Real Estate Law
At the Law Brothers®, we are not only skilled legal professionals, Mr. Lalezary and his brother are also serious real estate investors. As such, we know real property law inside and out.
One of the most common types of real estate litigation is Eviction, referred to in court proceedings as an Unlawful Detainer. The legal term “Unlawful Detainer” essentially means that the property owner is accusing the occupant of the property of “unlawfully” keeping the property from the owner, i.e. “detaining” the property from being returned to its rightful owner.
There are many reasons an eviction may be filed including:
- Non-payment of rent
- Expiration of a Lease
- Unlawful Activity on the Property by the Tenant
- Violation of the rental agreement terms
- And even that the landlord and tenant have simply reached a point where they cannot get along sufficiently to continue in the relationship of landlord and tenant.
Evictions are among the fastest moving cases in the legal profession. The right to your possession of your property is guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution, The Declaration of Independence and State and Federal Law. This is why when a landlord wants their property back from a tenant, the law moves very swiftly.
However, there are times when a landlord is not permitted to evict a tenant including:
An eviction based on race, religion, sex and so forth
An eviction filed in retaliation for the tenant exercising some legal right as a tenant, for instance, contacting the fire department because the landlord refuses to replace broken smoke detectors or other building code violations.
It is also illegal for a landlord to rent property as a dwelling unit if the property is not fit for occupancy. These are the cases where the term “slumlord” is sometimes used. While that is not a “legal” term, it is sometimes very fitting.
The requirements for any dwelling unit can be found in the California Civil Code Sections 1941 and 1941.1 which state:
Civil Code Section 1941 states:
“The lessor of a building intended for the occupation of human beings must, in the absence of an agreement to the contrary, put it into a condition fit for such occupation, and repair all subsequent dilapidations thereof, which render it untenantable, except such as are mentioned in section nineteen hundred and twenty-nine.”
(Amended by Code Amendments 1873-74, Ch. 612.)
Civil Code Section 1941.1 lays out the specific obligations of a property owner to ensure the property is fit for human occupancy:
“(a) A dwelling shall be deemed untenantable for purposes of Section 1941 if it substantially lacks any of the following affirmative standard characteristics or is a residential unit described in Section 17920.3 or 17920.10 of the Health and Safety Code:
(1) Effective waterproofing and weather protection of roof and exterior walls, including unbroken windows and doors.
(2) Plumbing or gas facilities that conformed to applicable law in effect at the time of installation, maintained in good working order.
(3) A water supply approved under applicable law that is under the control of the tenant, capable of producing hot and cold running water, or a system that is under the control of the landlord, that produces hot and cold running water, furnished to appropriate fixtures, and connected to a sewage disposal system approved under applicable law.
(4) Heating facilities that conformed with applicable law at the time of installation, maintained in good working order.
(5) Electrical lighting, with wiring and electrical equipment that conformed with applicable law at the time of installation, maintained in good working order.
(6) Building, grounds, and appurtenances at the time of the commencement of the lease or rental agreement, and all areas under control of the landlord, kept in every part clean, sanitary, and free from all accumulations of debris, filth, rubbish, garbage, rodents, and vermin.
(7) An adequate number of appropriate receptacles for garbage and rubbish, in clean condition and good repair at the time of the commencement of the lease or rental agreement, with the landlord providing appropriate serviceable receptacles thereafter and being responsible for the clean condition and good repair of the receptacles under his or her control.
(8) Floors, stairways, and railings maintained in good repair.
(9) A locking mail receptacle for each residential unit in a residential hotel, as required by Section 17958.3 of the Health and Safety Code. This subdivision shall become operative on July 1, 2008.
(b) Nothing in this section shall be interpreted to prohibit a tenant or owner of rental properties from qualifying for a utility energy savings assistance program, or any other program assistance, for heating or hot water system repairs or replacement, or a combination of heating and hot water system repairs or replacements, that would achieve energy savings.”
What can you do?
At the Law Brothers® , we know the rights of both sides in an eviction. We are not just “landlord lawyers” nor do we only represent tenants. In this way we have a unique perspective on eviction cases and we can see things from both sides.
Call us today at (800) 820-0000 for a free consultation or Contact Us online.