The law in California - Posted by Gavin Wilkinson
Posted by Gavin Wilkinson on December 07, 2003 at 16:06:43:
In California, the landlord must maintain the house in a habitable condition. That has been interpreted to mean with heat, electric, water and sewer, and without vermin, with a smoke detector, with a non leaking roof, with walls, doors and locks, no broken windows, no flaking lead paint etc.
If you try to evict someone and one of these conditions exists, you will fail. The judge will rule against you, the tennants will stay in your unit rent free and the landlord will get a judgement against them. Then the landlord will be required to fix the bad conditions, and start the eviction all over again.
So keep your units in good condition, and evict people legally. The solution is to take a deposit when your renter arrives and if they don’t pay their rent, you can take it out of their deposit. No, you may not collect every penny of rent owed you, but you will collect most of it and the rest of it should be figured in as part of doing business.
Besides, if you do nasty tactics like removing doors from a unit, the tennants will get you back ten fold by truly trashing the unit as they leave. How much will it cost you to repair every window that they break as they go out?