In either case, California offers free legal advice. If you go down to the county courthouse there is a legal center that can help answer these questions for you. If the home is 'red tagged' as being uninhabitable, and not by your actions, you may be eligible for the property owner to pay for your housing somewhere else until the home is corrected. ....but all of that is dependent on lots of factors.
It's best to talk to an attorney. If you don't want to go down to the county courthouse, sign up for Legal Shield. Those are the two most affordable legal options that you have.
At each county courthouse there are legal aid offices to assist tenants for legal issues, or you can call an attorney. California is very sensitive to tenant issues. You can call and have the home deemed substandard which will red tag the property, causing fines to the landlord and requiring them to provide you alternative housing...provided you are paying rent. There are so many permutations to what you are describing.
If the pool is empty, why don't you fill it? If there are live wires, why not call an electrician to fix them and charge the landlord or deduct it from rent? We have not had many hot days recently but ithe home is required to provide heating ...I'm not sure about AC. Legal aid can better advise you, but I'd suggest you take some responsibility for fixing these items or moving out. Why would you stay in a home like this?
I would suggest you cut the power to the live wires until this is safety issue is corrected. Sounds very dangerous. Good luck.
Landlords have a responsibility to provide homes that are safe to live in. Tenants have an obligation to not abuse or destroy the landlords property while using it.
One "the repair and deduct remedy" where rent is used to correct problems that are less than or equal to one months rent.
Another is to the "abandonment remedy". This may be used if the repairs were more than one monthâ€™s rent. Here the tenant can legally vacate the property.
Yet another is the "rent withholding remedy". This is what you are describing. Here a tenant simply withholds rent until repairs are made.
There are conditions for what is considered uninhabitable and each remedy has its own difficulties and conditions to meet. Exposed wiring is specifically called out in the California Tenants Book.
I attached a shortcut to this publication below. I suggest any tenant or landlord to read and understand this information. I of course will advice you to speaking with a lawyer before taking action. Thatâ€™s what we do on this forum!
Laws about such conditions do vary from state to state. I would check with a lawyer to get up-to-date info about the rules in California. I also would look in the Yellow Pages for local renter's rights groups that can help. A third option would be to go to the city to make sure the appropriate local office is aware of the situation.