Substandard Housing

A healthy home is a structure that is free from the following substandard housing conditions, as defined in the California Health & Safety Code (Section 17920.3):

  • Moisture and mold that can cause or worsen illness or damage personal belongings;
  • Pests that can cause illness or are a nuisance;
  • Unsafe conditions and poorly maintained plumbing, heating and other systems that can lead to injuries and other problems;
  • Surfacing sewage that allows exposure to pathogens;
  • Lack of hot and cold running water that allows adequate cleaning;
  • Unventilated areas that can increase indoor pollutant levels.

It is the owner or landlord's responsibility to fix substandard housing conditions. Renters whose homes are in disrepair should contact their landlords in writing. If your landlord fails to provide the repairs within a reasonable time frame, California law allows you to repair the damage yourself and deduct the costs from your rent.