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What law (code/#) specifically defines "constructive eviction"?

Lower Lake, CA |

I have determined with leaking roof (master bedroom and bathroom), continuously falling pieces of ceiling, broken trusses, and visible black mold in the kitchen ceiling my house qualifies as "uninhabitable".
The roof fell Oct 30th, I sent a formal written notice of the damages November 2nd. No repairs have been made or scheduled to be made.
I have signed a new lease and am already planning to move, I have been told I can hold my last months rent through the "constructive eviction" law.
I asked my rental agency about holding the rent. They were not opposed but asked me to supply the law that legally allows me to hold my last months rent to move.

Help is much appreciated! Thank you!
PS- Thank you Kenny Kean Tan for the info on constructive eviction. :)

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Attorney answers 3

Best Answer

Constructive eviction is a legal concept which basically provides that anything that materially interferes with the covenant of habitability which is implied in every residential property lease constitutes "constructive" eviction as opposed to "actual" eviction. Any building that is intended for human occupancy must be "tenatable." Check California Civil Code sections 1941, 1941.1, and 1941.3, related to landlord's duties.

As always, contact a competent real estate attorney before taking any action related to the legal issues discussed above.

Thomas F. Nowland, Esq.
Nowland Stone LLP


There is no code section for “constructive eviction” it is a common law concept that has evolved through case law. I believe the rental agency's attorneys will be familiar with the concept.

IMPORTANT NOTE: These materials have been prepared by Adina T. Stern, A Professional Law Corporation for informational purposes only and are not intended as legal advice. The information available in this answer is not intended to create, and receipt of it does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship. The information on legal issues available here is not a substitute for legal advice from an attorney who is familiar with all of the facts surrounding your particular situation who is licensed in the appropriate jurisdiction. This answer does not create an attorney-client relationship.


Perhaps you can take a look at the following for the explanation and the various supporting legal authorities (see the footnotes):


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