Thanks to our professional rental management services, we work closely with tenants from various parts of the country. Part of our job as property managers is ensuring that tenants have a smooth experience moving into their new homes.
Often, we educate first-time tenants in Orange County on their rights and responsibilities, which creates a stress-free experience for everyone.
If you are moving to Orange County as a tenant soon, these are some of the most important rights you should know about:
Right to Know
California law entitles you—as a tenant—to know the following information:
- Whether there is, or has been, any dangerous mold in your rental unit.
- Whether you’ll be sharing your utilities with other tenants, and how the costs will be split.
- Whether your unit will be demolished in the future, and a schedule for the same.
- Whether any former federal or state ordnance are located within a mile of your rental unit.
- Details of the property’s smoking policy. Any restrictions should be included in the lease.
- The existence and purpose of the registered sex offender database, and how to use it.
Right to Habitable Premises
The law also entitles you to a habitable (or livable) rental unit throughout the duration of your rental agreement.
To be considered habitable, a unit must have the following:
- Functional electrical, heating, and plumbing facilities
- Clean and sanitary premises
- Trash management facility
- Weather protection and waterproofing for all exteriors
- Stairways, floors, and railings in good condition
- Appropriate locks on doors and windows
Right to Legally Withhold Rent
In some cases, the law also allows you to withhold rent from your landlord in case of delayed repairs. However, before exercising this right, you have to be sure that it applies to your circumstances.
For legally withholding rent, there are certain conditions to be met:
- There has to be a serious repair or a factor significantly affecting the habitability of your unit.
- This problem must not have been caused by you or your guest, either deliberately or through negligence.
- The landlord must have been informed of the issue and given adequate time to fix it.
- While informing your landlord, you must express your intention to withhold rent if the problem isn’t resolved.
Landlords have 30 days to resolve any habitability issues unless the issues are urgent. The right to legally withhold rent can only be considered once the given deadline has expired.
If your landlord is working with a good property management company in Orange County, it can make things easier for you. Through professional property maintenance and compliance services, things like rent collection and maintenance requests become hassle-free.