Read before you sign
A rental agreement between a landlord and a tenant should set out the rules in terms of how water damage to a property should be handled.
It is important to understand what your lease says about water damage. It might specify that the landlord can evict you in the case of total or partial water damage. On the other hand, you can reserve the right to cancel your lease if extensive repairs will be needed to repair water damage. If the damages are too minor, however, usually you won’t be able to cancel your lease.
The landlord should repair
According to the California Civil Code, a landlord is responsible to repair any problem on a property and provide his tenants with habitable living conditions. This also includes damage by water and flood.
A water-damaged property should be covered by the landlord’s property insurance. But, it would depend on whose fault it is. If the tenant is at fault, his renter’s insurance should pay up.
My landlord doesn’t complete repairs
Serious water damage can cause health problems if not acted upon quickly. What can a tenant do?
- Repair and deduct
A tenant is allowed to deduct one month’s rent to pay for repairs in a rental unit if conditions are inhabitable and are affecting their health or safety.
Don’t just start making repairs yourself. Contact us to discuss the situation. Your landlord might try to file a lawsuit against you due to the non-payment of rent. You would need to go through the proper procedure before choosing this remedy.
- Withhold rent
This is a method to force your landlord to address the problem quickly. Do not spend your extra money! You should keep the rental payments separate until the issue is resolved. Speak to us before you choose to withhold rent.
- Abandon the unit
The flood or water damage is extensive and would need more than just one month to repair. You are allowed to move out. Again, it might be wise to contact an experienced attorney to advise you.
Looking for advice? We can help with your water or flood issues and help you fight for your rights if your landlord is not doing timely repairs.
Reach out to schedule a free consultation with us today. (818)507-8525; info@KJTLawGroup.com.