i had to provide my own space heater which costed us an electric bill of 200$ for at least 5 months. reminding i live in a 500sq ft granny flat. it was absurd and there are three units on the property we have three meters but we all share a gas and electric bill, the LLson takes ictures of the meters and sends them to the LL he then "figures out" what we each have to pay. We also all share a mailbox in which i dont recieve my mail on time. I've recieved bills 2-3 months "late" and the neighbor leaves them on my door step before i get a chance to check the mail. i live out in the country so we have snakes, lizards, ect, when we moved in we were told that the lawns were going to be maintained every two weeks by the LL son who lives in the trailer next to my unit (SIX INCHES AWAY). It takes him about 4 days every three months to weed whack the yards (the grass gets to 3ft high) we recently complained to management about the issue and it caused a big despute between all of my surrounding neighbors weve gotten at least 10 threats about how they're going to "kick our ass for threatening the LL son and if we want our yard mowed to grow up and do it ourselves" these are some of the things ive had to deal with. our front patio cover was built by the previous tenants, which i dont believe they have permits for, it is missing brackets and looks completely unproffesional. Also our sink and bath tub drain out to the trees in the back back yard. Is there a possible lawsuit or should i just move out and leave it alone?
First of all, you will need to ascertain for sure whether the granny flat is indeed an illegal unit. If so, then under the case of Gruzen v. Henry (1978) 84 Cal.App.3d 515, the landlord is not entitled to collect or request any rent from you. California law does not reward a landlord who has an illegal structure, and punishes the landlord by declaring the contract leasing that structure "void."
However, even assuming the granny flat is illegal, not all judges will agree on whether a tenant is entitled to get back rent previously paid to the landlord.
What it comes down to is whether the unit was uninhabitable, and what documentation you have to prove that the unit was uninhabitable and for what period of time. Lack of adequate heat would certain be considered significant.
Personally, I think you should just move out rather than focusing your energies on filing a lawsuit.
Frank W. Chen is licensed to practice law in the State of California. The information presented here is general in nature and is not intended, nor should be construed, as legal advice. This posting does not create any attorney-client relationship with the author. For specific advice about your particular situation, consult your own attorney.
Our Rating is calculated using information the lawyer has included on their profile in addition to the information we collect from state bar associations and other organizations that license legal professionals. Attorneys who claim their profiles and provide Avvo with more information tend to have a higher rating than those who do not.What determines Avvo Rating?Experience & background
Years licensed, work experience, educationLegal community recognition
Peer endorsements, associations, awardsLegal thought leadership
Publications, speaking engagementsDiscipline