If we have been renting a mobile home that is not a legally permitted, are we entitled toany refund of our rent?

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If we have been renting a mobile home that is not a legally permitted, are we entitled toany refund of our rent?

I rented a mobile home on 11 acres 6 years ago. Just recently, due to having to contact Code Enforcement as our well has collapsed and we have had no water for 10 months now. We found out that there was a caretaker’s permit on this property that expired back in 1988. The property was sold to the current owner and she lived in the mobile home for 7 years prior to renting it to us. Code Enforcement informed us that the permit expired and the home is not supposed to be here.

Asked on August 10, 2010 under Real Estate Law, California

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Landlord Tenant law is so detail oriented and specific to the area in which you live it would being your best interest to consult with ad attorney in your area on the subject.  But I can say that generally, is that if a place is illegal the landlord is not entitled to collect or request ANY rent from a party.  The law does not allow a party to benefit from their illegal activity and renting a home that is not permitted to exist on the land is benefiting as I see it.  As for being able to recoup the money for the last 7 years: maybe, maybe not.  That again all depends on the law in your particular area of California.Your best bet is to seek help from an  ttorney and the courts in your area.  Be aware that if you decide to challenge the issue of illegality you may be out of a home. 


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