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What is pro-rate for "extent to which the damage interferes with tenants reasonable use of premises" for tenants w/out heat?

Burbank, CA |

No heat for 24 days straight ; LL has now repaired the unit . We feel that we are entitled to a rent reduction for those 24 days where the The breach of the implied warranty of habitability was violated for the broken heater . Is the logical solution is to apply California Civil Code Section 789 . 3 ( deduct $ 100 per day ) as a formula for rent reduction or is there another formula that we should employ ? Our Lease : " Rent shall be abated as the date premises become totally or partially uninhabitable . The abated amount shall be the current monthly rent prorated on a 30 day period . * * * If the agreement is * * not terminated , Landlord shall promptly repair the damage , and * * rent shall be reduced * * * based on the extent to which the damage interferes with tenants reasonable use of premise . "

RE: "based on the extent to which the damage interferes with *tenants* reasonable use of premise" Three tenants were affected by the lack of heat and two work from home, so the recent Valley cold-snap was unbearable and we had to use the oven just to stay warm.

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Attorney answers 2


The $100 daily rate applies only if the landlord intentionally cuts off the utilities to make you move. That did not happen here.

Your question has no good answer. All you and your landlord can do is pull numbers out of the air that you think are fair. Although you were cold, you still had a roof over your head and a secure place to sleep and keep your possessions. You might talk about a 30 percent reduction or so.



My understanding of Green v. Superior Court case considers no heat a serious enough reason to withhold rent and the fact remains that no heat makes a unit not habitable.

James Carl Eschen III

James Carl Eschen III


You are correct that a lack of heat renders the unit uninhabitable. But, so long as you stay there, you still owe rent. You deduct, as your lease says, the pro rata amount by which your unit is uninhabitable. That pro rata amount is not quantifiable by any more than a guess.


I agree with colleague's excellent answer. However, I want to add some important practical advice.

DO NOT USE AN OVEN TO HEAT A HOME. You are lucky you did not burn the house down. There are also practical alternatives such as purchasing small portable electric heaters to move with you from room to room with you. Please note too many electric heaters can blow a fuse, so try not to overload the electrical system.

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