In the State of California, a landlord is required to provide certain safety and security mechanisms for tenants in their building. This article will explain to you some of the important aspects of building and safety standards, with regards to security, to help you maintain a safe and healthy lifestyle for you and your family. Thus, in the very least, all rental units must contain the following basic security precautions.
- Install deadbolts on apartment entry doors: All landlords are required to install and maintain an operable deadbolt lock on each main swinging entry door of a dwelling unit. An exception is made for existing doors which cannot be equipped with deadbolt locks, where landlords may satisfy the requirements under the law if the door is equipped with a metal strap affixed horizontally across the midsection of the door with a deadbolt which extends 13/16 of an inch in length beyond the strike edge of the door and protrudes into the doorjamb.
- Install operable window security: Additionally, landlords are required to install and maintain operable window security or locking devices for windows that are designed to be opened. The exceptions for this requirement include louvered windows, casement windows, and all windows more than 12 feet vertically or six feet horizontally from the ground, a roof, or any other platform.
- Locking mechanisms must comply with fire and safety codes:
Finally, landlords must install locking mechanisms that comply with applicable fire and safety codes on the exterior doors that provide exit or entry to common areas with access to dwelling units in multifamily developments. The installation of a door or gate where none existed on January 1, 1998, is not required, though.
Since 1995, attorney Eric Castelblanco has been dedicated to helping tenants understand and assert their rights. For more information about your rights, call 213-388-6004 or visit their website atwww.castelblanco.com. The information presented in this column is for educational purposes only. You should seek the advice of an attorney regarding your individual situation.