Thank you for the information.
Your Question:On Dec 30,2014 I signed a 12 months lease in an Apartment complex, "XXXXXX Apartments" in San Bernardino, California. They advised me, that I can see the floor plan on their Website.
Upon moving in the Apartment (I being from the Natural Wood Industry), the artificial vinyl
flooring looked awfully familiar as I was invited to a Chinese factory in 2002.
The mock wood flooring in my Apartment was all the Chinese manufactured product.
When I walked in their manufacturing my eyes started buyer and there was a very strong odder of a chemical call "Formaldehyde. I advised them, that Formaldehyde in such a high concentration is banned in the U S, especially California. According to 60 minutes, " Continuous breathing of Formaldehyde can cause Cancer, Asthma, Lung Decease.
On Mar 2 on the Program 60 Minutes, a reporter named Anderson cooper had a segment about these flooring being sold nationwide, especially California by a company called "Lumber Liquidators". Lumber Liquidators according to 60 Minutes was having the Chinese suppliers mislabeling the crates to reflect the product manufactured was meeting California code. Even the State of California (OSHA) were in the 60 Minutes reports saying that they intend on Lumber Liquidators replacing these floorings from every house and Apartment in the State of California.
I lived in my Apartment for 5 months constantly sick, difficulty breathing, heavy coughing. I went to my Doctor and he advised me that my Lung has slightly shrunk. I was on Antibiotic called "Arithromysin
Having an Engineering and Chemical back ground, on June1,2015 while I was still sick,I gave a written notice to the Apartment manager that I can no longer live and breath dangerous chemicals as formaldehyde. Therefore effective immediately I will be moving out. I further told them that "No Lease can be enforced when there are serious health problems"along with the Article of 60 minutes Website.
It has been 21 days since I moved and was expecting to get my month's deposit back less cleaning cost. Instead on 6/27 a Castle Apartment called me and advised that no only there will be no refund of security ($1065) deposit, they wanted me to pay an additional $1700 for breaking the Lease, otherwise they are handing this to some collection agency.
Please advise my options. Would appreciate a phone call. I am dealing with people, who have never even heard of the chemical Formaldehyde. I feel that by living in the Castle Apartment for 5 months, I may have permanently damaged my health.I am a 74 year old Senior living on Social Security.XXX XXX XXXX Any time after 12 Noon
Thank You, ***** *****
I have not tried any action, hoping that Castle Apartment will return my deposit(Less General Cleaning. I gave them instructions where to mail my check When I was very sick, I went to see their Manager Kairon and her assistant Kathleen.I further gave them a written notice and a copy of the 60 Minutes article printed from 60 minutes Website. Both of them acknowledged after seeing me, how sick I was. Now I am interested in collecting from them for potential health damages.Response:
You do not owe them anything for breaking the lease under the circumstances. They do owe you if you can get medical results that show that the apartment is responsible for your health problems. You would need a local Attorney who handles premise liability and/or Landlord and Tenant issues to assist you with this case. The Landlord may owe you a whole lot more than your partial Security Deposit.
Since the Landlord did not follow the proper procedures in retaining your Security Deposit, you are entitled to 100% of it back regardless of whether your apartment needs cleaning or not. Under California law, 21 calendar days or less after the tenants move, the landlord must either: send the Tenants a full refund of their security deposit, or mail or personally deliver to the Tenants an itemized statement that lists the amounts of any deductions from the Tenants’ Security Deposit and the reasons for the deductions, together with a refund of any amounts not deducted.
If your account is sent to a collections agency, you need to send a notice to the collection agency that you dispute the validity of the debt and that the debt collector must cease immediately from contacting you regarding the debt. Pursuant to Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, the debtor collector must comply with your request, but may then initiate lawsuit for the debt. If a lawsuit is filed, you would respond to it, you would also file counterclaim for your health issues. The forms for filing a response are available at the Court's web site. However, since you have potential serious health issues here as result of being exposed to the toxins in the apartment, it would be prudent to try to find a local Attorney that can take this issue for you on contingent fee basis—without charging you upfront fees. You can use the following sites to find local Attorneys that handle Landlord and Tenant issues and/premise liability:http://www.consumeradvocates.orghttp://www.lawyers.comhttp://www.justia.com
Click on the link below for sample dispute and cease and desist letters:http://www.debt-n-credit-letters.com/Debt-Dispute/stop-calling-letter.html
Court self-help Center:http://www.courts.ca.gov/selfhelp.htm