Monthly Archive: June 2016

L.A. Housing and Landlord Law – Things You Need To Know

California tenants rightsIf you are renting a property and something falls into disrepair, who, if anyone, is responsible? Are you, as a tenant, obliged to foot the bill? Or is it your landlord’s obligation to carry out repairs? We take a look at these questions, helping you to understand your legal position with regard to housing disrepair and landlord law in California.

Tenant and Landlord Act – Housing Disrepair

When you sign a tenancy agreement, you can expect the landlord or agent (with whom you have entered into a contract) to keep the property in good repair. This is a legal obligation, and is clearly outlined in the Tenant and Landlord Acts.

The law states that a landlord is responsible for the maintenance and repair of:-

  • The entire environment of the dwelling (including drains, gutters and pipes);
  • The implementation of basic facilities i.e gas, water, sanitation and electricity (including sinks, baths and toilets);
  • The implementation for the availability of water and space heating (including pipes, boilers and radiators);

If a repair is necessary – either because a tenant has reported it or because it has been identified in an inspection – a landlord must see to it that work is carried out promptly. This is part and parcel of a landlord’s ‘duty of care’ towards his tenants, and must be respected at all times.

“A landlord is responsible for maintaining the property in accordance with California tenant law. All requests should be submitted in writing so that you can have proof of the request made to the landlord in the case that legal action is required. – Pintar Albiston – Las Vegas landlord tenant attorney

Breach of Duty

Unfortunately, not all landlords respect their legal responsibilities. Indeed, many believe that they are not required to carry out any repairs whatsoever. However, this is simply not the case: a landlord has specific repairing obligations which are clearly set out in the law. If a landlord fails to respect this legislation, he/she will have breached their duty of care towards their tenant.

The only exception to the rule is if something falls into disrepair because a tenant has breached the tenancy agreement. In such cases, the landlord is responsible for the subsequent works or repairs.

What Action Can a Tenant Take?

If a landlord has breached their repairing obligations, a tenant is entitled to take legal action. The first step is to agree with the ‘Pre-action Protocol for Housing Disrepair’. This compels a tenant to send an early notification letter to their landlord, explaining the nature of the problem and detailing what repairs need to be carried out. This gives your landlord the opportunity to reply, either agreeing with your claim, or disputing their liability regarding the housing disrepair. If your landlord contests your claim, your case may proceed to the court.

Four Simple Tips for Selecting a Lawyer

Finding a lawyer can be a tricky process, particularly if you are involved in a potentially long and tricky case. Not only will you need to find a lawyer who has a decent chance of winning the case for you, his or her services also need to be affordable, honest and efficient.So if you have an upcoming trial then here are several tips for selecting a lawyer.

Best Tips for Selecting a Lawyer

Find An Honest Lawyer

You can usually determine the honesty of a lawyer during initial consultations. A good lawyer will tell you the good and the bad about your case, as well as the potential risks involved. Furthermore, they will tell you about your chances of success and how long the court battle may potentially last. If your potential lawyer will not tell you any of these things then he or she is probably not very honest.

Aside from initial consultations, you should also look at your lawyer’s reputation. What are the cases that she’s worked on before? What do her other clients have to say about her? How long do most of her cases last? Answering these kinds of questions will help you find an honest and reliable lawyer.

Look for A Lawyer That You Can Afford

Another important issue that you will need to consider is the cost. To do this, you should ask your prospective lawyer how much he or she charges for initial consultations. If the fee for the consultation is low or even free then that’s usually a good sign.

During the initial consultations, you should also ask the lawyer how she charges her clients. Does she charge per hour, per letter or per hearing? If you can’t get your answer in this manner then ask for an estimate, and use that information to make your decision.

Choose The Right Firm

Sometimes, it’s not enough to choose the right lawyer. You also need to choose the right firm. Small firms may not have the prestige or connections that larger firms have, but they do offer more personalized services and generally have more time to spare than larger firms. Furthermore, they also charge lower fees, which is good if you’re on a budget.

On the other hand, larger firms have more resources and experiences to offer their clients. Moreover, large firms usually have a good reputation, and they often have the manpower to research your case thoroughly. The downside, though, is that they also usually have a lot of clients, which means that they may not be able to focus entirely on your case.

Check The American Bar Association’s Website

If all else fails, you can always visit the American Bar Association’s website and look for a lawyer there. Not only can this site offer you a list of lawyers who are licensed to practice in your state, they can also provide you a lot of details about their members, which you can then use to narrow down your list of options. Furthermore, the American Bar Association can also provide you with additional tips for selecting a lawyer, and you can use that information to your benefit.