Doing a seismic retrofit, can tenants file for loss of service?

1 Reply

I own a duplex in Oakland and I want to do a seismic retrofit which will involve disturbing two rooms (opening up drywall in two rooms, installing shear wall and anchor bolts). Lets assume worst case scenario that the tenants cannot live in their room for 2 weeks while repairs are being done. Can the tenants of the two rooms file for loss of service or something much worst such as sue me? 

Thanks in advance for the help!

Tenants can sue you for anything. I could sue you right now for improper grammar. That doesn't mean you should have to worry about it or change the way you operate.

You say, "tenants of two rooms" so it sounds like you are renting individual rooms to each person. In that case, you are taking away their living space and should compensate them.

If it were me, I would wait until the rooms are vacant and then do the work. If I couldn't wait, I would kindly explain to them that the retrofit is necessary and try to coordinate them living somewhere else. Maybe they're fine with sleeping on the couch for a few days or staying at a friend's house. If this is a college situation, you could try to negotiate doing it during spring break and offer to pay $400 each towards a ticket to Cancun.

Be creative, be kind, be honest, and stop worrying about people suing you.

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