Rentec Direct Offers Tips for Renters and Landlords After California Wildfires

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Recent disasters in California have left many homes destroyed and uninhabitable; property management software company, Rentec Direct, calls on recently published guide to help navigate housing laws and regulations.

California rental housing laws

California landlords and renters affected by the recent fires can begin the road to recovery by reviewing California housing laws.

While it will take some time to recover from such a significant disaster, many are starting to think about rebuilding and reclaiming their homes. Landlords and tenants can find a good place to start this process by understanding the laws and regulations already in place in the state.

Rentec Direct, the leading property management software solution for real estate professionals, provides resources for tenants and landlords in California following the devastating wildfires in the region. As people begin to look at rebuilding and recovery from the loss of more than 40 lives, an estimated 8,000 structures and more than 245,000 acres of land, it’s important to take a closer look of California housing laws. Rentec Direct released a complete guide on this topic earlier this year.

Nathan Miller, president and founder of Rentec Direct said, “While it will take some time to recover from such a significant disaster, many are starting to think about rebuilding and reclaiming their homes. Landlords and tenants can find a good place to start this process by understanding the laws and regulations already in place in the state.”

According to risk modeling firm RMS, losses in residential real estate from the disaster to have affected a total of 16,000 buildings (in and around the perimeters of the fire activity) estimated at more than $11 billion in damages. This will have a huge impact on homeowners, in addition to those who own investment properties, their property managers and their tenants.

Some of the laws in the state of California can help guide decisions during this difficult time:

  • Implied Warranty of Habitability: A rental unit must be fit to live in; that is, it must be habitable. In legal terms, “habitable” means that the rental unit is fit for occupation by human beings and that it substantially complies with state and local building and health codes that materially affect tenants’ health and safety. (Cal. Civ. Code §§ 1941)
  • Repair and Deduct: If a tenant notifies a landlord of required repairs that make the property inhabitable, and which are not the fault of the tenant, and the landlord does not act to the notice within 30 days, the tenant can perform the repairs himself and deduct the expenses from rent, as long as the repair expenses do not exceed one month’s rent. A tenant is only allowed to do this twice in a 12-month period. ([Cal. Civ. Code §§ 1942)
  • Personal Property: Landlords are not typically responsible for the loss of personal property of a tenant after a fire, unless the tenant can prove landlord negligence. If the tenant has renter's insurance they can follow their insurance company's procedure to file a claim against any property loss or damage caused by the fire.

Renters, investors, landlords, and property managers in affected areas are advised to seek licensed legal assistance in their area for more advice on their state’s rental laws. Rentec Direct’s California Landlord-Tenant Laws Resource Guide can be found here: https://www.rentecdirect.com/blog/california-landlord-tenant-laws/

About Rentec Direct
Rentec Direct offers industry leading property management software and tenant screening solutions for real estate professionals. Features include online rent payments, tenant and owner portals, the industry’s largest vacancy listing syndication network, full property, tenant, and owner accounting, 1099-MISC reporting, QuickBooks Sync and more.

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Kaycee Wegener
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