Obligations of Tenant in Los Angeles
Why do people rent if they can buy?
The truth of the matter is that many people can’t afford their own homes. They have to rent. Others don’t like the responsibility of maintaining a home, they prefer renting. Whatever your reason, you do have obligations when you are a tenant.
The definition of a tenant
A tenant is someone who pays to live in a house, an apartment, a condominium or even a mobile home.
You can be considered a tenant, even without a written lease agreement. If a landlord accepts your presence in a property and accepts your rent, you are his tenant.
The obligations of a tenant
- A security deposit
Most landlords would require a security deposit before accepting you as a tenant. This will be paid back to you after the lease on the property is up.
- Act reasonably
A tenant must pay his rent and do so timely. They must comply with house- and health codes. They must keep the premises hygienic, without damaging anything. They must not violate the law or disturb the peace.
- Let your landlord in
You have the right to enjoy the property you rent without your landlord interfering. But, there are situations when the landlord may need to visit you. If he makes an appointment in weekday business hours, which is reasonable, you have the obligation to let him in and do what he has to.
- Maintain a habitable home
It is your responsibility to maintain a clean house. You have to use electrical appliances in a proper and safe way. You have to fix anything that you might break. You have to keep the landlord informed if there is anything unsafe on the property that he might need to address.
- A tenant has the right to hold back rent
Don’t get too excited, though. A tenant can only hold back rent if the court gave him permission to do so. Before you can withhold rent from a landlord, you have to give him 7 days notice in writing about your problem. He must have time to fix it.
If he refuses, you can go to court. The rent you are holding back must then be used to fix your particular problem. But remember, you must seek court assistance; otherwise you can still be evicted for non-payment.
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