Legal Question - Housing/Tenant

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by poppe, Jun 2, 2007.

  1. poppe macrumors 68020

    poppe

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2006
    Location:
    Woodland Hills
    #1
    I was wondering if anyone could help me with a question I have.

    My girlfriend lives in a extremely small apartment complex (10-12 units) and is having problems with some of the tenants. These tenants that keep giving her trouble have lived here for a good while now (long before she moved in), and now they are threatening eviction and have some leverage because they have lived here so long and are friends with the landlord.

    Their case: In the contract/lease agreement it states that a tenant can not have guests living with them unless the landlord is told at the start. Now I visit every other weekend (sometimes less) and stay for the weekend (4 days). Because we keep running in to problems with the other tenants they keep making threats (not directly but in ways so that it is only hinting at threats) that they will be telling the landlord that I am living with my girlfriend at this place, which is not true (I go to school about 2 hours away. She lives in Orange County, I live in North-West end of the Valley).

    What are our options? Do we have any legal sanctuary? My girlfriend told the landlord that I would be visiting on the weekends, but that was not put down in writing it was just a verbal agreement? How can we prove this/protect ourselves?

    ---------
    These people are crazy... The one tenant is passive aggressive in her attacks on my girlfriend. One example is that my girlfriend had a broken toilet, though we couldn't hear it, and she complained to my girlfriend. So we had the handyman come look at it, but found no problem with the toilet. So we waited a week and suddenly the Landlord himself barged over to her place and entered the apartment. He grumbled that he kept getting complaints that my girlfriend was having parties and people over the time and that was why the toilet was broken. He said he has eyes and ears through out the building and that is how he knows this.

    Now this is completely untrue. My girlfriend was so happy to have found this place because of its cost etc., and has tried anything and everything to make sure she did not slip up and get kicked out by these ticking time bombs.

    Sorry for it being so long.
     
  2. JNB macrumors 604

    JNB

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2004
    Location:
    In a Hell predominately of my own making
    #2
    Geez, what a no-win. Best thing I can think of? Move. It sucks, but I don't think this one sounds like a good enough fight on your g/f's part. She's totally right, but at the same time, what's it going to take to win this, and at what costs (monetarily, emotionally, etc)?

    In CA, though, there are a lot of good landlord/tenant resources for free, and a number of them will at least provide a review of the situation, place a phone call to the landlord.

    As far as the "extra tenant" issue (you), just make sure you've got nothing in the closets, no toothbrush, etc. left behind every time you leave -- make sure you are a guest. Don't give them any unneccessary ammunition.
     
  3. poppe thread starter macrumors 68020

    poppe

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2006
    Location:
    Woodland Hills
    #3
    Well the sad thing about the moving out is that she has rent for about 900 a month + utilities, plus a grand deposit, and I can't raise her student loan because her parents credit is too.. bad. We have looked before when they were hassling us earlier, but the cheapest we could find was a grand+ and still utilities.

    I have a cousin in who graduated from NYU and is a lawyer at some big firm there (handled the 9/11 investigation), but doubt he can do much more than give me good advice.

    All i've ever left here was a toothbrush. But how could they even prove that. What about groceries? Should I remove the groceries at the end of the weekend as well?

    Oh thanks for the advice by the way.
     
  4. itcheroni macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2005
    Location:
    CA
    #4
    My advice is to ignore the neighbors completely. There is nothing they can do. The landlord is the only one that can try to evict your girlfriend but it will be very hard to do. California is one of the best States in terms of tenant rights. For example, if your girlfriend stopped paying rent, it would take at least a year for your landlord to go through the eviction process and get her out of the building.

    I too would suggest moving at some point. Bad neighbors just aren't worth it.

    Check this out: http://www.dca.ca.gov/publications/landlordbook/index.shtml
     
  5. adroit macrumors 6502

    adroit

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2005
    Location:
    Victoria, BC
    #5
    I feel for you.... :(

    I was in a similar situation a year ago. I was in living in the basement suite and my boyfriend stayed over about one or two nights a week. We both lived in the same city and had our own places but my, at the time, landlord's mother-in-law was trying to claim that my boyfriend lived there as well. She said that the problem is that we're using more resources such as electricity and water from the shower by having him there. Well, he never ever had a shower there and I was at his house even more often than he was at mine. I just couldn't believe that they have the gut to say that to me since I was rarely even home. :mad:

    I've tried to talk nicely to them many times but that didn't improve the situation. So.....I moved out. It was the best decision ever.

    Some things are just not worth fighting for.

    Edit: If she is having some money trouble may be she should consider moving in with a friend. It's not an ideal situation but she might be better off than staying somewhere that she's not happy with.
     
