habitability and repair issues in the San Francisco Bay Area   For a FREE initial lawyer consultation, you may contact the San Francisco lawyers at the Zurada Law Group at 415-637-8483 or fill out the Free Consultation form on this website.

Areas of Practice

Zurada Law Group stands ready to assist you in the following areas:

If you are in need of a California lawyer serving the Bay Area the first consultation with our office is always FREE, so please either telephone or fill out the contact form.

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