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Help in California

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Help in California

Postby suntom » Fri Oct 17, 2003 5:08 pm

We signed a 2 year lease on a house in CA. We repeatedly asked the LL for a copy of our signed lease and finally, a month later we got a copy. To our horror we discovered the LL had written in things, scratched out others, etc. from the original document we had signed. We have been in the house barely a month and it has been a nightmare. The gas oven was deemed "hazardous" by the gas co, the plumbing backed up from a bathroom and flooded our laundry room and kitchen, and the septic tank (or cesspool, leach field something like that)at times seeps out, emits a foul odor and trickles down the street. The LL is slow or unresponsive when we tell them of the issues or they make excuses and say there is no problem or they don't want to spend the money. The former tenants warned us that these problems existed and the LL would do nothing to repair them. The former tenant also told us to expect our lease to be returned to us, photocopied, altered, and late just as theirs was. Isn't that illegal? It appears that long before we moved in, there was a known hazard with the oven and known septic issues. We have been persistent and finally got the LL to repair the oven and the clog in the bathroom. We still have active plumbing leaks in the kitchen and a bathroom, window treatments that were promised to us to give privacy in a bedroom (no window treatment was ever there), a built in microwave that has never worked but was included in the LL list of features of the house, etc etc. What should we do? Having to deal with this LL for 2 long years when we are barely a month into this would be difficult, at best. The stress has been incredible. What are our rights? To move again would be expensive and it seems unfair that we would incur that cost especially since professional movers moved us into this house. Any advice is appreciated. Thanks!
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Joined: Thu Oct 09, 2003 1:01 am
Location: Northern CA

Re: Help in California

Postby Iddabiddy35 » Mon Apr 03, 2006 3:32 pm

Hello - I do know one thing - the Consumer Affairs Dept. handles tenant/LL issues in the State of California. I would contact them.
I feel sorry for you as you moved into a place with advance warning from the previous tenants so you were warned. I also know that if a sewage system backs up that leads to a leachy drainage system - that is a major problem - the whole system usually has to be dug up and redone especially if it is more than 2o years old. I would contact the Consumer Affairs Dept. as soon as possible.
check out:www.dca.ca.gov/legal/landlordbook/index.html
Good Luck.
check out: www.dca.ca.gov/legal/landlordbookindex.html
and then: www.oaklandnet.com/government/hcd.rentboard.index.html
Posts: 343
Joined: Fri Aug 06, 2004 1:01 am

Re: Help in California

Postby Downtown » Tue Apr 04, 2006 8:23 am

Any written alteration to original document must be initialed and dated by both parties to be valid.
[ In future, you should note all damage, promise to fix, etc. on all future lease (for writen documentation).]
If the house is unlivable then this is constructive eviction. If only items (microwave, window treatment) that make house less enjoyable (but still livable) then minimally entitled to rent rebate until fixed or could work out with LL to have items fixed and deduct from rent.
Decide what you want to do. Obviously, LL committed fraud by altering lease as well as promising a "repaired house". Chances are you could pursue moving costs...worth the money to consult tenant atty. as to your rights on how to proceed for constructive eviction and fraud.
Otherwise, would send LL letter (send RRR) detailing 1. Alteration of lease. 2. Items promised to be repaired dates/who spoke with/what promised. Clearly state, that you would not have signed the lease nor would you have gone to the expense of moving if the above had not been promised by LL. Items listed must be repaired within 14 business days (or acceptable repair date given). If LL unwilling to repair requesting permission to have repairs completed by tenant and cost deducted from future rent.
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