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Category: CA Real Estate
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Experience:  28 Years In General Practice,
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My landlord keeps on sending me emails asking me to pay

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Hi,My landlord keeps on sending me emails asking me to pay Total water damages =$2429.59 (paid by Helen). I have made my stand clear. Here is an excerpt of the email.Quote
Abdulla Mangalore Sep 28 at 5:58 PM
To
HelenHi Helen,I have made my legal position clear after talking to my lawyer.I am not responsible in any way.As I said "The only possible way that a tenant could be responsible if it was intended or there was prior notice. " which has been explained clearly in detail in my earlier email.There was no negligence, misuse and abuse as you allege. As had already explained to you by my wife Sabiha we use only water in the toilettes as per our religious custom. I do not know why you are not understanding the facts.If you do not understand the legal language please consult someone who could explain to you.If you keep writing like this I will be left with no alternative but to go to court and get justice. My lawyer is already standing by.Thanks
Abdulla MangaloreFrom: Helen
To: ***** *****
Cc: Abdulla Mangalore ; Tak Liong
Sent: Wednesday, September 28, 2016 5:39 PM
Subject: Re: 7/30/16 Overflowed ToiletHi Abdulla,The overflowing of the toilet, as per the plumber, was caused by the clogging in the plumbing due to wipes. It is tenant's responsibility to properly use, maintain, and safeguard the premises. Tenants will be held responsible for any repairs and damages that are due to negligence, misuse and abuse. Because of this improper use of toilet, we suffered damages to the property.I would certainly suggest you to consult your legal advise if you so choose.Regards,
HelenOn Mon, Sep 19, 2016 at 11:50 AM, Abdulla Mangalore wrote:
Helen,I had a chat with my lawyer. Here is the update.The landlord would be responsible. The only possible way that a tenant could be responsible if it was intended or there was prior notice.I assert again that we never used wipes. But for legal sake the prior notice means you had told us not to put wipes in the toilet beforehand.So there was no intention to clog and for legal sake no prior notice no to put wipes in toilet.We will have a claim for warranty of habitability: the right to have a habitable abode, which includes a functional toilet.Abdulla MangaloreOn Sep 19, 2016, at 6:05 PM, Abdulla Mangalore wrote:Hi Helen,As I said earlier, we are not going to bear this expense since it was not caused by us. If you insist I will have to take legal recourse.Thanks
AbdullaFrom: Helen
To: ***** ***** ; Abdulla Mangalore
Cc: Tak Liong
Sent: Monday, September 19, 2016 8:25 AM
Subject: Re: 7/30/16 Overflowed ToiletHi Abdulla,Carpet was installed last Thursday.
Cost of carpet and installation is $499.56 (paid by Helen)
Ultimate Carpet Cleaning--Weekend professional carpet cleaning $80.00 (paid by Helen)
Water Damage Recovery--$950.00 (paid by Helen)
Drywall repair--$900.00 (paid by Helen)
New carpet and installation --$499.56 (paid by Helen)
Total water damages =$2429.59 (paid by Helen)Please send payment to me by the end of September.Thanks,
HelenUnquoteAlso we have paid $520 towards cleaning when it happened.Please advise how to proceed. Can I send a demand letter asking $520 within a certain date failing which matter will be taken to court.Thanks
Abdulla Mangalore
Submitted: 3 months ago.
Category: CA Real Estate
Expert:  LawTalk replied 3 months ago.

Good afternoon,

I'm Doug, and I'm very sorry to hear of your situation. My goal is to provide you with excellent service today.

Yes, you may send your demand letter asking for reimbursement of the expenses you made in the emergency cleanup of the overflow of the toilet and place a date by which the payment must be received by you or you will have your attorney file suit to collect the money from the landlord.

The fact that the professional plumber stated that they found a clog of wipes, given that you do not use those wipes in the home, suggests that a partial clog already existed when you moved in and that could not have been your fault or negligence.

You may reply back to me using the Reply link and I will be happy to continue to assist you until I am able to address your concerns, to your satisfaction.

