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Christopher B, Esq
Christopher B, Esq, Attorney
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Satisfied Customers: 2643
Experience:  Litigation Attorney
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Tenant law: I have been withholding my rent since

Customer Question

for landlord/tenant law:
I have been withholding my rent since feb, now into april...for problems not fixed in my unit, the city manager has been out and agreed that my shower is not installed correctly as it does not drain. The manager was notified in writing that I was withholding my rent for all the problems in my unit and a 5 page complaint letter signed by 10 other residents having the same problem was sent to the property management company and the owner. Its been 5 month now, a couple things are fixed, however I went a month without heat and hot water...I have been a property manager since 1988, and I know all th all this is wrong, and have gotten advice from you previously (crystal chitty) however the shower is not fixed and they have now served my mom mom and I a 3 day notice to pay rent or quit...they have also been notified I will will be filing a civil suit for breach of contract etc...I don't believe they can se serve me a 3 day notice, can't that be considered retaliation or harassment? ( I am skipping a spot in this mssg as its a blank spot where it wont show me what I am typing) I need an answer Asap as notice was served yesterday.
crystal chitty
Submitted: 6 months ago.
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Expert:  Christopher B, Esq replied 6 months ago.
My name is***** and I will be helping you with your question today. This is for informational purposes only and does not establish an attorney client relationship. One quick question, what state are you from?
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
Expert:  Christopher B, Esq replied 6 months ago.
It sounds as if you have a very good claim for retaliation which is against CA statute. The kinds of retaliatory acts covered by California law include terminating a tenancy or filing an eviction lawsuit; increasing the rent; or decreasing services. California state law presumes retaliation if the landlord acts in these types of negative ways within 180 days of the date that a tenant has exercised a legal right, such as complaining to the landlord about an unsafe heater in the apartment. Therefore with the facts you have given, it would be presumed that this eviction is in retaliation of you exercising a right to withhold rent until your property is fixed and put into fir and habitable condition by the landlord. Of course technically you are not paying rent but you have a legal right to withhold rent in this circumstance and it would be a legal defense to the eviction. You need to get your documentation together and have picture and video evidence of the part of the property that needs to be repaired as well as any evidence from the city manager or any plumber regarding the cost to fix the problem. See link on how to respond to the eviction (pg. 73, unlawful detainer): Please let me know if you have any further questions and please positively rate my answer if satisfied. There should be smiley faces or numbers from 1-5 to choose from. This extra step will cost you nothing extra and will ensure that I will be compensated for my time by the site.

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