Photo 1: A tenement house in Harlem, Gordon Parks, Library of Congress, LC-DIG-fsa-8d28595, 1943.

Photo 2: Brownstone apartment, Manhattan's Upper East Side, Carol M. Highsmith, Library of Congress, LC-DIG-highsm-13806, between 1980 and 2006.

Service Details

Landlord / Tenant / Habitability

The Manning & Kass Landlord / Tenant / Habitability Team, led by experienced litigator Shari L. Rosenthal, has significant landlord-tenant experience, including habitability and wrongful eviction defense; commercial and residential unlawful detainer proceedings; and matters involving the Rent Stabilization Ordinance. Ms. Rosenthal and her team have handled numerous high profile matters involving significant loss.

Our experience extends to representing landlords and property management companies relating to all aspects of building safety and health code issues in rental properties.

The "new" tort of Habitability is premised upon California law, which provides that every lease for the rental of residential property implies an obligation on the landlord's part to provide safe and functional plumbing and heating, water and sewage services, electricity, ventilation, weatherproofing, locks, safe floors and stairways, adequate garbage containers, and to keep the building and grounds free of garbage, unsanitary conditions, and vermin.

The existence of any one or more of these conditions left unabated could give rise to a claim by the tenant for breach of the Warranty of Habitability and statutorily imposed violations. A landlord's liability can be significant, because California statutes allow for the imposition of attorney’s fees and penalties for every violation.

Given the magnitude of risk, based upon the number of plaintiffs and/or class action status, we have developed a streamlined approach to discovery, which often times involves the informal exchange of information and key depositions. This cost-effective strategy leads to the earliest possible resolution of these claims and greater client satisfaction.