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If Tenant is not "clean," and pest begin to appear, who is responsibile for paying for regular pest control maintenance?

Chula Vista, CA |

Tenant called about leak problem, I went with plumber. In passing, I noticed food crumbs, peanut butter jar left open, film of food on counter, chicken left directly on counter to defrost, floor sticky (evident kitchen not regularly cleaned.) Tenant called and asked me to schedule for pest control spraying because she was not "happy living with roaches." I stated this was first I heard of roaches in unit from her or previous tenants. If tenant is untidy and frankly, dirty and roaches appear, who is responsible for paying for bug spraying? I read over the rental agreement and did not see this addressed. Can I send a letter asking that regular spraying become her responsibility, should the need arise?

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Attorney answers 2

Best Answer

Yes, you could.

On the one hand, the landlord is responsible for ensuring habitability, per CA Civil Code section 1941 and 1941.1. However, if a tenant has either substantially caused an unlivable condition to occur or has substantially interfered with the landlord’s ability to repair the condition, the landlord does not have to repair the condition.

California Civil Code Section 1941.2(a) provides:

"(a) No duty on the part of the landlord to repair a
dilapidation shall arise under Section 1941 or 1942 if the tenant is
in substantial violation of any of the following affirmative
obligations, provided the tenant's violation contributes
substantially to the existence of the dilapidation or interferes
substantially with the landlord's obligation under Section 1941 to
effect the necessary repairs:
(1) To keep that part of the premises which he occupies and uses
clean and sanitary as the condition of the premises permits.
(2) To dispose from his dwelling unit of all rubbish, garbage and
other waste, in a clean and sanitary manner.
(3) To properly use and operate all electrical, gas and plumbing
fixtures and keep them as clean and sanitary as their condition
(4) Not to permit any person on the premises, with his permission,
to willfully or wantonly destroy, deface, damage, impair or remove
any part of the structure or dwelling unit or the facilities,
equipment, or appurtenances thereto, nor himself do any such thing.
(5) To occupy the premises as his abode, utilizing portions
thereof for living, sleeping, cooking or dining purposes only which
were respectively designed or intended to be used for such

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 posting does not create any attorney-client relationship with the author. For specific advice about your particular situation, please consult with your own attorney.


Once again I do not have to answer a question because Frankanswered it and he is correct once again. See Frank, I like your answers

My name is Stephen R. Cohen and I have practiced over 38 years and can be reached at 213-819-1171. I practiced mainly in Los Angeles and Orange County, California. I am not seeking clients from existing relationships with other attorneys, and give only limited advise over the phone (the phone is primarily used to set appointments), these services do not create an attorney client relationship. I apologize for mispelling< as I am a lousy typist, My answers may offend as I do not believe in pulling punches or sugar coating the truth. Further regarding courts in other states my opinions are largely based on logic and what I think is the modern trend which is to consider the needs of the child.

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