Habitability Lawsuits

Habitability lawsuits are rising in popularity given the large volume of tenants that reside in Los Angeles. With more tenant advocacy laws passing, landlords are being sued for "uninhabitable conditions" often the result of the tenant's own poor housekeeping. Read my post here on some ways to prevent habitability lawsuits before they arise. 

Handling a Lawsuit

Once you are served the lawsuit you will want to gather and organize the tenant and building records including: 

  • Leases and addendums

  • HUD (Section 8) Agreements

  • Rent Control Registration Certificates

  • All notices served- 24 Hour, 3 Days, notices of change in terms, etc. 

  • Write-Ups

  • Maintenance Logs, including photos, videos and receipts

  • Inspection reports, including Housing, Section 8, Public Health 

  • Correspondence with tenant, including letters, emails and texts

  • List of witnesses in your favor

At some point you may turn this over to the tenant's attorney but these documents will be the first thing a landlord defense attorney will ask for. 

Next you will want to consult a landlord defense attorney. Landlords are cautioned to not turn over any documents requested by a tenant's attorney before consulting with an attorney.

What to Expect 

California's landlord-tenant law is growing more favorable to residential tenants. Tenant advocacy attorneys usually take these cases on contingency, getting a percentage of an eventual settlement. Tenants's are not coming out of pocket in these cases.  

You want a landlord defense attorney who can come up with a strategy in handling the case, posturing, setting the tone and finding any possible leverage. The silver lining- these typically settle. It stings a little, but you will overcome it and will learn a thing or two in the process. 

Be aware some laws award attorneys' fees to prevailing tenants. Consult with an attorney to understand the risks and stringent requirements landlords are held to in landlord-tenant cases in California. I provide a free 15 minute consultation to assist you in figuring out your next defense steps. 

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314 W. 58th Street, Unit 200

Los Angeles, Ca 90037

Tel: 818.306.0686

Disclaimer- The information you obtain at this site is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. You should consult an attorney for advice regarding your individual situation. I invite you to contact me and welcome your calls, letters and electronic mail. Contacting me does not create an attorney-client relationship. Please do not send any confidential information to me until such time as an attorney-client relationship has been established. 

© 2021 by Sasha Struthers.