All landlords are legally required to offer livable or habitable premises when they originally rent a unit in California, and to maintain it in that condition throughout the rental term. According to state laws (Civil Code § 1941.1 and § 1941.3), at minimum every rental must have:

  • - effective waterproofing and weather protection of roof and exterior walls, including unbroken windows and doors
  • - functioning plumbing, heating, and electrical facilities, including hot and cold running water and a working toilet and kitchen sink
  • - clean and sanitary building and grounds (that is, free of debris, filth, rubbish, garbage, rodents, and vermin), with adequate trash receptacles
  • - well-maintained floors, stairways, and railings
  • - deadbolt locks on certain doors and windows
  • -no lead paint hazards, and
  • -no nuisances, a catchall provision referring to something that is dangerous to human life, detrimental to health, or morally offensive and obnoxious, such as allowing drug dealing on the premises.