Repair & Deduct
A common misconception that we hear all the time comes from the idea that a tenant has a right to "repair and deduct." This misconception, likely heard from a friend or read in a book, is the belief that a tenant has an absolute right to withhold rent because his or her landlord refused to make repairs. This idea is completely untrue. Like most things in life, the actual situation is more complicated, and it is advisable to consult with an attorney prior to committing to a particular course of action.
Rent Control Protection
Many Los Angeles tenants living in rent-controlled apartments believe that the City of Los Angeles or some other governmental agency will automatically protect them before they are evicted. Unfortunately, nothing could be further from the truth. All evictions are prosecuted in the "unlawful detainer" courts. We suggest getting an attorney if you have been served with an eviction notice, or believe that you are about to be served one.
What If I Don't Have A Written Lease?
If you live in a rent-controlled apartment, the truth is that you don't need one. In a rent control situation, there are many regulations that protect an occupant from a summary eviction, despite the absence of a written agreement.
Don't Be Afraid
Never be afraid that your rights are limited because you do not have a lease or because you lost your paperwork. Ironically, in rent control, it is preferable to not have a written agreement: without an agreement, the landlord cannot argue in court that a particular obligation is being violated by the tenant. Whether you are a tenant, a subtenant or a guest, most likely the law will treat you no differently than a full-fledged tenant.