Long Beach and other 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. Many of these homes and apartments are owned by unscrupulous landlords who give little thought to the health or safety of their tenants and therefore refuse to spend money on repairs. These so-called “slumlords” or “slum landlords” take advantage of tenants who are unable to stand up for themselves and demand adequate dwellings suitable for human habitability. The audacity of Long Beach landlords to subject their tenants to slum housing is despicable and unacceptable. If your family has suffered wrongful treatment at the hands of your landlord in Long Beach, stand up for your rights as a tenant in California and contact our tenants’ rights attorneys at DAG Law Firm today for legal help.
Affordable Long Beach Slum Landlord Attorney
California housing laws have established strict requirements regarding the habitability of rental homes and apartments, and slum landlords in Long Beach 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 are committed to representing victims of slumlord situations in Long Beach and will ensure that your rights are protected throughout the process.
Damages Resulting from Toxic Mold and Other Unsafe Housing Issues
Long Beach tenants forced to live in unsanitary or unsafe conditions because of their landlord’s refusal to maintain a habitable rental property may face any number of dangerous conditions, including exposure to toxic mold. The term “toxic mold” refers to molds that produce mycotoxins, which can cause neurological problems and in some cases death with prolonged exposure. Potentially dangerous mold can grow anywhere in your home where there is excessive moisture, which means any water-damaged areas of your home may be growing toxic mold without you even knowing it. And if your landlord doesn’t follow the proper remediation protocol for mold contamination, your family’s health and well-being could be at risk.
According to California Civil Code Section 1941.1, landlords throughout the state are required to maintain the following characteristics in a rental property: waterproofing and weather protection; hot and cold water; plumbing; heat; electricity; stairs, railings and floors in repair; and a clean property free from rodents and vermin. Per this legal doctrine, it is against the law for landlords in Long Beach to rent a house or apartment that fails to meet these basic requirements for habitability. It is also against the law for landlords to retaliate against tenants, a practice that includes threatening tenants with eviction, deportation or the like. Some possible damages resulting from toxic mold exposure and other consequences of Long Beach slumlord situations may include:
- Psychological stress
- Costly medical bills
- Long-term injuries
- The stress of finding a new place to live
- Lost wages from time off work
- Moving expenses
- Damage to their credit
- Their children having to change schools
- Being forced to leave their home due to eviction
- The cost of staying in a hotel
Your Right to Sue Your Landlord
With clear laws in place regarding tenants’ and landlords’ rights and responsibilities in California, you may be wondering why slumlords are able to rent their uninhabitable homes and apartments at all. A shortage of affordable housing in Long Beach and across Southern California means slumlords are always able to find tenants who are desperate enough to accept substandard living conditions if it means having a roof over their heads. Sadly, many of these tenants are too afraid to demand the basic standard of living they are entitled to for fear of being evicted. What many of these people don’t know is that landlords in California are legally obligated to provide tenants with a residence that is free from toxic mold, bed bugs, water leaks and other defects, from the day they move in to the day they move out, regardless of what their lease may say. Any failure to do so is a violation of state law and may be grounds for a lawsuit. Some common issues that may lead to claims against Long Beach property owners include:
- Bed bug infestations
- Other types of bug infestations
- Chronic leaks and collapsing ceilings
- Wood rot
- Toxic mold
- Electric wiring that is not up to code
- No heat or water
- Gas leaks that result in carbon monoxide poisoning
- Lead-based patient that is peeling or chipping
Seeking Compensation for Slumlord Injuries
There are certain statutes under California state law that regulate the legal relationship between a tenant and his landlord, including setting a limit for how much a landlord can charge for a security deposit and dictating how soon after the tenant moves the security deposit must be returned. These laws also require landlords to disclose specific information to tenants in their rental agreement, such as whether there is a risk of lead-based paint or toxic mold exposure, among other potential health hazards. In many cases, tenants and landlords can deal with legal matters on their own without the help of an attorney, but there are certain situations in which a tenant’s rights are being trampled by his landlord. It is the right of tenants in California to withhold rent, call state or local health inspectors, move out without notice, exercise the right to “repair and deduct,” or sue the landlord if he or she fails to take care of hazardous defects, such as toxic mold contamination, and Long Beach tenants may also be able to sue for damages if their landlord fails to provide a rental property that meets basic health, safety and structural standards.
Free Slum Landlord Consultation in Long Beach
As a California tenant, you have the right to demand a standard of living that is adequate for the health and safety of yourself and your family, but whether or not you choose to stand up for that right is up to you. According to the state of California, whether he knows it or not, your landlord has promised to provide you with a livable place simply by renting to you, and this duty to provide fit housing is legally binding. If you ask your landlord to repair damages or resolve defects in your home or apartment that pose a risk to your family’s health or safety, he or she is required by law to oblige. If your Long Beach landlord refuses to make the necessary repairs or ignores your request, you may be entitled to sue your landlord for damages. At DAG Law Firm, our knowledgeable and compassionate attorneys can help you understand your rights as a tenant in California and determine whether or not you have a tenants’ rights claim.