Interview: A look at tenant's rights

- With the recent rain we have had multiple reports of flooding, trees down and damage to homes.

We checked in with Meghan Gordon, housing attorney for the East Bay Community Law Center who says tenants have been dealing with mold as well as leaking from roofs and windows.

Gordon says landlords are required to provide safe and healthy housing for their tenants. However tenants are also required not to do damage to the property.

Gordon says tenants should communicate with their landlords in writing and request repairs. She says if a tenant requests a problem should be fixed and it isn't - it's never recommended that a tenant withhold rent.

"Primarily because once you withhold rent you are vulnerable to being sued by your landlord for non-payment of rent. So what we do instead is encourage tenants to take a stronger posture. Communicate with your landlord in writing. Request the repairs in writing and be really specific in your written request. You should take pictures, and you can even call city inspectors if your landlord isn't making repairs. You can contact the local code enforcement agency and ask them to come out, do an inspection and they can actually issue a notice to your landlord. If your landlord continues to refuse to make repairs you can take legal action against them and sue them in either small claims court or superior court depending on the extent of the damage."

Gordon adds if there are a lot of people in the building experiencing the same problem you should ban together.

Watch Gordon's interview in the video box above. 
 

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