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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 been renting a house from a company under a home

Customer Question

I have been renting a house from a company for 7years under a home ownership program and I just found out the house was supposed to be condemned and is not up to state or city code and was served lease termination papers do I have a legal case ?this company has been paid by the state for the work and has never been done it was written and signed completed what am I able to sue for? Please help
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Real Estate Law
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I also have a numerous list of habitable complaints such the house listed as central heat and air and is neither. Emails of them confirming negligence of the property and was just advised by the news of external conditions proving we should have never been able to live and pay for a house we can never own. Due to over 100000.00 of work.
Expert:  CalAttorney2 replied 1 year ago.

Dear Customer,

I am sorry to learn of this situation.

What was the eviction for (non-payment of rent, for example?)

And, did you report the problems to the local housing authority prior to the eviction notice?

Also, what is your hopeful goal (do you want to stay in the house longer (you will have the time for the unlawful detainer process as long as you go through the process and appear in court - if you fail to show up, they will get an eviction "by default" and you will face a forcible eviction very quickly), are you trying to rehabilitate a lease to own contract (possible with negotiations), or are you hoping you have a cause of action for money damages against them (less likely)).

So that you have a better idea of the termination of tenancy procedure, here is a general overview:

Terminating a tenancy-

1) Notice: The first step in any termination is giving notice, the landlord can simply give notice that they no longer want the tenant to live there (this is usually 30 days, or 60 days, and it can be done for no reason whatsoever, there is no fault, and while the tenant must relocate, they are not being "evicted" and there is no blemish on their rental history), they can give a "notice to pay or quit" (usually 3 day or 5 day depending on the state, and the tenant has this amount of time to pay rent that they missed or move out), "notice to "cure or quit" (the tenant has breached the lease - broken something, noisy, etc. and must stop it or fix it within the notice period, again 3 days, 5 days, or 10 days), or a "notice to quit" (this is a 3 day or 5 day notice that says the tenant has messed up so badly they can do nothing but move out within the notice period - there is no chance to "cure" - this often happens when there is illegal activity on the property).

2) Unlawful detainer/forcible entry and detainer (this is the legal proceeding where the landlord goes to court and sues the tenant to get possession - the tenant has an opportunity to appear and defend the action, common defenses include improper notice, breach of the lease (such as failure to maintain the property - "inhabitable conditions"). If the tenant answers the complaint, the parties can take "discovery" from one another and get additional information before a court trial before a judge.

3) A judgment of possession/writ of eviction - if the landlord wins the trial, they get a judgment of possession and the court will issue a "writ of eviction."

4) Forcible eviction - this happens when the Sheriff or Constable serves the writ of eviction - some jurisdictions give a courtesy notice the day or two before the eviction, others do not, but the end result is the sheriff overseeing the landlord's movers removing all of the tenant's possessions from the property and placing them on the curb, and the tenants are forcibly removed from the property. At that point, the landlord can change the locks and the tenant can no longer return (They have been "evicted").

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Rent is current not behind they are stating because of newly discord information they cannot afford the property we ask if we could take responsibility for the property which was when we were informed this house is not and has been up to city or state codes fox 6 states we have been scammed all this time and because we are not able to keep the property because of their fraudulent acts with government money we are being asked to move
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I have emails and fox 6on your side has been actively digging and discovering this work has been paid for a written off as new and nothing in this house is.
Expert:  CalAttorney2 replied 1 year ago.

Keep in mind, while helpful to push for a negotiation position, a news station does not equate to a legal argument or position.

You likely do have a legal argument here, either for breach of contract or for fraud. Unfortunately, this kind of issue is going to take a much more detailed review of your documents and your situation than I can provide you with on a quick "Q&A" forum. I can tell you that there is at least enough for you to pursue, and you likely can get some recourse here.

Hopefully this is the kind of issue you can resolve in negotiations/mediation as opposed to having to go through litigation (I don't see them being successful in evicting you because they breached the contract, not you), but in order to enforce your rights you may ultimately have to sue them for breach of contract.

I would recommend contacting your local bar association and ask for referrals to legal aid or civil litigation attorneys that may be willing to take your case on a sliding scale.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
When it comes to recourse can I sue them for the work not done to keep the house or cost of living expenses this is a very legit case due to the amount of negligence and fraud if I have to move a family of five I lose. I have been victimized long enough. Am I able to sue for rents, pain suffering, negligence and utilities?
Expert:  CalAttorney2 replied 1 year ago.
  • You can sue for monetary damages (actual money costs), so loss of value in the contract, or cost of doing the improvements so that the contract can be completed as agreed, or similar damages.
  • You cannot claim "pain and suffering" type damages - those are reserved for physical injury/wrongful death claims.
  • You may be able to claim a prorated rent value (the difference in what the unit is worth and what they were charging), but the fact that you are leasing to own makes this a more difficult calculation.

You really will want to discuss this with a local attorney, your case deals with conduct over a period of 7 years, a complex transaction (lease to own transactions are difficult in all cases, yours is more complicated as it is government subsidized), and you are looking at a strategy call as to whether you want monetary damages for loss of the "benefit of the bargain" or contract enforcement "specific enforcement" to require them to perform as agreed (do the repairs so that you can continue leasing to own).

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