Minimum Standards of Habitability

The California Civil Code provides a list of the minimum standards of habitability that landlords must provide their tenants. Keep in mind that this is a bare-bones minimum baseline, since other areas of state and local law provide additional requirements. Here is a breakdown of the Civil Code requirements:

  • Effectively water proofed roof and walls;
  • Unbroken windows and exterior doors;
  • Adequate plumbing and gas;
  • Adequate hot-and-cold water system;
  • Adequate heating;
  • Sanitary premises;
  • Adequate garbage disposal;
  • Safe floors, stairs, and railings;
  • A lockable mailbox for each unit;
  • Dead bolted entry doors;
  • Lockable windows; and
  • Lockable doors leading to common areas of multifamily homes.

Again, this list represents a bare-bones minimum set of requirements, and the Code and corresponding case law elaborates considerably upon these requirements. If you are uncertain of your legal obligations, please contact me for a consultation.