Divorce and Rental Property Warranty Obligations

At the Orange County Law Office of David P Schwarz we have litigated many divorce cases where the parties have dealt with tenancy issues. Please contact our office at 949 735 9266 or via the web. We can also be reached by email at dpslaw66@gmail.com.

A divorce lawyer will make sure that during the divorce proceedings rental property held by the parties is protected. In the landmark case of Green v. Superior Court, the California Supreme Court held that a “warranty of habitability” is implied in all residential rental agreements.

The implied warranty “recognizes ‘the realities of the modern urban landlord-tenant relationship’ and imposes upon the landlord the obligation to maintain leased dwellings in a habitable condition throughout the term of the lease.”

A divorce lawyer will assure the parties that the obligations of habitability are equally shared by the landlord and the tenants during the divorce. The implied warranty of habitability is a corollary to a residential landlord's statutory obligation to put the premises “into a condition fit for such occupation, and repair all subsequent dilapidations thereof, which render it untenantable.”

Residential landlords cannot avoid the warranty of habitability by “contracting around it” in their leases. A tenant's right to “habitable” premises is nonwaivable.

It is the tenant's obligation, however, to repair “deteriorations” and “injuries” to the premises caused by his or her own “want of ordinary care.”

At the Orange County Law Office of David P Schwarz we will protect our divorce clients who own property units such as condominiums. Unless otherwise provided in the common interest development's declaration, the homeowners association has a statutory duty to repair, replace and maintain the common area and to repair and replace the exclusive use common area. association occupies “particularly elevated position of trust because of the many interests it monitors and services it performs.”

A divorce lawyer will also protect a client from any liability to a home owners association issue that might arise regarding liability to a common area. There is no public policy is implicated in a CC&R exculpatory clause that relieves a nonnegligent condominium homeowners association of contractual liability to pay for property damage to an individual homeowner's unit caused by a common area dilapidation or defect.

Unlike landlords, who are in business to make a profit and who contract with their tenants from a position of superior bargaining strength, a homeowners association is a nonprofit entity comprised of all condo owners who are in a parity of bargaining position. Moreover, condo owners (unlike tenants) inevitably share in the benefit of the association's risk reduction because such an exculpatory clause narrows the potential for added assessments to pay for improvements, insurance premiums and uninsured liability judgments.

At the Orange County Law Office of David P Schwarz we will always protect our client owners of property from any adverse claims made by tenants. Please contact our office at 949 735 9266 or via the web. We can also be reached by emails at dpslaw66@gmail.com.

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