I hope that I have been able to fully answer your question. As I am not an employee of JustAnswer, please be so kind as to rate my service to you. That is the only way I am compensated for assisting you. Thank you in advance.

I wish you and yours the best in 2016,

Doug

Expert:  LawTalk replied 3 months ago.

It is possible that your questions and issues might be better served by an in-depth conversation with me. If you are interested, for a very nominal charge I can offer you a private phone conference.

Please know that I answered your question in good faith, providing you with the information that you asked for, and I did that with the expectation that you would act likewise and rate my service to you. If I have already provided you with the information you asked for and you have no additional questions, would you please now rate my service to you so I can be compensated for assisting you?

Thanks in advance,

Doug

Customer: replied 3 months ago.
Thank you.We have moved about two years ago and the clogging problem was there on and off. It overflowed this time when my son was sleeping and we were on vacation in India. Can you please help me with these questions ?1. How can we prove the clog was not caused by us? The house is part of a 6 unit town house complex. The wipes would have come from any of these houses as a back flush.
2. Is there a format or template for the demand letter ? Can we deduct the $520 from the upcoming rent after the notice period ?
3. Can the landlord ask us to vacate in retaliation ? If so what is the notice period required ?
4. What is my remedy if she keeps demanding the money and blaming us for whatever we have not done ?Will let you know if I can come up with any other question.Thanks
Abdulla Mangalore
Expert:  LawTalk replied 3 months ago.

Hi,

You asked:

  • 1. How can we prove the clog was not caused by us? The house is part of a 6 unit town house complex. The wipes would have come from any of these houses as a back flush. If you are sued, then you would need a plumber to testify on your behalf. It is not possible to prove a negative, so you will have to rely on the argument and your testimony that you don't use wipes.
  • 2. Is there a format or template for the demand letter ? The Demand letter can be in any format that you want. It has no need to be in any particular format so long as it contains your position statement, a listing of the expenses you paid for and a demand for payment within a certain dime period.
  • Can we deduct the $520 from the upcoming rent after the notice period ? No, you cannot do that under the law.
  • 3. Can the landlord ask us to vacate in retaliation ? No. The landlord may not retaliate and evict you just because you make a claim for reimbursement. Just be sure that you pay your rent on time and obey the rules and you will be okay. If so what is the notice period required ?
  • 4. What is my remedy if she keeps demanding the money and blaming us for whatever we have not done ? You use your lawyer to deal with her, as you have already threatened. Eventually, one of you may have to sue the other to resolve this dispute.

You may reply back to me using the Reply link and I will be happy to continue to assist you until I am able to address your concerns, to your satisfaction.

Please remember to rate my service to you so that I can be compensated for helping you. Thank you in advance.

I wish you and yours the best in 2016,

Doug

Customer: replied 3 months ago.
Can the landlord increase the rent in retaliation ? How can she prove it is not in retaliation ?
Thanks
Expert:  LawTalk replied 3 months ago.

Hi,

Can the landlord increase the rent in retaliation ? How can she prove it is not in retaliation ? No, the landlord cannot do anything in retaliation. If you have a lease, then the rent amount is known for the period of the lease. When a new lease comes up, yes any landlord can increase rent when a new lease is signed.

It is possible that your questions and issues might be better served by an in-depth conversation with me. If you are interested, for a very nominal charge I can offer you a private phone conference.

Please know that I answered your question in good faith, providing you with the information that you asked for, and I did that with the expectation that you would act likewise and rate my service to you. If I have already provided you with the information you asked for and you have no additional questions, would you please now rate my service to you so I can be compensated for assisting you?

Thanks in advance,

Doug

Expert:  LawTalk replied 3 months ago.

Hi,

Is there anything else I can assist you with today?

Doug

Customer: replied 3 months ago.
Hi,I say again that we never used wipes. If we cannot prove negatively, are we liable for the wipes found in the toilet despite the fact that there was no prior notice of not to put wipes ? Also we have not done anything intentionally.Thanks
Abdulla M.
Expert:  LawTalk replied 3 months ago.

