The affirmative defense of a breach of the warranty of habitability in California is the topic of this blog post. Breach of the warranty of habitability is a powerful affirmative defense that a California tenant can assert to an unlawful detainer (eviction) complaint. This is due to the fact that a substantial breach of the warranty of habitability by a landlord in California can result in the tenant prevailing in Court if the eviction case goes to trial, and the landlord may be ordered to pay the attorney fees and Court costs of the prevailing tenant pursuant to Code of Civil Procedure § 1174.2.
Habitability means a number of conditions relating to plumbing, heating, electricity, and other aspects of residential living, most of which listed in Civil Code §1941.1(a), including:
Effective waterproofing and weather protection of roof and exterior walls, including unbroken windows and doors.
Plumbing or gas facilities that conform to applicable law in effect at the time of installation, and maintained in good order.
A water supply approved under applicable law capable of producing hot and cold running water, furnished through appropriate fixtures, and connected to an approved sewage system.
Heating facilities conforming to applicable law at the time of installation and maintained in good order.
Electrical lighting, with wiring and electrical equipment conforming with applicable law at the time of installation and maintained in good working order.
Premises clean at the time of commencement of the rental agreement, free from debris, filth, rubbish, garbage, rodents, and vermin, with lessor-controlled areas kept free from debris, filth, rubbish, garbage, rodents, and vermin.
Adequate garbage and rubbish receptacles.
Floors, stairways, and railings maintained in good repair.
However if a California tenant has substantially contributed to the habitability issues, or if the tenant interferes substantially with any necessary repairs by the landlord, the landlord may not be liable pursuant to Civil Code §1941.2.
Attorneys or parties in California who would like to view a portion of a sample answer to a California eviction complaint that includes 15 affirmative defenses, including the defense of breach of the warranty of habitability that is sold by the author can see below.
Attorneys or parties in California who would like to purchase an unlawful detainer sample document package with over 25 sample documents for tenant defense selling for only $69.99 created by the author of this blog post can use the link shown below.
The author of this blog post, Stan Burman, is a freelance paralegal who has worked in California and Federal litigation since 1995. If you are in need of assistance with any California litigation matters, Mr. Burman is available on a freelance basis. Mr. Burman may be contacted by e-mail at DivParalgl@yahoo.com for more information. He accepts payments through PayPal which means that you can pay using most credit or debit cards.
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Please note that the author of this blog post, Stan Burman is NOT an attorney and as such is unable to provide any specific legal advice. The author is NOT engaged in providing any legal, financial, or other professional services, and any information contained in this blog post is NOT intended to constitute legal advice.
These materials and information contained in this blog post have been prepared by Stan Burman for informational purposes only and are not legal advice. Transmission of the information contained in this blog post is not intended to create, and receipt does not constitute, any business relationship between the author and any readers. Readers should not act upon this information without seeking professional counsel.