Landlord Shutting off Water for a Month!?

My in-law live in an apartment building in Long Beach, CA. Today they received a notice that due to repairs/upgrades that the plumbing needs, water will be shut off for 4 weeks. No mention of compensation or relocation.

Is this legal? They are freaking out. I really don’t have a clue what to do or who to contact. I mean, imagine no running water for a month?

Any thoughts on this would be helpful.


No legal advice here, just the regular old kind:

(1) Contact the apartment manager and figure out what the hell is going on. Ask specific questions like, “how are we being compensated for this?”

(2) If that contact doesn’t resolve all the issues, contact a tenant’s lawyer. (In fact, if it was me, I might do this anyway — ETA: just to know what sort of legal ground I’m standing on). That is, a lawyer who specializes in representing tenants. California has some pretty tenant-friendly laws, so he/she should be able to give some good practical legal counsel.

Good luck.

Long Beach, CA Prosecutor’s office, code enforcement division
(562) 570-6755
main office: (562) 570-5600

I would VERY surprised if this was not a violation of a city code.

“Habitability” is the word that comes to mind here. The landlord is required to provide *livable *space when you rent a apartment. I would think that running water would be up on the top of the list as far as that’s concerned.

There’s no “think” about it. It’s a violation of California Civil Code 1941.1

Good luck getting anyone to take action, though. Our previous landlord knew exactly how to play the game – make it so it was SO uninhabitable that we were literally forced to move out – you know, the actual definition of “uninhabitable” – at which point both the County Health Department and the Prosecuting Attorney’s office wouldn’t do jack shit because we no longer had standing to bring a case, since we didn’t live there anymore. And this is after both entities had called his ass in for hearings on the matter while we did still live there, at which he thumbed his nose and no-showed, precisely because he knew they wouldn’t bother to pursue him as long as he could force us out. Pricks, every single one of them.

I’d be on the phone with the landlord to figure out what’s going on. Is it really going to be shut off 24/7 for 4 weeks, or just during certain parts of the day. Assuming it’s 24/7 I’d be one the phone with the housing authority pronto. After that I’d be talking to the other tenents to see what they are planning to do, a lawyer would be alot cheaper split amongs many other people.

Find out if he’s responsible for relocating you. I’m guessing he’s not. That’s why he’s giving you notice.

Exactly, I’m guessing that the water will be intermittently shut off during the period of 1 month. Like between 2 and 4 pm every working day for four weeks. That seems more reasonable. There’s no way that it would take a solid month for any type of plumbing repair, even if they ripped out every last pipe in the entire building.