What is my recourse if my landlord is not maintaining the rental property securely and my car was stolen as a result?

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What is my recourse if my landlord is not maintaining the rental property securely and my car was stolen as a result?

I have been asking landlord to fix the security gate for a while. Every time I call, he sends a help, but the gate will break again in few days. Several days ago, my car got stolen from the property. My landlord is stating that he is not responsible even though the gate was broken. I am certain that there is a clause in the contract which protects him from me suing him, but shouldn’t he be liable for not properly maintaining the property? He also advertise that the property is fenced and gated.

Asked on August 16, 2011 California

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

The California Department of Consumer Affairs publishes an entire booklet on the rights and responsibilities of landlords and  tenants.  I will copy the link for you here once I finish.  From what I can get from your question it appears that the landlord is indeed responsive to your requests when you call.  Why the gate continues to break I think needs to be addressed.  The part here that bothers me most is the clause in the contract that you state says you can not sue him.  That needs to be looked at asap. I think that clause may be against public policy and void.  Now, the ad is different from what is in the lease so if the lease says fenced and gated and it is not kept that way you have a gripe.  Seek help.  Someone needs to read the lease.  Good luck.

  http://www.dca.ca.gov/publications/landlordbook/problems.shtml


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