Habitability Checklist

This list is a guide to help you identify all of the things that can affect habitability, based upon Civil Code ß1941.1 and Health and Safety Code ß17920.3. Due to the variety of circumstances which can arise in a given rental situation, all of the possible conditions canít be listed, so you should use your own judgment to determine whether a particular condition you are concerned with is like one of those listed here. Plainly stated, just because itís not on this list doesnít mean it isnít an uninhabitable one, particularly if it adversely affects living there.

Electrical
Wall switches [all work?]
Light fixtures [all work?]
Exterior lights work
For your exterior doors
For stairways
For garage/parking
For common walkways
Electrical outlets [all work?]
Power Stable [or goes out?]
No shocks from any part
GFI [have reset button] plugs
Around kitchen sink
Around bathroom sink
Fans all working
ceiling [eg, bathroom]
heater [eg, bathroom]
above stove
Switch/plug Cover plates
None missing or broken
Smoke alarms work properly
Doorbell works well
Security system works well

Heating/Air Conditioning
Gas/Electric room heater
Exists and works
Thermostat works properly
Provides adequate heat
Pilot stays lit
Does not produce odor
Other heaters
heat lamps [eg, bathroom]
wall heaters [electrical]
Air Conditioning
Exists and works
Adequately cools all rooms
Makes a loud noise
Has a working thermostat
Vents have metal adjusters
Air filters keep out dust
No broken ducts
No asbestos in ducts

Appliances
Refrigerator works properly
Stove/Oven works properly
Washer/Dryer work properly
Garbage disposal works well
Trash compactor works well
Dishwasher works well

Plumbing
Hot and cold water supplied
Hot water heated enough
Adequate water pressure
For both hot and cold?
To all faucets?
To washing machines?
No bursts
Clean water
Free of rust, discoloration
Odor free
No bad taste [eg, sewage]
Adequate drainage
No backups into sink/tub
Fast drainage
in all sinks
in shower/bathtub
Garbage disposal flows
Bathtub drain closes fully
Sink stoppers close fully
Toilets
fill and flush quickly
No backups, overflows
Flushing mechanism works
Donít leak at all
From water line to wall
At the base on the floor
From cracks or joints
Faucets on sinks and tub
firmly placed and unbroken
work easily on and off
Completely stop [no drips]
Leaky plumbing
Faucets donít leak
when used [from stem]
Onto or under counter
Drains donít leak under sink
Dishwasher doesnít leak
Clothes washer doesnít leak
Hoses -hot and cold intake
Drainage hose
Machine itself
Broken pipes in ceiling, wall
Sewer/Septic system
Works properly
Adequately maintained
No surface discharge, leaks
No odor from any part
No discharge under building
Kitchen sink counter tiled,
nonporous and cleanable
Windows
Adequate number of windows
No cracks or broken glass
No gaps in panes or windows
Weather sealing [no drafts]
Windows that open
Open easily and donít stick
Stay open as needed
Close completely and latch
Ground floor windows lock
All have window screens
No holes or tears
Frames unbent, unbroken

Doors
Solid in frame [not loose]
All open without sticking
All easily close securely
All have working knobs
All have working latches
Exterior doors have deadbolts
Weather stripping [no drafts]
Threshhold is solid, unbroken
No broken glass [exterior]
Sliding glass doors
Slide without effort
Close and lock securely
No tears or holes in screen
Screen door secure in track
Screen door latches closed
No cracks or broken glass
Screen doors on Exteriors
Properly mounted
Closing device works well
Frame unbent and unbroken
No holes or tears in screen
Opens and closes properly

Flooring
No uncovered holes in floors
No floor separating from wall
No weak or loose floorboards
No buckling or uneven floors
No loose/chipped/missing tiles
No loose/torn/missing linoleum
No torn or loose carpeting
No nails sticking up
No exposed carpet tack strips
Carpeting not mildewed, moldy,
smelling of animal defecation
or urine, or otherwise unsanitary
Structure
Ceilings all secure
No holes, flaking, looseness
No leaks, stains from leaks
Not collapsing or soft
Walls all secure
No holes or gaps to outside
No weak, damp or soft spots
Protected surface near water
Shower area waterproofed
Adequate heat insulation
Paint is not flaking or peeling, and
is not lead-based
Stairways and rails secure
Earthquake retrofitting done
No roof leaks from rain
Weather-sealed walls [ie, dry]
Sealed underground walls
Unflooded basement areas

Common Areas
Working security gates, etc.
Clean swimming pool
Adequate exterior lighting
Working intercom system
Walkways with trip hazards
Working, lit laundry room
Adequate trash bins/pickup
No trash/debris/junk

Nuisances
Health: Infestations of mice, rats,  cockroaches, ants, spiders, termites, bees, wasps, hornets, flies, pigeons, mosquitos, etc.
Mold, mildew, mushrooms in any interior part of the unit
Unsanitary water, sewage
Noxious fumes from sewer, chemicals, paints, neighbors
Crime: "Drug trafficking" and "gang activity" are nuisances
Assault, rape, molestation robbery, burglary, prostitution, etc. are arguably nuisances
Noise: from construction, neighbors, roof-mounted AC system is arguably a nuisance
Driveway blocking: is a nuisance [any ingress/egress]