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What are my rights as a tenant?

The law of the State of California and the Los Angeles Municipal Code gives all tenants the right to live in housing free of cockroaches and rodents or other bad living conditions.

Does my Immigration status affect my rights as a tenant?

No. Your Immigration status has nothing to do with your rights as a tenant you rights are fully protected by the law and threats of deportation are unwarranted.

My Unit needs repairs what should I do?

If a tenant believes that his or her rental unit needs repairs, and that the landlord is responsible for the repairs under the implied warranty of habitability, the tenant should notify the landlord. It's best for the tenant to notify the landlord of damage or defects by both a telephone call and a letter via Certified Mail with a return receipt requested. The tenant should specifically describe the damage or defects including pictures depicting the areas that need repairs. The tenant should keep a copy to show that notice was given and what it said. If the tenant gives notice to the landlord by e-mail or fax, the tenant should follow up with a U.S. Certified letter with a return receipt requested.

If my landlord ignores my request for repairs can I stop paying my rent until repairs are made?

No. We do not advise you to stop paying your rent. We suggest you continue to pay your rent as indicated on your rental lease or verbal agreement. Do NOT withhold rent becuase if you do not pay your rent you can be served with an unlawful detainer action against you for non-payment of rent and risk being evicted.

What if I provid my landlord notice and I get no response? Can I make my own repairs and deduct it from my rent?

If the landlord doesn't make the repairs within a reasonable period of time after written notice has been given the "repair and deduct" remedy allows a tenant to deduct money from the rent, up to the amount of one month's rent, to pay for repair of defects in the rental unit. This remedy covers substandard conditions that affect the tenant's health and safety, and that substantially breach the implied warranty of habitability. Examples might include a leak in the roof during the rainy season, no hot running water, or a gas leak. The basic requirements and steps for using the repair and deduct remedy are as follows:

1. The defects must be serious and directly related to the tenant's health and safety.

2. The repairs cannot cost more than one month's rent.

3. The tenant cannot use the repair and deduct remedy more than twice in any 12-month period.

4. The tenant or the tenant's family, guests, or pets must not have caused the defects that require repair.

5. The tenant must inform the landlord, either orally or in writing, of the repairs that are needed.

6. The tenant must give the landlord a reasonable period of time to make the needed repairs.

However, if the defects are not serious enough to justify using the repair and deduct remedy, the landlord can sue the tenant to recover the money deducted from the rent, or can file an eviction action based on the nonpayment of rent. If the tenant deducted money for repairs not covered by the remedy, or didn't give the landlord proper advance notice or a reasonable time to make repairs, the court can order the tenant to pay the full rent even though the tenant paid for the repairs, or can order that the eviction proceed.

What is "Rent Control"/Rent Stabilization (RSO)?

Rent control also known as Rent Stabilization Ordinance protects tenants from excessive rent increases. Rent Stabilization Ordinance also covers four broad categories:

1. Allowable rent increases

2. Registration of rental units

3. Legal reasons for eviction

4. Causes for eviction requiring relocation assistance payment to the tenant.

Is my residence under Rent Control?

Residential rental units covered By the RSO "Rent Control" include:



town homes


two or more dwelling units on the same lot

mobile homes

mobile home pads

rooms in a hotel, motel, rooming house or boarding house occupied by the same tenant for 30 or more consecutive days.

What Properties are exempt from Rent Control Rent Stabilization (RSO)?

Properties located in other municipalities or within unincorporated areas within the County of Los Angeles. It may be difficult to determine if your residence is under "Rent Control"/Rent Stabilization (RSO). Contact the law offices of Jesus A. Rodriguez, 213 623-2333. We will help determine whether or not your property is under "Rent Control."

I've made numerous complaints with my landlord/manager about the uninhabitable conditions in my unit, can I file a complaint with the city of Los Angeles?

Yes, a complaint can be filed by any tenant who believes that an owner/ manager/ agent has committed a violation of the Rent Stabilization Ordinance.

Where can I file a complaint with the city?

Call the Housing Department's Public Information Hot line (toll - free) at 1 866-557-RENT and request a form be mailed to you (the form can then be returned via U.S. Mail) or you can Visit one of the Housing Department's Public Counters and complete the form. you can also file a complaint online. Make sure to make copies of all forms and wait for an inspector to contact you with an available inspection date. You can find information about where to file your complaint by click on the “Resources” tab.

What is REAP ?

The Rent Escrow Account Program (REAP) was established by the City of Los Angeles to ensure that minimum housing standards are maintained within residential rental units.

What is the purpose of REAP ?

The Rent Escrow Account Program is an enforcement tool used by the City of Los Angeles to encourage landlords to maintain their properties and to bring properties that have existing violations into compliance.

When is a Property placed in REAP ?

When a property is cited for habitability violations and the time allowed for compliance (including any extensions) has expired without the landlords compliance, a property is placed into REAP, and a corresponding rent reduction is determined for the affected unit(s).

What habitability violations qualify my unit to be accepted in to the REAP program?

A property can be placed in REAP if the landlord fails to provide access to the following.

Drinkable water

Hot water

Heat during cold weather

Working electricity

Smoke Detectors

Working bathroom and toilet

Sanitary premises, including the removal of mold caused by

low or no ventilation insect pest or rodent infestation

Or for violations of building codes

The Bloc Los Angeles

700 S. Flower Street, Suite 1510, Los Angeles, CA 90017

T. 213.623.2333

F. 213.623.2210