Unpermitted and Illegal Units
Unpermitted or illegal units are living areas that do not have the required Certificate of Occupancy, which is a formal document that is issued by the Office of Building and Safety which certifies that a residential building has been inspected and complies with all state and local building codes and is safe to live in.
Illegal or unpermitted units typically contain many habitability issues and are often rented to elderly, disabled, or low-income tenants.
Oftentimes the following units are illegal or unpermitted units: backyard cottages, a garage apartment, a granny unit, a basement, an attic, or an added room. Other signs that a unit is illegal are that the residence does not have its own address, it does not have its own gas and electric meter, does not have its own mailbox, the electrical outlets are ungrounded, or some of the rooms lack windows or doors.
A Certificate of Occupancy is a matter of public record, and a tenant can contact their local Assessor-Recorder office to confirm if there is one recorded for their unit.
When a unit does not have a Certificate of Occupancy, the landlord is not entitled to collect or request rent from the tenant. Also, because the unit has likely not been inspected, or has not met the specific guidelines for a safe dwelling, the unit may have other uninhabitable, and sometimes unsafe conditions present.
The experienced attorneys at the Harouni Law Group can help you in these situations. With the help of our attorneys we can determine if your living area is unpermitted or illegal and can help you receive the financial compensation you deserve for living in an unpermitted dwelling.