by Jenna Marie
A rental property is not considered habitable with an insect infestation.
At the first instance of lease violation, the tenant should first make a phone call, then send written notice to the landlord. The notice should include a description of the problem, attempts at solving the problem, and what the tenant expects the landlord to do. If the landlord does not remedy the behavior or make the repair in a reasonable amount of time, the tenant should send another notice. The tenant should also document all instances of violations of the lease agreement.
Repair and Deduct
According to California law, if a tenant has sent multiple written requests to the landlord for a repair and reasonable time has passed with the problem unresolved, the tenant can repair and deduct. This is especially so if the failure to repair the problem affects the tenant's health or the
habitability of the property. He can pay for the repair, then deduct the cost from rent. This method works for repairs to the property that don't exceed the total of one month's rent. The tenant must keep all receipts of the cost of repair and supply copies to the landlord.
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