  6. itcheroni macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2005
    Location:
    CA
    #6
    You know, after taking a look at that site, it's not as difficult to evict as I thought. Regardless of that, it will be very difficult for the landlord to evict your girlfriend. The fact that you have your own residence is enough proof. I wouldn't worry about being there often.

    By the way, what kind of lease does she have? Is it for one year, month to month, or at will?
     
  7. poppe thread starter macrumors 68020

    poppe

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2006
    Location:
    Woodland Hills
    #7
    Thanks a lot. I read that but couldn't find anything to in detail about my situation with the contract and everything.

    We wouldn't be to nervous if it wasn't for that contract...

    That sucks really bad... I'm sorry to hear that but glad you were able to move out and fix things.

    She has a 1 year lease.
     
  8. adroit macrumors 6502

    adroit

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2005
    Location:
    Victoria, BC
    #8
    May be it is possible to talk to your landlord about the lease.

    I too broke the lease contract, but I talked to the landlord and we both decided that it would be best for both of us if I move out. I got out of the lease without paying anything and I also got my full deposit back. May be your gf can talk to her landlord and come to a common conclusion. This would be much better than eviction because she will have some time to plan where she would go next. No one want to suddenly be homeless.

    But don't talk to the landlord about this until your gf feel like she know what she wants to do next.
     
  9. GoCubsGo macrumors Nehalem

    GoCubsGo

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2005
    #9
    You are well within your rights to stay over or she is well within her rights to have you over if it is over the weekend. Even 4 days she can be taken to court but the judge will tell the landlord he is a moron. Honestly, I'd let it go to court.

    She has not broken any laws or any contract. If she is being told on for having parties that aren't happening then it is the landlord's duty to give present burden of proof.

    If she is in OC and not in an area that is considered ghetto then rest assured she ain't finding anything like that cost wise anywhere, not even private party. I live in OC and once lived in Lake Forest. The complex was a huge place but we were getting complaints that we were making food at 3 a.m. and walking hard on purpose. I assure you, as someone who gets up at 4 a.m. and drinks nothing more than a protein shake in the morning there is no food cooking in my place ever! That said, there were many days where we had to walk around the place to show the landlord how we walked. In the end when it got to be a hassle to me I explained that I have provided proof of how I walked and proof by way of records from work of what time I was at work (this was excessive but I was willing to hand anything over to shut them up). I explained that now that I have done what I could they were more than welcome to take me to court. I enjoy Comedy Central TV and this would be just as funny. I also informed them that they were really riding a fine line there as far as tenant rights went and they may want to watch it. The neighbor moved out 30 days later.

    I will end this however with the fact that you shouldn't ask for legal advice online. Why? Because last I checked we can tell you anything we want and it may be what you want to hear but in the end we could all be very wrong. I believe there are free resources for you to check into in CA. You can call people, sometimes not everything can be done online. I implore you to make a call or have your girlfriend do it.

    In the end however, do not break that lease! Normally you can if you can provide a new tenant so the landlord doesn't suffer without a tenant as a result of you leaving but in this case it sounds like he'd find a way to suffer. I do know something of breaking a lease because I had to do it and I hired a lawyer to help me. I would never break a lease and not ensure there would be no loss of rent unless I was moving into a house. Sometimes if you are on record for breaking a lease it is just as bad as being on record for eviction and you can kiss your rental ability goodbye.
     
  10. FrankBlack macrumors 6502

    FrankBlack

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2005
    Location:
    Looking for Lucy Butler
    #10
    I'd also suggest looking into finding another place, not because of the landlord, but because of the bad neighbors. In an apartment situation, bad neighbors can be a nightmare of the worst kind.

    I also agree that you should not be seeking legal advice from any source, other than an actual attorney. They are the only ones who can advise you properly. Despite tenant laws that favor tenants, Landlords can be very vindictive, and make you life unpleasant. Why? "Because they can".

    In the meantime, check amartment ratings.com Lots of information here, but keep in mind, a lot of it is just opinion.
     
  11. poppe thread starter macrumors 68020

    poppe

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2006
    Location:
    Woodland Hills
    #11
    I know he'd never do that. The landlord is some bitter old man who has the motto children should be seen but not spoken or what ever. So since we are the youngest tenants. My girlfriend being 20, he thinks we are children, and the leach next door is 35 so he goes with the leach.

    Well I know legal advice not what I should be asking for on a forum site, but I still wanted to as it is the weekend and I can't call any attorney's until the week days. How much does an attorney run for things like this... I doubt we could even afford one...

    She wants to get out of here badly. Been looking every where. Just can't find anything even close to the price.

    Thanks for the link.
     

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