Hi,

You wrote: If we cannot prove negatively, are we liable for the wipes found in the toilet despite the fact that there was no prior notice of not to put wipes. Most wipes clearly state that they are suitable for flushing and so absent a rule by the landlord that you may not flush wipes, then you may do so.

But you say you didn't use or flush wipes---and so they could not have come from you, and that is your defense.

Thank you for your kind words. They are very much appreciated. Unfortunately, your gratitude alone is not sufficient for me to be compensated for my having assisted you.

Please understand that in order for me to be credited, and paid, for having helped you, I need for you to positively rate my service to you by clicking on the rating stars located on your answer page---preferably 5-stars. It is that easy.

Thanks in advance.

I wish you the best,

Doug

Customer: replied 3 months ago.
Problem is the landlord does not believe the wipes are not from us. What is the best way to prove it ? As I said this is 6 unit complex and she says others have no issues. Please help
Expert:  LawTalk replied 3 months ago.

Good afternoon,

We have been going at this for more than 24 hours now. I would be happy to call you to discuss this matter. I already offered you the call and will make the offer again. I think that this will be the only way that I can satisfy your need for reassurance.

If you are not interested in a call, I will opt out.

Doug

Expert:  LawTalk replied 3 months ago.

I am unable to further assist you in this matter, and I am going to opt out of your question and open this up for other professionals.

Your question is being placed back in the question list for other professionals to see, and to respond to. You do not have to stay online for the question to be active. Should another professional pick it up, you should be alerted by email unless you actively disable this feature.

There is no need for you to reply at this time as this may "lock" your question back to me, thus inadvertently delaying other professionals' access to it.

I apologize for any inconvenience and wish you well in your future.

Doug

Expert:  Attorney2 replied 3 months ago.

I am a different attorney and I will be happy to assist you.

  • 1. How can we prove the clog was not caused by us? The house is part of a 6 unit town house complex.

You stated that a plumber already provided an opinion that wipes were the cause of the plumbing damage. I would ask for a copy of the plumbers conclusions. You can also have an independent licensed plumber go to the property and make an evaluation as to the condition of the plumping system that shows that there has been an issue for many years.

You would take the position that the issues with the plumbing were the already in existence when you moved in.

You can also prepare affidavits where you swear under oath that you never used wipes in lieu of toilet paper.

  • 2. Is there a format or template for the demand letter ? I will provide a sample demand letter. My suggestion would be for you to tell me where the property is located so I can provide a link for local Attorneys that provide FREE consultations and could perhaps write the demand letter for you. Knowing an attorney is involved may trigger an amicable and swift solution.

 

  • 3. Can the landlord ask us to vacate in retaliation ? That would be illegal.

4. What is my remedy if she keeps demanding the money and blaming us for whatever we have not done ? Once this is resolved if she continues harassing you I would suggest obtaining an order against for harassment.

Where is the property located so I can provide local information?

Sample demand letters:

https://www.scribd.com/doc/26958626/Demand-Letter-California-tenants

http://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/sample-demand-letter-return-security-deposit.html

http://www.yourlegalcorner.com/articles.asp?cat=land&id=141

Expert:  Attorney2 replied 3 months ago.

Please do not hesitate to ask me any additional questions that you may have with regard to this matter as it would be my pleasure to assist you.

If you would be kind enough to rate my service positively so I will receive credit for my work I would appreciate it.

YOU DO NOT NEED TO PROVIDE A NEGATIVE RATING TO RECEIVE A REFUND. Are you still with me?

Expert:  Attorney2 replied 3 months ago.

Please ignore the additional services request.

You may not be aware that the Attorneys on Just Answer do not receive credit for their time or work if the customer does not provide us with a positive rating. There is no additional charge to you to provide a positive and you are always entitled to a refund. I was happy to provide to a 2nd opinion. Hopefully, you will take the extra time to provide a rating.

Thank you for using JA!