If you live in a rental property in California, your landlord is beholden to certain responsibilities so that your dwelling remains safe and habitable. It's important for you as a tenant to be aware of these responsibilities in the event discrepancies occur, while also knowing what you are ultimately responsible for according to the law.
The California Department of Consumer Affairs provides a comprehensive listing of mandatory duties that your landlord must perform. Fire prevention is extremely important in this respect; accordingly property owners must ensure that apartment buildings have easily accessible fire exits, and communal areas in rental properties (such as spaces used for storage or basements) should be cleared of any items deemed a fire hazard.
Your rental property must also contain certain fixtures to be considered habitable, including locking mechanisms to keep your dwelling safe from intruders. Working bathroom fixtures are also required, and plumbing systems must be operational. You must use these fixtures properly, and report any issues to your landlord in a timely manner. Additionally, tenants are not permitted to remove or alter their homes in any way.
Sanitation is another essential concern. This entails clearing out any garbage or refuse accumulating on a rental property both inside and out, along with providing access to trash cans. Rodent or insect infestations must also be addressed. Along with your landlord, you have a responsibility to keep a property clean and safe. Failure to do so can result in eviction and will deprive you the opportunity to request your landlord makes the necessary repairs.