Michael Cohen Champions Tenants’ Rights for Safe Living Conditions

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In light of a recent tragedy in Berkeley, CA, where six people died after a balcony on an apartment building collapsed, attorney Michael C. Cohen educates tenants on breach of warranty of habitability issues while stressing the importance of preventative measures.

Michael C. Cohen

If tenants are aware of defective or substandard conditions, they have the right to make the landlord fix it, and by doing so, tragedies such as the one in Berkeley can be avoided.

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“It’s basically an agreement between the two parties where the landlord promises that the tenant can enjoy their home free of defective and substandard conditions that can cause them unreasonable risk of harm,” said Cohen. “If tenants are aware of defective or substandard conditions, they have the right to make the landlord fix it, and by doing so, tragedies such as the one in Berkeley can be avoided.”

The balcony in Berkeley fell from the fourth floor of the Library Gardens apartment complex, which also injured seven others, according to an article in The Daily Californian on June 16, 2015. In that article, City Councilmember Jesse Arreguin, who represents the district that includes the apartment complex, said he received multiple complaints from building residents about habitability issues, and speculated that the tragedy could have been avoided with proper attention and maintenance.

“The landlord and manager of residential property has a legal obligation to put the property in condition fit for human occupancy and to reasonably maintain the property in safe condition; they cannot force tenants to accept unsafe/substandard conditions,” said Cohen. “They cannot get out of that obligation through any means. No excuses are allowed.”

Cohen advises tenants that there are numerous conditions that are considered a breach of the warrant of habitability, and to seek legal services if in doubt or if a landlord is refusing to make repairs, from experienced attorneys, such as the Law Office of Michael C. Cohen, located at 1814 Franklin Street, Suite 900, Oakland, CA 94612. The firm represents tenants in breach of warranty of ability claims and doesn’t charge attorney fees unless the tenant receives money for their case.

"We can help people in different economic backgrounds,” said Cohen. “We don’t push away people who really need our help.”

About the Law Office of Michael C. Cohen
The Law Office of Michael C. Cohen has been handling family, landlord-tenant, employment and personal injury law for more than thirty years. Whether your rights were violated as an employee, you were in a car accident or you are having issues with a negligent landlord, Michael C. Cohen’s experience and expertise can help you. For more information or a free consultation, please call (510) 832-6436.

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Tiffani Tendell
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