Tenant Law in California

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

There are various rights and responsibilities that landlords and tenants have. It's important that each party is aware of their rights, and the rights of the other party. By knowing and respecting these rights, the risk of conflict should be reduced dramatically.

Landlord's Rights in Sonoma, CA

The most important and most noticeable right that a landlord has is the right to timely payment of rent from the tenant. This, of course, means that the tenant has a duty to pay rent.

They also have a right to compensation for any damage that a tenant causes, beyond ordinary wear and tear. Landlords are free to bill the tenants for repairs to damage they caused, and deduct the cost from the security deposit.

Tenant's Rights in Sonoma, CA

The most basic right of a tenant is the right to a living space that's fit for human habitation. This is, after all, what they're paying the landlord to present. Landlords in Sonoma, California are under a legal duty to make sure that their apartments are habitable. There are various factors that are considered in deciding if a unit is habitable or not, but, generally, a unit will not be deemed habitable if it lacks any of the following: running water, electricity, heat, and protection from the elements (such as proper insulation, and windows that close).

Furthermore, tenants have rights to common areas that are free of physical obstructions, as well as serious health and safety hazards. Common areas are the places in apartment buildings and other residential complexes which every tenant can access, and include hallways, stairwells, and fire escapes. In Sonoma, California, these areas must be kept in a safe condition, at the landlord's expense.

A tenant also has a right, under federal law and the laws of California to be free from discrimination in housing based on race, color, national origin, religion, or gender. Landlords can also not discriminate against persons with disabilities, and must make reasonable accommodations for those disabilities.

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 Sonoma, California Landlord/Tenant Lawyer Help?

Landlords and tenants usually prefer to avoid getting into fights with one another, for noticeable reasons. A harmonious relationship is profitable for everyone involved. To that end, the advice of a good Sonoma, California landlord/tenant attorney can help defuse arguments before they become too serious.