Skip to main content

Landlord is raising rent after making mandatory repairs in home.

San Diego, CA |

We have lived here for 5 years. In that time the landlord has neglected to make any repairs. We informed him 2 years ago that the lights in kitchen and bathroom had stopped working. He finally sent someone out last week. After coming in they said the house was in such poor shape it needed to be re wired to be up to code and that it was even dangerous. Secondly, our washing machine broke down 4 months ago, and he said he refuses to replace it even though its in the lease. There are a bunch of things wrong, screens with holes, doors sticking, toilet leaks, slow drains, paint peeling off walls etc. None of these other issues have been addressed yet. 3 days after getting the house re wired, he raised the rent by 100$. What can i do about this?

Also would like to add, that the dryer that came with the property stopped working 3 years ago and we replaced and Landlord said that we have to leave it here when we move out, even though WE replaced it, and he did not compensate or deduct money from rent at all. So basically we bought him a dryer

+ Read More

Attorney answers 2


Well, there are a bunch of things in your question that all would need to be addressed. The timing of the increase does seem dubious but landlords are generally able to raise rents with some limitations. It really sounds like there has been a long history of neglect and that you have notified him on several occasions to have things taken care of. I can't advise you do to anything which could result in you owing him $, but in CA tenants have multiple legal options in these situations including repair and deduct and/or rent withholding to force a landlord to make repairs.

What ever you chose to do, I recommend sending him a certified letter putting him on formal notice and speaking to an attorney prior to taking action. He is not permitted to retaliate in any way and raising the rent yet again would indicate retaliation. Good luck

Thomas A. Schaeffer, Esq. Law Office of Juarez and Schaeffer PO Box 16216, San Diego, CA 92105 (619) 804-4327 This posting is provided for "informational purposes" only and should not be relied upon as "legal advice." Nothing transmitted from this posting constitutes the establishment of an attorney-client relationship. Applicability of the legal principals discussed here may differ substantially in individual situations or in different States.

Christie Marie Asselin

Christie Marie Asselin


I agree with Mr. Schaeffer above. But I want to caution you that the repair and deduct/ rent withholding is not the best option. The courts really do not encourage self-help. Sending a certified letter, though, is a great start. Also - you called your unit a "house", which is likely not rent-controlled. But, check with your local department of housing anyway to determine whether your home is rent-controlled. Best of luck to you!


I assume you are a month to month tenant without a fixed term lease. Generally speaking, the landlord can raise the rent for virtually any reason so long as it is not retaliatory if you are a month to month tenant (subject to the limitations of rent control, if applicable).

Washers and dryers are normally considered amenities, and the landlord would not be obligated to repair or replace such appliances unless a lease or rental agreement specific provides otherwise. It seems your lease mentions this, but it is not clear how it is worded.

While a tenant theoretically has remedies such as repair-and-deduct and withholding rent, it is often dangerous to use these remedies without the advice of counsel. The landlord has to ensure habitability (which usually refers to health and safety issues), but does not have to address things such as sticky doors and holes in screens.

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.

Can't find what you're looking for?

Post a free question on our public forum.

Ask a Question

- or -

Search for lawyers by reviews and ratings.

Find a Lawyer