How Can I Move Out in California if My Landlord Has Not Made Repairs?
A landlord is generally obligated to supply possession of the premises as agreed in the lease. The premises must meet minimum standards of habitability including compliance with applicable building codes. Weatherizing, locks, running water, working plumbing, heating and cooling, pest control, and other basics must be in place. In California, if the property is not livable (through no fault of your own), you may be able to move out. You may not have to pay rent after you move, even though you have a lease. By law, for a place to be unlivable or "untenantable," the problem must be substantial and may include problems with waterproofing and weatherproofing; plumbing; running water; heat; electrical lighting; unclean grounds and building; roaches and rodents; garbage; or floors, stairs and railings that are in disrepair. A tenant who has made repairs after giving notice to the landlord may be able to deduct amounts due for rent for the cost of the repairs.
The following tips are from the CA Dept. of Consumer Affairs:
•the notice should specifically describe the defects and the repairs that are required.
•the notice should give the landlord a reasonable period of time to make the repairs.
•if the landlord doesn’t make the repairs within a reasonable time, the tenant should contact the local city or county building department, health department, or local housing agency and request an inspection.
•the housing inspector must inspect the rental unit.
•the housing inspector must give the landlord or the landlord’s agent written notice of the repairs that are required.
•the substandard conditions must continue to exist 35 days after the housing inspector mailed the notice to the landlord or landlord’s agent. the landlord then must collect or demand rent, raise the rent, or serve a three-day notice to pay rent or quit.
•the tenant should gather evidence of the substandard conditions (for example, photographs or videos, statements of witnesses, inspection reports) so that the tenant can prove his or her case in court.
To move out and end a periodic rental agreement (for example, a month-to-month agreement), you must give your landlord proper written notice before you move.
You must give the landlord the same amount of notice as there are days between rent payments. This means that if you pay rent monthly, you must give the landlord written notice at least 30 days before you move. If you pay rent every week, you must give the landlord written notice at least seven days before you move. This is true even if the landlord has given you a 60-day notice to end the rental agreement and you want to leave sooner. If your rental agreement specifies a different amount of notice (for example 10 days), you must give the landlord written notice as required by the agreement. to avoid later disagreements, date the notice, state the date that you intend to move, and make a copy of the notice for yourself. it’s best to deliver the notice to the landlord or property manager in person, or mail it by certified mail with return receipt requested.