Tenants' Rights Project

When tenants' complaints go unanswered, the Tenants' Rights Project (TRP) is here to help in the fight for decent housing. The TRP educates tenants about their rights and helps them to:

  • Identify defects, including:

    - Plumbing and other leaks which cause mold and deterioration
    - Infestations of pests or vermin (For information on how to fight infestations, click here.)

    To identify what type of infestation you have, take an intact sample of the pest to the County of San Diego, Department of Environmental Health at 5570 Overland Avenue, San Diego, CA 92123. They are open Monday through Friday, from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and can be reached at (858) 694-2888. The service is free. [TIP: You can use tape to collect microscopic insects by wrapping it around your fingers, sticky side out, and catching the bugs when you feel a bite or an itch. You may not be able to see anything on the tape but the County has high-powered microscopes so they can see if you caught something and tell you what it is.]

  • Write to landlords to demand repairs

  • Report remaining defects to the City (http://www.sandiego.gov/ced/report/investigation.shtml)

    *If you have one or more children under six (6) years of age who live with you or frequently visit your home, and need help with lead abatement you may contact the San Diego Healthy Homes Program . For more information, click here.

  • Follow up to ensure adequate repairs are made

  • Safeguard tenants' rights

    You have rights.

    Tenants are entitled to at least 24 hour's written notice before the landlord or an agent enters the unit, including for inspections and repairs. The notice must include the date, approximate time and purpose of the entry. Entry may only be made during normal business hours. Civil Code Section 1954.

    Before a unit is fumigated, a licensed pest control company must give written notice that identifies the chemicals to be used, advises how to prepare the unit, how long to stay away, and who to call if you have reactions after returning home. Business and Professions Code Section 8538.

    If you complain about substandard conditions, which were not caused by you or a guest, and they are not repaired within a reasonable time (no more than 30 days) then for 180 days from the date of your most recent complaint, a code enforcement inspection, or other protected activity, your landlord cannot retaliate against you by:
    - increasing rent,
    - decreasing services,
    - causing you to move out involuntarily,
    - bringing an action to recover possession, or
    - threatening to do any of these things.
    A notice served within this time period must state the good cause upon which the landlord relies in good faith. Civil Code Section 1942.5.

    If you are a resident of the City of San Diego and have lived in your unit for more than 2 years, you cannot be evicted without good cause. The good cause must be stated in the notice. Click here for more information.

    If you have lived in your unit for more than 1 year, you are entitled to a 60-day notice to terminate your tenancy, instead of a 30-day notice. Civil Code Section 1946.1(b).

    You can take action to protect your rights. Click on the following links to learn more:

    How to Get Your Landlord To Make Repairs
    English, Spanish

    Tips for Getting Your Full Security Deposit Back
    English, Spanish

    What You Should Know About Tenants and Foreclosures
    English, Spanish

    For information about our services, click here:
    English, Spanish

    If you live in the City of San Diego and want to work with others in your complex, neighborhood or community to fight for decent housing, you may complete and submit an Application [English, Spanish]. For information about our income guidelines, click here. A group of tenants is eligible if the majority of its members are eligible.

    If you would like the TRP to address your group about tenants' right, contact us.

    We monitor code enforcement housing cases in the City, and advocate for confidential, timely and comprehensive code enforcement. If you would like to help ensure decent housing for all, please join us.