You have to read and understand the case as a whole and make sure that it is good law. As it's a bit of an old case, your state's statutes could have rendered the case mood or no longer good law.
DISCLAIMER: Brandy A. Peeples is licensed to practice law in the State of Maryland. This answer is being provided for informational purposes only and the laws of your jurisdiction may differ. This answer based on general legal principles and is not intended for the purpose of providing specific legal advice or opinions. Under no circumstances does this answer constitute the establishment of an attorney-client relationship. For legal advice relating to your specific situation, I strongly urge you to consult with an attorney in your area.
Correct. In California, every residential rental agreement has an implied warranty of habitability that is independent of the tenant’s obligation to pay rent. (Code of Civil Procedure §1174.2; Civil Code §§1941–1942.5; Green v. Superior Court (1974) 10 Cal.3d 616, 631–632; Fairchild v. Park (2001) 90 Cal.App.4th 919, 927–928.)
A breach of the warranty of habitability is available as an affirmative defense for a tenant in an unlawful detainer action for nonpayment of rent. Note, however, it is not available in an unlawful detainer action based on a 30-day notice to quit. (Code of Civil Procedure §1174.2; Knight v. Hallsthammar (1981) 29 Cal.3d 46, 57.)
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. This posting does not create any attorney-client relationship with the author. For specific advice about your particular situation, consult your own attorney.