Landlord and Tenant Lawyers in Bakersfield

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Bakersfield Landlord & Tenant Lawyers, CA

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Landlord and Tenant Law in California

The relationship between a landlord and tenant in Bakersfield, California can sometimes be a touchy one. Landlords and tenants are not always clear on their respective rights and responsibilities.

Tenants and landlords have several legal rights and responsibilities. In general, these rights don't conflict with one another, as long as both parties are clear about what they are, and act accordingly.

Landlord's Rights in Bakersfield, CA

Landlords are, of course, entitled to collect rent from their tenants. If a tenant fails to pay the agreed-upon rent, the landlord is normally able to evict the tenant without too much trouble, though the process can sometimes get fairly complicated.

Landlords also have a right to be free from damage to the rented unit. Tenants are expected not to damage their dwellings, intentionally or negligently. Landlords can deduct the cost of repairs from the tenant's security deposit. In general, tenants are not responsible for damage resulting from ordinary wear and tear.

Tenant's Rights in Bakersfield, CA

At the most basic level, tenants have a basic right to what they're paying for: a habitable living environment. Consequently, landlords in Bakersfield, California must ensure that the units they rent to tenants meet some basic standards for human habitation. These requirements vary from state to state, but are often fairly easy to meet. There are no legal criteria that rented units be pretty, particularly spacious, or luxurious. They simply have to be fit for human beings to live in them. To be considered "habitable," rented units must have water, electricity, some form of heating (if the local climate necessitates it), and adequate protection from the elements (proper insulation, no roof leaks, windows that close, etc.).

Moreover, tenants are entitled to common areas which are reasonably safe and clean, and free of physical obstacles. Areas such as lobbies, hallways, stairwells, and fire escapes must comply with the building codes of Bakersfield, California. Moreover, any other unreasonable safety hazard, even if it doesn't violate a specific provision of a building code, can create liability for the landlord if it injures a tenant.

Under the laws of California, and the United States, discrimination in housing on the basis of race, religion, or gender is strictly prohibited. Moreover, under the Americans with Disabilities Act, landlords must not discriminate against renters on the basis of any physical disability. They also have to permit the renter to make reasonable modifications to their apartment, to make it more accessible. Generally, landlords are only required to allow relatively minor and reversible modifications, and tenants cannot compel them to remodel the building, for example. Also, once the tenant leaves, the landlord can bill the tenant for the costs of restoring the apartment to its original condition.

Finally, the laws of most states protect tenants from unfair eviction. In general, as long as a tenant is paying rent on time, and is not damaging the unit, they cannot be evicted before the term of the lease expires, unless there is a very good reason to do so (such as excessive noise caused by the tenant, or illegal activities in the apartment).

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Can a Bakersfield, California Landlord/Tenant Lawyer Help?

Landlords and tenants almost always prefer to avoid conflict. In a perfect world, tenants would pay rent on time, and landlords would always provide the services that they're being paid for. As we know, the world isn't perfect. When cases demonstrate the world's imperfection, a Bakersfield, California real estate attorney can help, whether you're a landlord or a tenant.

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Life in Bakersfield

Bakersfield, California is a city of over 300,000 people, located in Kern County, roughly at the midpoint between Los Angeles and Fresno. Bakersfield is considered one of the sunniest places in the United States.

Bakersfield, California's economy mostly revolves around oil and agriculture. Its other sectors largely operate in support of those major industries. In fact, Kern County is the most oil-productive county in the U.S. - and is responsible for about 10% of America's domestic oil production. Kern County is also one of the most agriculturally-productive regions in the United States, and is particularly well-suited for growing grapes, citrus fruit, roses, and almonds. Needless to say, Bakersfield is, and will continue to be, a very important part of America's economy.

More recently, however, other industries (such as manufacturing) have moved into Bakersfield, California, thanks to an abundance of inexpensive land.

In addition to the steady economic stimulus provided by industry, Bakersfield, California, has another relatively stable economic lifeline: a large four-year university. California State University, Bakersfield has approximately 7,800 students, from all over California, and the country.

It should go without saying, then, that there is no shortage of Bakersfield, California lawyers. Whatever legal issue you or a loved one might be facing, a Bakersfield, California lawyer can help.

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