If you’re facing a sudden rent increase, you’re probably feeling upset and frustrated. But don’t panic. It’s true that – except in rent controlled jurisdictions – once the lease providing for a fixed rent expires, tenants can be subject to rent increases by landlords at just about any time. But, you still have legal rights, and your landlord still has legal responsibilities.
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Many owners rent apartments that are illegal under California law . In this column , lawyer Eric Castelblanco explains some things that renters need to know if the apartment you rent is illegal.
The law gives you many rights to tenants of apartments that are illegal. That may be illegal apartments include garages, guest houses, or other structures built without a permit from the city .
For security reasons , the laws require that all rental units meet fire codes and have no structural hazards . Sometimes , owners built or converted garages or other structures to houses to collect rent. This causes many problems for tenants , because often the properties are not all you have legal housing . For example , they may lack windows , air , heating, and many other things . It is very important that the tenants of these apartments know that you have many rights and protections under the law , especially if the landlord refuses to repair the unit or try to run the tenant.
If a tenant lives in a garage, guest house or other structure that was built for the purpose of housing , the tenant may be entitled to relocation funds if the owner wants to run the unit .
If the landlord tries to take the tenant to live in an illegal unit as a garage, it is possible that the tenant does not have to go without the owner will pay relocation funds . These funds depend on the city where the tenant lives . In Los Angeles, for example , can be up to $ 18,000 depending on the details of the family and their annual income. It is also possible that the tenant may recover all or part of the rent that the landlord illegally charging .
Tenants living in illegal properties have many rights and protections under the law , and owners often offer them some money to go , but not everything that should be given under the law. For that reason it is very important that tenants find out all their rights before taking any decision on leaving the unit.
Since 1995 , attorney Eric Castelblanco is dedicated to helping tenants to understand and assert their rights. For more information about your rights , call Attorney Castelblanco 213-388-6004 or visit the website: www.castelblanco.com .
The information presented in this column is for educational purposes only . You should seek the advice of an attorney regarding your individual situation.
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