Tenant Law in California

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

Tenants and landlords have numerous 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 Indio, 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 typically able to evict the tenant without too much trouble, though the process can sometimes get fairly complicated.

Landlords also have a right to be paid for damage to the building that a tenant causes, either intentionally or negligently. All damage caused by a tenant, besides reasonable wear and tear, can be billed, and the landlord can deduct from the tenant's security deposit to pay for repairs.

Tenant's Rights in Indio, CA

At the most basic level, tenants have a basic right to what they're paying for: a habitable living environment. Therefore, landlords in Indio, 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 requirements 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.).

Furthermore, 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 Indio, California. Furthermore, 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 federal and California law, tenants are also entitled to protection against discrimination in housing based on race, color, religion, marital status, or gender. Such discrimination can lead to grave civil penalties against the landlord. Landlords also cannot discriminate against tenants based on physical disability, and have to make reasonable accommodations for physically disabled tenants. For instance, they have to allow disabled tenants to make minor physical alterations to the unit (at the tenant's expense) to make it more accessible. Now, they don't need to allow the tenants to have the building remodeled. We're just talking about things like installing handrails in the bathroom, and similar things. The landlord can, however, require tenants to restore the apartment to its original condition, at the tenant's expense, once the tenant leaves.

Lastly, the laws of most states safeguard 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).

Can a Indio, California Landlord/Tenant Lawyer Help?

Whether you are a landlord or a tenant, chances are that you want to prevent conflict. But if you do end up in a seemingly irresolvable conflict with the other party, a Indio, California attorney can help you protect your rights.