Free workshop educates tenants on their rights, legal options

IECN photos courtesyVanessa Capuchino/Iradia Gonzales: Cracked walls, roach infestation and faulty plumbing are some of the issues tenants endure, unaware that they have a legal right to healthy and habitable living conditions.
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Rats, roaches and bad plumbing are examples of substandard living conditions that tenants too often mistake as acceptable when in fact there is legal recourse against landlord negligence. This misconception prompted the Legal Aid Society of San Bernardino (LASSB) to host a series of free bilingual Tenant’s Rights Workshops to educate the community about their rights to safe and adequate housing.

“The goal of our housing project is to increase the number of affordable housing units which are habitable in San Bernardino County,” LASSB Executive Director Josefina Valdez said. “This project is predicated on the concept that knowledge is power, thus, our tenant’s rights workshops are designed to educate tenants about their rights and legal options.”

Valdez noted some clients who had been served eviction notices discovered too late that they could have sought legal action against their landlord for filthy and unsafe living conditions.

“LASSB is striving to safeguard against future urban blights by arming our current and future generations of tenants with the knowledge needed to recognize and maintain healthy and habitable living conditions,” Valdez indicated.

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According to Valdez one quarter of the housing issues LASSB handles involve unfit living conditions – 800 new unduplicated clients in a given year.

The next free workshop will be held on Thursday, Dec. 13 at 201 N. E Street, 2nd Floor, San Bernardino, from 4 – 5 p.m. For more information, please call (909) 340-4483. No children permitted.

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