Before you sign a lease or rental agreement and move into an apartment or house in San Francisco, you have the legal right to know certain things about the building and the space that you are about to inhabit. In fact, landlords are required to disclose a number of things about a property to a tenant before a tenant signs a rental agreement, as well as in the event that the property is sold. If you believe that your right to disclosure has been breached, you should contact an experienced tenants’ rights attorney for a free consultation. Consider the following regarding what landlords are required to disclose to tenants per federal, state, and local laws:
Presence of Lead Paint
It is federal law that a landlord must disclose to a tenant whether or not a unit that they are about to rent has any lead-based paint or lead-based paint hazards. This is based on the Federal Lead-Based Paint Hazard Reduction Act of 1982, and pertains to all properties built prior to 1978. The landlord must give you a pamphlet informing you of the hazards of lead-based paint, provide you with information regarding the location of lead-based paint, and attach a lead-warning statement to your rental agreement.
A landlord is required to disclose to a potential tenant any hazardous conditions, including mold, so long as the unit being rented is within a residential building with four units or more. Further, California Health and Safety Code specifically requires the disclosure of mold that “exceeds the permissible exposure limits to molds…”
Information Regarding Payment of Utilities
It is not uncommon for a building in San Francisco to have a single gas or electric meter, meaning that each tenant’s gas and electricity use is not individually monitored. When this is the case, California Civil Code makes it very clear that the landlord is to disclose this to the tenant, and ensure that the tenant’s responsibility for these services and how payments will be made is disclosed and agreed to in writing.
Disclosure of Tenants’ Rights Before and After Sale of Property
When a residential building is sold, a tenant may have questions about what will happen next, and whether or not they will be evicted. San Francisco has unique laws regarding tenants’ rights before and after the sale of a property, including that the seller and buyer must disclose to tenants, in writing, that they cannot have their rent increased, be evicted, or have the terms of their lease agreement changed as a result of the sale.
Working with an Experienced Tenants’ Rights Attorney in San Francisco
If you have questions about your rights as a tenant, specifically as they pertain to disclosure rights, we encourage you to contact our experienced San Francisco tenants’ rights attorneys at the law offices of Bracamontes & Vlasak, P.C. We are committed to protecting your rights, and have experience in disclosure cases. To learn more, request a free initial consultation with one of our attorneys by sending us a message online, or calling us directly at 415-835-6777.