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Your landlord has obligations

When an individual or company rents out residential property, the landlord has certain obligations. For example, if you are renting an apartment in Los Angeles, it must be "habitable." Also, while you are renting the property, your landlord is responsible for making necessary repairs and normal maintenance in order to keep the property livable.

In 1941, California passed laws that force landlords to keep residential rental property in a condition that is fit for each tenant's use. To find out more about your landlord's responsibilities, read further.


Your apartment or house must be free from water leaks and weather. This means that all doors and window must be in reasonable working condition. If you have a broken window that is allowing water to come into your home, then your landlord must fix it.


All of the plumbing in your home must work properly. You should have both hot and cold water available and the connections to drainage and sewage systems must be properly connected and free from obstruction. In addition, your sink, bathtub and shower must work. The bathroom should include both privacy and ventilation.

Electrical, heating and gas

Your landlord must also ensure that your electrical, heating, and gas systems work. In addition, they must be up to code and free from any dangerous temporary fixes. You should not be in danger due to any exposed wires, improper gas connections or any other hazards that could cause an injury.

Building, common areas, and trash receptacles

Not only is your landlord responsible for ensuring your apartment is habitable and safe, he or she must also attend to the building in general. For example, all stairways and handrails must be safe and functioning correctly. In addition, common areas such as a garden or parking lot must be clean and free from obstruction, debris or trash.

Fire safety and smoke detectors

Your apartment building must have emergency exits that lead outside. Your landlord is responsible for keeping these areas clear in case of a fire or other emergency. Also, in duplexes and apartment buildings, the landlord must provide smoke detectors in all units as well as in any shared stairwells.

If you are renting an apartment, duplex or house in Los Angeles, your landlord has certain responsibilities. If your landlord fails to provide a habitable space for you, your family and guests, then you might be able to take legal action to protect your rights as a tenant.

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