As a tenant, you have the right to a habitable rental dwelling. The landlord must ensure habitability. Here, your rights are very much fact specific and fact driven. Whether or not the landlord must compensate you for expenses incurred to live elsewhere while the repairs are being done or give you reduced rent for that period of time depends upon the extent and severity of the problem. If the landlord (via the management company) is refusing to reimburse for expenses, your remedies as a tenant are to withhold rent, to sue in small claims court, and to move out altogether. However, each of these options are risky for a tenant to take without the advice of counsel with a full understanding of the facts and circumstances.
Frank W. Chen has been licensed to practice law in California since 1988. The information presented here is general in nature and is not intended, nor should be construed, as legal advice for a particular case. This Avvo.com posting does not create any attorney-client relationship with the author. For specific advice about your particular situation, please consult with your own attorney.