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Posts Tagged ‘Landlord Tenant Law’

Why E-Cigarettes Are Not Included in New Palo Alto Smoking Ban

Written by Dave Roberson on . Posted in For Tenants, Landlords, Palo Alto, Property Management

E-CigarettesEven though e-cigarettes are increasingly being banned throughout California cities and counties Palo Alto’s City Council is not including them in their new proposed smoking ban for apartment buildings.  For those of you who aren’t familiar with them e-cigarettes look like the real thing, they glow when you puff on them, and a smoker puffs out a cloud of vapor when they exhale.  Many believe e-cigarettes are a “gateway” drug as the number of teenagers using them doubled from 2011 to 2012, and increased 61 percent from 2012 to 2013.  Moreover, e-cigarettes have nicotine, emit formaldehyde, are addictive, and can be dangerous for people with heart problems.  There are many unknowns with e-cigarettes and this is potentially the reason Palo Alto is not yet banning them in multi-family buildings.

Why Most Landlords Don’t Know Habitability Standards

Written by Dave Roberson on . Posted in For Tenants, Palo Alto, Property Management, Silicon Valley Real Estate Investing

AA Habitability Sign how-to-handle-maintenance-habitability-issues-4-638Over the years I took the deposition of several landlords – each of whom did not know the first thing about what the term “habitability” meant, nor could they articulate the law with respect to their requirements as a landlord.  “[I]gnorance of the law is no excuse,” and many landlords and property owners have managed to skate by without knowing they are violating the law when it comes to habitability of rental units.  California Civil Code Section 1941 et. seq. states in pertinent part that “a rental unit is required to be fit, or habitable, to live in and rent by tenants.  The rental unit must substantially comply with local and state building, health, and safety codes that materially affect the tenant’s health and safety.”  In California landlords and tenants each bear responsibility for certain kinds of repairs – however landlords ultimately are legally responsible for making sure the rental unit is habitable.

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