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CalAttorney2
CalAttorney2, Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 10238
Experience:  I am a civil litigation attorney with experience representing HOAs, homeowners, businesses and others in real estate matters.
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I am having an issue with my property management company

Customer Question

Hello - I am having an issue with my property management company Equity Apartments. The unit above us is doing drugs and possibly selling. The smoke from the drugs is coming through the ventilation and making myself and my daughter sick. This has been going on about a month after we moved in in Feb. On one occasion we both had black soot coming from our nose and throats for 2 days. After that we were both sick for about a week. I reported the drug issue and our sickness to 2 of the managers (local and regional) and they have taken no steps to contact the police (i did that on their behalf) and after repeated requests and now demands to move us to another unit or cancel our lease have been denied. I want out. This has been going on for over a month. Please tell me i have some recourse here. Thank you for any advice direction or lawyer you can direct me to. Thank you, Lisa
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Real Estate Law
Expert:  CalAttorney2 replied 1 year ago.
What state are you living in? (This is a "habitability" issue - but remedies differ based on the state you are in).
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
California
Expert:  CalAttorney2 replied 1 year ago.
Excellent. California has some very good protections for tenants. Here is a link to the habitability rules (and remedies for tenants) in California: http://www.dca.ca.gov/publications/legal_guides/lt-8.shtmlYou can contact your County Health Department and make a report (this is probably the quickest and easiest way to make a report).At the same time, you can also file a civil suit against the landlord to enforce the lease terms, and to terminate the lease.Short of filing a lawsuit, you can try to mediate the dispute with them - contact your local bar association and request referrals to mediators, a third party neutral can often help you reach a mutually agreeable resolution. Use the bar association's referrals to contact a mediator or two, the mediator will then contact the other party to set up a mediation session, and you can go from there - hopefully resulting in a formal or written settlement agreement, and save yourself the time and expense of litigation.Do not just move out though - If you leave the unit without a termination agreement or without a judgment, you run a very real risk that your landlord is going to sue you. And while I think you have a good defense under the habitability statute (above), you will have a lawsuit against you from a landlord (even if you win) and it will make it more difficult for you to rent in the future. So try to make sure that you either are the one that is filing suit (the California Courts have a great site to help you with this: http://www.courts.ca.gov/selfhelp-smallclaims.htm) or you have a settlment agreement allowing you to terminate the lease early.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you. For an easier and faster solution would it make sense to go the civil route and have an attorney at least draft a letter or does this not work with a large corporation?
Expert:  CalAttorney2 replied 1 year ago.
An attorney is always a great tool if you can get one - they can level the negotiation field for you, especially when you are dealing with larger organizations.Being represented by counsel presents a higher threat of litigation to the opposing party, and they are more likely to take you seriously when they are entertaining negotiations or demands from you.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
thank you!!
Expert:  CalAttorney2 replied 1 year ago.
You are welcome, and I do wish you the best with this matter.Thank you for using our forum, and please do not forget to rate my service so that I can receive credit for assisting you.Thank you again, and again I wish you the best.Bill
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
anything else i should know before dealing with property law or large corporations ?
Expert:  CalAttorney2 replied 1 year ago.
The California landlord tenant handbook (link above from the California Attorney General) is going to be the best source of information for this issue - I don't think you need to research excessively on this particular matter).
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
great, thanks again
Expert:  CalAttorney2 replied 1 year ago.
You are welcome, and I do wish you the best with this matter.Thank you for using our forum, and please do not forget to rate my service so that I can receive credit for assisting you.Thank you again, and again I wish you the best.Bill