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J. Warren
J. Warren, Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 2212
Experience:  Experience in residential real estate and commercial leases.
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My mom was served an unlawful detainer summon yesterday

Customer Question

My mom was served an unlawful detainer summon yesterday for non-payment of rent yesterday. It is not true. The landlord rented us an ihnabitable unit with plumbing issues that were not disclosed to us. We moved into the unit on 10/2015. 2-weeks later we experienced our first backup issue.
The landlord took care of it the first time. Then it happened again in November, 2015. Then the on-site manager and told us ...this unit always has a plumbing problem and will continue so. We just moved in and it cost us $650 plus my parents are in their 80's and 90 and my mom is handicapped. We also asked to install hand rail in the bathroom and was denied by the owner even though we said we will pay for the addition and restore the unit when we move. The latest plumbing backup started in early February and we notified the landlord and on-site manager but no one came. The landlord never returned my calls. The owners came to inspect the unit 2 weeks later said they were on vacation. We did what we can during those days but the backup happened again on 3/6 -3/7. My father and myself must have called 10+Xs notifying the owners and site-manager but again no response or anyone come to fix the problem. I left several messages and told the landlord that I will call a plumber and it will cost $230. The plumber came fixed the problem. I stop payment on the rent check and issue him a new check deducting $230. I left him message to come back to pickup rent. He didn't and served us 3-days notice on 3/11 and the summon delivered to us on 3/15. We are going to move anyway since my parents can't live like that. The landlord is rude and mean to old and disable people. He needs to pay for our moving cost and emotional stress of living in a unit he knew there were problems and did not disclose to us. Do I need to hire a lawyer to response the summon in order to collect the moving fees(in and out). Thanks
Submitted: 8 months ago.
Category: Real Estate Law
Expert:  J. Warren replied 8 months ago.

Hello and welcome to JustAnswer. Please note:This is general information for educational purposes only and is not legal advice. No specific course of action is proposed herein, and no attorney-client relationship or privilege is formed by speaking to an expert on this site. By continuing, you confirm that you understand and agree to these terms.

I am sorry you are dealing with an unpleasant landlord. While it is not required to hire a lawyer for a tenant to defend an eviction based on a wrongful eviction claim, it is a good idea. You would not be permitted to represent you mother in this case, she would have to do so. A few things that a lawyer can help with in this situation, one is defending the eviction based on the fact the tenant had a right to repair and deduct and therefore is not late on rent. In addition, if it comes to a court hearing procuring damages from the landlord is more likely if a lawyer is presenting the arguments to the judge. This is not to say you or mother are not capable however, it would have to be the tenant, your mother however, and to minimize stress and to facilitate a quick resolution to this matter would be in her best interest. If you provide me with the State she is located in I can provide you with the link to the State Bar Association Lawyer Referral Service.

All my best and encouragement. Thank you for allowing me to help you with your questions. I have done my best to provide information which fully addresses your question. If you have any follow up questions, please ask! If I have fully answered your question(s) to your satisfaction, I would appreciate you rating my service as OK, Good or Excellent (3 stars or more). I thank you in advance for taking the time to provide me a positive rating!

Expert:  J. Warren replied 8 months ago.

Can I answer any additional follow up questions for you or clarify anything I have written above? If not, can you please press a positive rating above this message box in the ratings section so I will be paid for my time assisting you on this matter? Pressing a positive rating will not cost any additional money - it is simply the trigger used by Just Answer to pay me for my time (pressing the middle star or the fourth or fifth star on the right are all positive rating buttons).

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