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Best Ways to Get Your Landlord to Make a Repair in California

If your California landlord won't fix something and it costs less than a month of rent to repair then fix it yourself and pay less rent. If it's more expensive you may end up in court.

Need something fixed in your apartment? Assuming it's your landlord's responsibility to fix, your first step always needs to be to make a request for a repair in writing and then wait for your landlord to respond and fix the problem. Once you’ve done that, here are your options:

  1. Leave without notice
  2. Stop paying rent
  3. Fix it yourself

Your decision about which path to take pretty much hinges on how serious the issue is. If it would cost more than a month of rent to fix then you can't fix it yourself - you have to withhold rent or leave. In any scenario, the burden of proof is on you - so make sure you documented everything carefully. Even the threat of going to court will be empty if your landlord knows you have no proof that they received a request.

Leave without notice

Yes it's true - if there is a problem that's clearly a violation of the warranty of habitability you are no longer liable for rent and can leave.

Related: Constructive Eviction in California

Withhold rent until it gets fixed

This is your best option if the problem is serious, would cost more than a month of rent to fix and you don't want to leave

Related: Rent Withholding Laws in California

Repair yourself and pay less rent

You can hire a contractor to make the fix, but you have to wait thirty days and it has to cost less than a month of rent to fix.

Related: Repair and Deduct Laws in California

Next steps

The information provided on this website does not, and is not intended to, constitute legal advice.