How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Barrister Your Own Question
Barrister
Barrister, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 36586
Experience:  16 yrs practice, Civil, Criminal, Domestic, Realtor, Landlord 26 yrs
19958803
Type Your Legal Question Here...
Barrister is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

I am a tenant in a residence in West LA, along with 7 other

Customer Question

I am a tenant in a residence in West LA, along with 7 other tenants. The property is owned by a CA Real Estate Broker who happens to live in Thailand. Because of the international disconnect, the owner relies on me to process the mail. deposit the rents and handle other paperwork as required.
The owner moved in a young man (24 yo) in SEP 2014 who quickly became a problem by smoking pot in the house, where one of the ladies who lives here is allergic to pot smoke and went into anaphylactic shock and had to be hospitalized. I pointed out the issue to the young man and asked him to please smoke outside the house. He refused to comply and once again the lady was taken ill.
On my advice,she petitioned the owner, who issued a 3 Day Cure or Quit notice which I, as the correspondent, taped to his door. He decided to shoot the messenger and heaped invective on me and continued to do so for the rest of his tenure. The problems continued and the owner gave him 30 day notice that his lease would not be renewed and he had to vacate by OCT 6th 2015.
On his last night and early morning of OCT 4th and 5th here, he poured cement into the sewer system (he is a plumber), poured paint stripper all over my car, broke a window and urinated on my bedroom door. Total documented damages came to nearly $6,000.
None of the tenants actually witnessed any of these acts, but two will confirm he was here that night, another will confirm m door had been urinated upon, and all tenants who were in residence that night are willing to give affidavits denying any involvement in these acts of vandalism. Process of elimination is the only recourse I seem to have.
As a side note, his father was a guarantor on the lease but claims he has no responsibility as his son is no longer a minor.
Do I have a case that might prevail in small claims court?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Barrister replied 1 year ago.

Hello and welcome! My name is ***** ***** I am a licensed attorney who will try my very best to help with your situation or get you to someone who can. There may be a slight delay in my responses as I research statutes or ordinances and type out an answer or reply,but rest assured, I am working on your question.

.

Do I have a case that might prevail in small claims court?

.

In order to win in small claims court, you have to prove by a "preponderance of the evidence" (i.e. 51%) that the defendant is responsible. So here, you don't have any direct evidence, but you have circumstantial evidence, meaning that all indications would point to this person as being responsible.

.

Judges aren't stupid. And if they hear all the things that happened just when this person was to be evicted, they can infer that they were responsible. But they have to have just that bit of evidence to push it over the top and tip the scales in your favor.

.

Honestly, even though you know he did it, I think it is a coin flip as to whether you could convince a judge without any direct evidence.. If it was Judge Judy, then she rules for you. But a real judge is going to want to see some type of direct evidence even if he feels that the person did it.

.

As a side note, his father was a guarantor on the lease but claims he has no responsibility as his son is no longer a minor.

.

And the father is completely wrong here, the age of the tenant has nothing to do with the guarantor being liable. So the father is still liable if the son has breached the lease, minor or not.

.

.

thanks

Barrister