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Richard - Bizlaw
Richard - Bizlaw, Attorney
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Satisfied Customers: 9872
Experience:  Commercial and residential leases in NY & NJ & US
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I wanted to ask a question about a landlord-tenant issue

Customer Question

I wanted to ask a question about a landlord-tenant issue that continues to develop. I, along with my ex-roommate, were served a 60-day eviction notice on May 16th for our apartment in Los Angeles. Our landlord, who did not disclose it to me at the time, had received complaints from other tenants about: my roommate's service dog being a pit bull and making other tenants uncomfortable, loud noise from her and alleged urine spots in the common hallway from the service dog. My roommate and her father had been in communication with the landlord and had advised me that they may revoke the eviction notice. They didn't. And she surprised me by saying that she had found an apartment and wanted to move by July 2nd. This was at the end of June. Knowing that I would be in a worse spot by staying by myself, I also found a place. We let our landlord know as soon as we did and also advised of our intended move-out date via phone and email. Our landlord then informed us that since we didn't give a 30-day notice to move out, even though we already were served a no-cause eviction notice, we were in violation of the lease agreement, which says we have to give 30-day notice.When we got out deposit back, they had charged us for the rent for all of the days up until the eviction notice move-out date, so in essence, two weeks. They also charged us for the alleged urine stains, even there were multiple dogs on our floor and in building and no proof it was my roommates dog. They also sent the check to me since I was the only one that left a forwarding address and made the check out to me and my roommate. When I finally called the landlord to figure out all of the charges and to see about getting separate checks, as my roommate decided to litigate through them and not agree to separate checks, he said that he had originally offered to refund the excess rent charge and kick in an extra $1,000 towards our moving costs. Apparently, my roommates father had asked them to kick in an extra amount equivalent to (3) months rent. The landlord said no, so their communications broke down and my roommate will not talk to him directly.The last time I talked to her was three weeks ago when she said they had hired an attorney. The landlord and I continue to be in communication, but he has not talked to them, as they have made no contact. Since its been so long, he gave me the option of sending me the full deposit amount in my name only and letting me give her her half.Is that the right move for me? I just want to be done with this. I don't want to be in my ex-roommates lawsuit, nor do I want her to sue me by accepting this check. What should I do?
Submitted: 2 months ago.
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Expert:  Richard - Bizlaw replied 2 months ago.

Hello, my name is ***** ***** I will try to help you. Please remember I just report or interpret the law, so the outcome may not be what you hoped for.

Do you accept the charges on the document you attached to your post? Am I correct that your ex roommate disputes the charges? Is there anything on the check that has you represent in anyway you act for the ex-roommate?

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
They (ex-roommate and her father) disputed the charges. Not sure if it was via phone or email, but they did. That is why the district manager decided to refund us the rent charge. Not sure what you mean by represent her, but I dont think so.
Expert:  Richard - Bizlaw replied 2 months ago.

The simplest solution from your point of view is to have the landlord send you the entire check in your name alone. You can then deposit the check. After the funds of cleared confirm with your ex-roommate in writing that they do not want to accept their half of the check because they are disputing the charges. Once you have that confirmation in writing issue a check, I suggest a bank check, to the landlord and return it with a note that the other roommate disputes the charges and rejected her half of the check. You have accepted your share of the charges as reflected in 50 percent of the amount the landlord returned to you and are returning to the landlord the other 50 percent to be dealt with as he and your ex roommate ultimately decide. This gets you your money, you have settled with the landlord for your share of the charges and you would not be involved in the litigation.

If I have answered all your questions, please positively rate my answer as that is how I receive credit. If you have more questions, please let me know. If the answer was especially helpful you can provide a bonus.

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
One last question - Can I put a time limit on her answer as to whether she wants it or not? Like 24 hours? Just so that I can get myself out of this mess? And if she says that she doesn't accept, she can still sue on her own, correct? Just want to make sure I can fully remove myself from this situation, but also not totally screw her in the process.
Expert:  Richard - Bizlaw replied 2 months ago.

24 hours is too short because you want a written confirmation. You should give her a couple of days to respond in writing, which can include email or text but be sure you print out the written confirmation so you have a hard copy if there is any issue in the future. Make clear in the communication that if you do not hear from her by the deadline you will assume she contests the landlord's claims and will return her half of the money to the landlord so she can pursue her claim.

If I have answered all your questions, please highly rate my answer as that is how I get credit for working on your question.

Expert:  Richard - Bizlaw replied 2 months ago.

I sent you an answer to your question several days ago. If you do not have any more questions, please highly rate my answer as that is how I get credit for working on your question.