Landlord-Tenant Lawyer for Slumlord Cases in California

Los Angeles Landlord-Tenant Lawyers Handling Mass Slumlord & Lead Paint Claims

Representing individual residents and class members in California

Landlords have a responsibility to uphold and maintain safe and healthy living conditions in an apartment, condo, townhouse, multifamily home, duplex or residential hotel. Therefore, as a tenant, you have a right to what the law defines as “habitable” and “tenantable” living conditions. These include proper hot and cold running water, adequate heat source, access to sanitary and safe bathrooms, maintenance, proper trash collection methods, rodent and insect abatement and prevention, and proper entrances and exits.

The Los Angeles landlord/tenant attorneys of McNicholas & McNicholas, LLP have a special emphasis on protecting the rights of tenants or homeowners who have suffered significant loss or injury from exposure to lead, smoke, or ash, and/or have been forced to live with dangerous conditions on the property such as structural defects, lack of hot water, lack of heat, and rodent and pest infestations. We have secured millions of dollars on behalf of our clients, including:

  • $10 million for a young boy who suffered speech issues from lead paint exposure
  • $8 million for multiple tenants for lack of habitability and nuisance, as well as mold-related injuries
  • $3.5 million for multiple tenants whose units were destroyed by smoke and fire
  • $1.25 million for multiple tenants for breach of the implied covenant of habitability and nuisance
  • $1 million for a tenant who sustained burn injuries because of overheated water

Our firm has significant experience handling multi-unit claims. Contact us in Los Angeles to learn more about what we can do.


Are you experiencing more than one of these pervasive problems?

To bring a successful landlord/tenant claim against a slumlord, you must prove that the issues affecting you are serious and pervasive. If the sanitation company fails to pick up your garbage for one week, it is not considered a pervasive problem. If garbage is piling up in the hallways, around the entrances and exits, and around the complex’s dumpsters, and has been doing so for weeks or even months, and that causes rodent and pest infestations, then the problem is pervasive and could lead to a landlord/tenant claim.

Some of the more pervasive issues facing tenants can include:

  • Lead exposure from paint or pipes.
  • Lack of potable water including adequate water supply and waste management connections.
  • Accumulation of animal or human waste product with no adequate source of removal.
  • Infestation of pests like termites, cockroaches, rats and other unwanted inhabitants.
  • Presence of black or toxic mold.
  • Structurally unsound exterior surface including leaking/damaged roofs, faulty stairs and railings, crumbling walls, and deteriorating flooring.
  • Hazardous electrical connections and unsafe gas and other heat source storage.
  • Unregulated water temperatures, dangerous liquids and combustible gases.

You may also have a claim if you can prove that the building manager’s negligence has led to water damage, a fire, a gas leak, or other problem which affects multiple units.

Lead exposure and poisoning in California

The Flint water crisis reminded Americans of the persistent and pervasive dangers of lead exposure. Despite federal regulations and Acts designed to eliminate exposure to lead in water and dust, there are significant levels of lead in California’s water. reports:

  • Approximately 2 million children in California are not being tested for lead exposure.
  • About 1.4% of all tested children have elevated blood lead levels
  • More than 5% of children aged 6 or younger, who live in rural counties, have high blood lead levels.

Lead poisoning affects both child and adults. It can lead to developmental delays, reproductive concerns, joint paint, seizures, and more. Lead can build up in the blood, which means constant exposure to lead in dust, water, paint, or soil will increase the risk of injury or illness over time.

I think my landlord is a “slumlord;” how can I prove it?

A slumlord often overcharges for a property in a poor neighborhood that is in disrepair or is deteriorating, and allows the health and safety of his or her tenants to be compromised by tolerating hazardous conditions to occur.

If you believe that your landlord or building manager’s actions have breached the covenant of implied habitability or have put you and/or your neighbors in physical danger, you should contact and attorney about your concerns. You can also collect evidence of his/her neglect of your building and its tenants. This evidence can include:

  • Photos and/or videos of structural damage, such as exposed wiring, broken steps, accumulation of refuse, etc.
  • Copies of all text messages, emails, voicemails, and/or letters that you have sent to management, requesting repairs or changes.
  • Receipts for any damages you have paid to have fixed.
  • A copy of your lease.
  • A copy of your proof of residency letter.
  • Copy of a housing inspection report, if applicable.
  • Proof of retaliatory measures taken after you have filed a complaint, such as a rent increase, a refusal to renew a lease, a removal of amenities, etc.

In California, it is unlawful for landlords to retaliate against tenants who have filed complaints against them, or who are in a dispute. At the forefront of representing tenants living in properties protected by the Los Angeles Rental Stabilization Ordinance (LARSO), we have the experience and resources to assist you in your claim.

Why choose McNicholas & McNicholas, LLP?

The Los Angeles landlord-tenant attorneys of McNicholas & McNicholas, LLP have extensive experience handling multimillion-dollar claims to get our clients the compensation they deserve, regardless of income, ability to pay or financial circumstances. We are committed to ethical practices using our extensive resources and a team of experts to guide you through the complexities of slumlord litigation. Some tenants suffer unnecessary illness, injuries and even death from poorly managed rental units. We have experience with different types of serious injuries such as:

As one of the premier personal injury law firms in Southern California, we have the experience and reputation for litigating complicated cases on behalf of individuals and classes, to get our clients the results they want and deserve.

Call our LA landlord/tenant attorneys today for the help you need

At McNicholas & McNicholas, LLP, our goal is to hold slumlords accountable and ensure that rental units are kept habitable, safe and healthy for individuals, children, families, and elders. If you or a loved one is injured or suffers poor health due to deplorable living conditions in California, contact our office or call 310.474.1582 for a free consultation.

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