California law requires that landlords provide residential units that are habitable. Historically, breach of habitability has been asserted as a defense to a landlord’s eviction lawsuit and does not require personal injury. However, tenants may also seek personal injury damages caused by the lack of habitability, and particularly so where there is mold and/or bacteria contamination. Such claims are becoming more common and may even be brought as a separate affirmative lawsuit. These claims are not necessarily exclusive to tenants, but others injured on the property may also assert premises liability, particularly if the condition giving rise to the injury was not created by the tenant.
These rights and obligations are very sensitive to the facts of any given claim. Further, damages can potentially be sought beyond traditional personal injury damages. The attorneys at Sinunu Bruni LLP are familiar with the California laws, regulations, and local ordinances that relate to habitability claims, and are experienced in defending these types of lawsuits.