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If my landlord is being sued by the city due to a building code violation ,can he evict me for unpaid rent?

Whittier, CA |

In october 2010 the land lord and i had agreed to show the house to potential renters due to the fact i couldnt afored to pay the amount i was paying .because of lay off from work,anyways in november the house was reported to the city for illegal garage conversion so he had to fix the garage to its original state plus seal the door that was to the master bedroom to the garage and he still has not completly fixed it .now since im still liveing in here but was moving out . can he now evict me for all the back rent while he was being sued? thank you .

Attorney Answers 2


Your landlord can still evict you for non-payment of rent, but he might not be able to get a money judgment for the unpaid rent (depending upon the extent of the building code violation). If you are renting the garage as living space, then your attorney might be able to defend on the grounds that the court should not enforce an illegal contract. However, you would still get evicted.

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The answer depends on whether the outstanding violations are a substantial breach of the warranty of habitability under civil code 1941. In other words, do the violations amount to a significant health, safety, or sanitary violation? If they do, then breach of the warranty is a defense to an eviction. However, a judge or jury may find that the violation only amounts to a $300 rent credit per month, at which time you will have to pay all the back rent or get evicted. If you are able to pay at that time, then you would be allowed to stay.

Disclaimer: You should discuss your situation with a local attorney, as the above statement is a general overview and does not take into account all of the factual considerations in your case. Nothing in this statement creates an attorney-client relationship.

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