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Ask Michael Lykken, Esq Your Own Question
Michael Lykken, Esq
Michael Lykken, Esq,
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Satisfied Customers: 103
Experience:  Partner at Soares & Lykken, Attorneys at Law
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I am a renter. I have never been late with payments. Here

Customer Question

I am a renter. I have never been late with payments. Here are my issues;
They have made life so unbearable for us long term residents that we are being driven out. Water is a dark brown. Landscape has all died (not other parts of the property, just where we live) The owner of the property Waterton, claims they are going to repair the water, but the residents are expected to pay for the upgrades. No water pressure. Very little water in the toilets, bug infestation, The property is "pet friendly" with restrictions for size of dogs. We have over 150 dogs here and most are far outside the weight limit.
The people at 4840 A have approximately 10-15 people partying and/or living there at all times. They smoke all over the back yard, leaving cigarette butts. The two children inside are being raised in utter chaos.
Now, they have added to the mix another dog that they keep trapped inside. Both dogs bark all day long while the residents are out. As soon as they come home, the party begins and never ends until they leave late at night or the next morning. This is Wednesday, and they have been gone every day this week, leaving the dogs trapped inside to bark all day.
A few months ago, at one of their parties, an infant was screaming like a tortured child. A mandated reporter, I called child services and the police. Two weeks ago, the new dog they have was trapped inside and screeching all day until they came home at 7pm. All neighbors were outside in the courtyard trying to quiet the tortured dog. Finally, the people came home and the neighbors tried to bring it to their attention. The "mother" said to Monica "They could not have been barking." During the chaos, somebody (not me this time) called the police and child services to report these people.
Since these incidents, they have escalated their parties even more and continue to "control" the back yard area by holding parties and smoking. I know I reported the incident to you about the tortured baby, and I believe that child services also contacted you at that time. Since I am a mandated child abuse reporter, I must follow the protocol for abuse. That includes involving the management of the property in the reports of child neglect and abuse. In speaking with child services director, who called me for an update, it is my understanding that you never took any action to deal with the issue of allowing this behavior in your property. In fact, the "mother" of 4840 A bragged that she had signed a new lease. I do not know if that is true, but I do know that child services is aware of the abuse that takes place in that apartment. I don't know if you should let them know that you are continuing to allow these people to disrupt the property and the lives of their children.
Thanks for addressing this issue.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Expert:  Michael Lykken, Esq replied 1 year ago.

Hello, my name is ***** ***** I am a licensed California attorney. Thank you for using this service, but please understand that I can only provide you with general legal advice in this forum. I appreciate the information provided, howeverI am not quite sure what you are asking for advice on. If you could please let me know your specific question so that I can answer it for you. Thank you!

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I don't know what additional information you want. Here are my questions
Can a rent control landlord solve problems that exist due to lack of water maintenance on their part and charge the renters? They are calling this "upgrades" but what has really happened is that they have neglected the pipes for so many years that the water now runs brown. They then want to charge residents for the money it will take to make the water sanitary.
2) some of the property is well maintained with lush landscape and grooming. Our side of the property is dirt and dead plants. Can they get away with that? Do we have any recourse?
3) Do we, as renters, have any rights when it comes to what they owners can charge us? They promise all sorts of improvements and make none of them. Can they do that?
Expert:  Infolawyer replied 1 year ago.

Please let me know if that is fast and clear.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
You didn't answer anything.
Expert:  Infolawyer replied 1 year ago.

You may pursue a claim for breach and misrepresentation. You have a few options. Let me outline them. You can pursue a complaint in civil court. You may sue for losses suffered plus costs and interest. You can also file a complaint with the attorney general office. You can threaten these options before pursuing and use for leverage. local counsel can also get involved! I wish you the best. I trust the answer has been helpful. kindly let me know.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
You are not answering the questions. Please read the three questions and tell me that law.
Expert:  Infolawyer replied 1 year ago.

Landlord has to cover basic expenses. It may not shift to tenant.

Expert:  Infolawyer replied 1 year ago.

Failure to maintain land and doing sections but not others is a breach of lease and warranty of habitability.

Expert:  Infolawyer replied 1 year ago.

You have a right to contest charges beyond the agreed rent.

Expert:  Infolawyer replied 1 year ago.

I wish you the best. I trust the answer has been helpful. kindly let me know.

Expert:  Michael Lykken, Esq replied 1 year ago.

Hello, thank you for submitting your clarification. I was in court all afternoon so I haven't been able to get back to you until now. The other attorney who decided to answer this question is not licensed in California, so I can advise you on the legal aspects of your in California. Here, the landlord of a residential unit is generally responsible for pipes, so upgrading the pipes would be the landlords responsibility and not yours. My guess is that the landlord is refusing to do anything so that you will leave and he/she can then raise the rent on a new tenant. If the water isn't sanitary, then the warranty of habitability (which is implied in every rental in CA) would be violated. You could contact the local county health department, and they could send an inspector out to test the water. If it isn't sanitary, the county could force the landlord to correct the problem, or they could evacuate you from the premises. Your question regarding the yard depends on your lease. If you have taken on the responsibility to maintain the yard, then you are responsible for it. Otherwise the landlord would have to maintain it. Regarding other promises made, those can be hard to enforce unless you have some writing that would show the promises were made in order to convince you to rent the premises. It may not be a bad idea to talk to a local attorney that can help you enforce your rights. If your goal is to move, then that attorney could help you accomplish that. Good luck!

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