Chapter 2. Hiring of Real Property - California Civil Code Section 1942.4

1942.4.  (a) A landlord of a dwelling may not demand rent, collect
rent, issue a notice of a rent increase, or issue a three-day notice
to pay rent or quit pursuant to subdivision (2) of Section 1161 of
the Code of Civil Procedure, if all of the following conditions exist
prior to the landlord's demand or notice:
   (1) The dwelling substantially lacks any of the affirmative
standard characteristics listed in Section 1941.1 or violates Section
17920.10 of the Health and Safety Code, or is deemed and declared
substandard as set forth in Section 17920.3 of the Health and Safety
Code because conditions listed in that section exist to an extent
that endangers the life, limb, health, property, safety, or welfare
of the public or the occupants of the dwelling.
   (2) A public officer or employee who is responsible for the
enforcement of any housing law, after inspecting the premises, has
notified the landlord or the landlord's agent in writing of his or
her obligations to abate the nuisance or repair the substandard
   (3) The conditions have existed and have not been abated 35 days
beyond the date of service of the notice specified in paragraph (2)
and the delay is without good cause. For purposes of this
subdivision, service shall be complete at the time of deposit in the
United States mail.
   (4) The conditions were not caused by an act or omission of the
tenant or lessee in violation of Section 1929 or 1941.2.
   (b) (1) A landlord who violates this section is liable to the
tenant or lessee for the actual damages sustained by the tenant or
lessee and special damages of not less than one hundred dollars
($100) and not more than five thousand dollars ($5,000).
   (2) The prevailing party shall be entitled to recovery of
reasonable attorney's fees and costs of the suit in an amount fixed
by the court.
   (c) Any court that awards damages under this section may also
order the landlord to abate any nuisance at the rental dwelling and
to repair any substandard conditions of the rental dwelling, as
defined in Section 1941.1, which significantly or materially affect
the health or safety of the occupants of the rental dwelling and are
uncorrected. If the court orders repairs or corrections, or both, the
court's jurisdiction continues over the matter for the purpose of
ensuring compliance.
   (d) The tenant or lessee shall be under no obligation to undertake
any other remedy prior to exercising his or her rights under this
   (e) Any action under this section may be maintained in small
claims court if the claim does not exceed the jurisdictional limit of
that court.
   (f) The remedy provided by this section may be utilized in
addition to any other remedy provided by this chapter, the rental
agreement, lease, or other applicable statutory or common law.
Nothing in this section shall require any landlord to comply with
this section if he or she pursues his or her rights pursuant to
Chapter 12.75 (commencing with Section 7060) of Division 7 of Title 1
of the Government Code.
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Last modified: February 16, 2015