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Irwin Law
Irwin Law, Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 6851
Experience:  Lawyer- Broker 30+years - foreclosure, short sale, liens, title attorney.
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Concerning landlord/tenant dispute. I am a tenant that

Customer Question

Concerning landlord/tenant dispute. I am a tenant that started to work as a maintenance technician for the landlord after tenancy began. Tenancy was never contingent upon work, and work was never placed on any sort of contract. It was all verbal agreement, work traded for $600 reduction in rent. This changed to a $400 reduction for the same amount of work without my consent upon the start of an agent of the landlord becoming a new tenant and demanding a reduction in his rent as well.. I was never notified of this persons authority or what their position really was, however, he made his way into trying to be my direct supervisor, sidestepping the onsite manager, whom also happens to be my mother, and demanding me to answer to him through various forms of harrassment, mainly verbal communication and some text. After i had enough from the guy making my living and working conditions unreasonable and to me, unbearable, i quit via text on August 15, 2016. Within days i received a two week notice of a rental increase of over 25%, and there is a 7.2% cap per 12 months in my area, plus a requirement of at least 30 days notice, and notice that is placed on front door should be followed up with a certified copy in the mail no more than 3 days later. I never received that certified letter.
Back track to June, my wife needed a verification of residency and asked for a renewal of our original lease, and obtained it starting July 1, 2016, good for 12 months.
I believe August 30, 2016 i received a text that said nevermind about that 25% increase, that was a "mistake," and its actually only an increase of roughly 8% or 9%.
So on August 31, 2016 my wife presented our renewed lease to this guy that is Now the manager to which he sent me message stating nevermind all together about an increase, your rent is what is stated in the lease.
They terminated my mothers employment after i quit, they sent her the same type of rental increase letter, and they have since sent me a letter stating my tenancy will be terminated in 60 days due to void lease which they have in their minds was actually created after the letters were delivered. I have indisputable proof that this lease was created before the time they (landlord and new management) believe it was made... I may beleaving some things out, but this is a big portion of my current dilemma.... Please help! Do i have ground to stand on to maintain my tenancy, and can i pursue charges of harassment or discrimination of some sort, or am i mistaken???
Submitted: 2 months ago.
Category: Real Estate Law
Expert:  Irwin Law replied 2 months ago.

Good afternoon, and thanks for using JUST ANSWER. You are in a long and convoluted dispute with numerous side issues. The side issues include both your and another person's employment agreements. It would be very difficult for a court to sort through all of the side issues that you may be able to raise. Let's start at the beginning with your written lease. You say that you had a verbal agreement with the landlord to trade work for $600 a per month discount on the rent. If that agreement was never reduced to writing and signed by you and the landlord, it will have no effect whatsoever. By the same token, if the landlords increase in rent upon two weeks notice is not permitted under California law, or under the terms of your lease agreement, then landlord is out of luck trying to enforce that. Your July 1 renewal is the controlling lease as far as I can see. None of the other verbal back and forth is relevant. This will be a good lesson to the landlord that they need to get lease revisions in writing. Good luck in the future.

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Customer: replied 2 months ago.
Do you think this could be seen as being a form of retaliation?
Expert:  Irwin Law replied 2 months ago.

Apparently the landlord's left hand doesn't know what the right hand is doing. While one hand is negotiating a new lease with your wife, the other is trying to kick you out. I don't see this as retaliation as such, just stupidity. I can't comment on your mother situation though. Their actions toward her might be retaliation for their dispute with you. However your mother would have to raise that issue in court.

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
Excellent. Thank you for your time.
Expert:  Irwin Law replied 2 months ago.

You're welcome. Please be good enough to enter a rating for my answer.