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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 have lived at my address 15 years. My landlady recently

Customer Question

I have lived at my address for over 15 years. My landlady recently had a stroke and is now in home care. Her sister is now power of attorney. She has raised my rent by $120.00 and now wants me to pay first and last plus security deposit. Is that legal. Also my mother lives in the front unit and is on section 8. 5 months ago new landlord said she didn't want to deal with section 8 and said she notified section 8. Since then we have been paying my mothers rent. This past week, section 8 came to do an inspection. I asked section 8 why are they here since my mother is no longer on section 8. He stated that section 8 has been paying her rent at the same time we were paying her rent. Section 8 said they were never notified by us to stop paying rent. Landlady has been collecting section 8 money plus rent we have paid.What can we do?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Real Estate Law
Expert:  CalAttorney2 replied 1 year ago.

Dear Customer,

I am sorry to learn of this situation.

You have 2 separate issues here:

  1. With regard to your unit and the new lease terms: it is possible for the landlord to demand new lease terms. However, they must follow the rules
  1. With regard to your mother's unit - your landlord is committing fraud. Send a formal letter to Section 8 (don't rely on informal conversations), keep a copy for your records. Section 8 will deal with this. Your mother can also sue the landlord in small claims court to recover her rent (if the landlord does not return the money, or if Section 8 is unable to recover the money for her). See: http://www.courts.ca.gov/1007.htm (Fraud is an "intentional tort" so your mother is entitled to not only "compensatory damages" (getting her rent back), but also "punitive" or "exemplary" damages (so additional money to punish the landlord for her bad conduct). The defendant is the landlord (you can add the POA as an additional party, but you must name the landlord).
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
If i am unable to pay the security deposit along with last month rent and i am served with an eviction notice is it possible to have 30 days to move?
Expert:  CalAttorney2 replied 1 year ago.

You should have 60 days before her new lease goes into effect.

(Remember, the TOTAL security deposit (so new security deposit, PLUS old security deposit, PLUS last month's rent) CANNOT EXCEED 2 MONTH'S RENT).

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I signed a new 3 month lease on March 14th 2015. Last month she gave me a letter stating she requires Last months rent plus security deposit. No other lease has been signed by me. Letter states she wants last month plus security on Sept. 1
Expert:  CalAttorney2 replied 1 year ago.

You have been living there for over 12 months, you get 60 days notice for any lease termination.

If you want to push the issue you can refuse to sign the new lease (depending on your landlord's reaction, this may push the matter so that you get a lease termination, which gives you 60 days to vacate - not an "eviction" just a lease termination).

But, check the terms of the lease carefully, if you have any other deposit (even if it is one you paid down 15 years ago), that amount must be added to the TOTAL. She cannot ask you for "first month's" security, and she cannot raise rent beyond the amounts noted (remember, 30 days required for increases up to 10% and 60 days required for increases over that) (Increases are cumulative for 12 month period, so if your rent was increased in March, that increase is included in the 10% figure).

If she tries terminating your lease because you won't sign based on these types of deficiencies, you can file a suit in small claims court (use the same link I provided above for your mother's issue) for "constructive eviction" and ask the court to award money damages and "declaratory relief" (a court order determining your respective rights and obligations under the lease).

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank You for your advice.
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

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