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I found out recently that I've been renting a home without a…

Customer Question
I found out recently...

I found out recently that I've been renting a home without a certificate of occupancy for over 10 year's

Lawyer's Assistant: Because real estate law varies from place to place, can you tell me what state this is in?

Ca

Lawyer's Assistant: Has any paperwork been filed?

Yes she is now wrongfully evicting me in retaliation because i told her there was things that needed to be fixed on the home . She is a slumlord not once in the past 10 years has she ever fixed anything at all I felt bad because she was older and going through medical stuff so I took care of everything on my own

Lawyer's Assistant: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?

Can I sue her for any of my money back ? I've paid her 96,000 dollars in the past 10 years She is paying the property taxes on a home that burnt down in the early 1980s there has to be some kind of justice for me

Submitted: 1 month ago.Category: Landlord-Tenant
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Answered in 35 minutes by:
12/25/2017
Lawyer: barristerinky, Attorney replied 1 month ago
barristerinky
barristerinky, Attorney
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Satisfied Customers: 40,078
Experience: Attorney over 17 years, landlord 26 years
Verified

Hello and welcome! My name is ***** ***** I am a licensed attorney and will try my best to help with your situation. There may be a slight delay in my responses as I type out an answer or reply.

.

Can I sue her for any of my money back ?

.

Unfortunately no. If the landlord provided you with a place to live and you continued to live there, then you wouldn't be entitled to live there for free and get the rent you paid back.. If there is no certificate of occupancy, that is a violation between the city and the landlord. Your recourse there is to contact the local Code Enforcement office and have them inspect and cite the owner for any violations. Then if she tried to evict you after that, you would have grounds to sue her for an illegal retaliation.

.

However, if you have proof of notifying her about problems with the property (emails, texts, letters, etc.) and she is now terminating your tenancy due to that, then you can still sue her for illegal retaliation...

.

I am just kind of surprised that if the place was in such terrible condition, you didn't contact the city about it sooner or just move somewhere else rather than staying 10 years..

.

.

thanks

Barrister

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
Its not in that bad of shape just no heat and the roof started leaking very bad i asked her in a phone call and in 2 letters that i sent certified and then she gave me the eviction
Lawyer: barristerinky, Attorney replied 1 month ago

Ok, good, then you have proof of making the request for repairs... The can give you a defense in any eviction action in court if she actually tried to file a formal eviction action..

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See CA Civil Code 1942.5

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1942.5.

(a) If the lessor retaliates against the lessee because of the exercise by the lessee of his or her rights under this chapter or because of his complaint to an appropriate agency as to tenantability of a dwelling, and if the lessee of a dwelling is not in default as to the payment of his or her rent, the lessor may not recover possession of a dwelling in any action or proceeding, cause the lessee to quit involuntarily, increase the rent, or decrease any services within 180 days of any of the following:

(1) After the date upon which the lessee, in good faith, has given notice pursuant to Section 1942, has provided notice of a suspected bed bug infestation, or has made an oral complaint to the lessor regarding tenantability.

(2) After the date upon which the lessee, in good faith, has filed a written complaint, or an oral complaint which is registered or otherwise recorded in writing, with an appropriate agency, of which the lessor has notice, for the purpose of obtaining correction of a condition relating to tenantability.

(3) After the date of an inspection or issuance of a citation, resulting from a complaint described in paragraph (2) of which the lessor did not have notice.

(4) After the filing of appropriate documents commencing a judicial or arbitration proceeding involving the issue of tenantability.

(5) After entry of judgment or the signing of an arbitration award, if any, when in the judicial proceeding or arbitration the issue of tenantability is determined adversely to the lessor.

In each instance, the 180-day period shall run from the latest applicable date referred to in paragraphs (1) to (5), inclusive.

(b) A lessee may not invoke subdivision (a) more than once in any 12-month period.

(c) Notwithstanding subdivision (a), it is unlawful for a lessor to increase rent, decrease services, cause a lessee to quit involuntarily, bring an action to recover possession, or threaten to do any of those acts, for the purpose of retaliating against the lessee because he or she has lawfully organized or participated in a lessees’ association or an organization advocating lessees’ rights or has lawfully and peaceably exercised any rights under the law. In an action brought by or against the lessee pursuant to this subdivision, the lessee shall bear the burden of producing evidence that the lessor’s conduct was, in fact, retaliatory.

(d) Nothing in this section shall be construed as limiting in any way the exercise by the lessor of his or her rights under any lease or agreement or any law pertaining to the hiring of property or his or her right to do any of the acts described in subdivision (a) or (c) for any lawful cause. Any waiver by a lessee of his or her rights under this section is void as contrary to public policy.

(e) Notwithstanding subdivisions (a) to (d), inclusive, a lessor may recover possession of a dwelling and do any of the other acts described in subdivision (a) within the period or periods prescribed therein, or within subdivision (c), if the notice of termination, rent increase, or other act, and any pleading or statement of issues in an arbitration, if any, states the ground upon which the lessor, in good faith, seeks to recover possession, increase rent, or do any of the other acts described in subdivision (a) or (c). If the statement is controverted, the lessor shall establish its truth at the trial or other hearing.

(f) Any lessor or agent of a lessor who violates this section shall be liable to the lessee in a civil action for all of the following:

(1) The actual damages sustained by the lessee.

(2) Punitive damages in an amount of not less than one hundred dollars ($100) nor more than two thousand dollars ($2,000) for each retaliatory act where the lessor or agent has been guilty of fraud, oppression, or malice with respect to that act.

(g) In any action brought for damages for retaliatory eviction, the court shall award reasonable attorney’s fees to the prevailing party if either party requests attorney’s fees upon the initiation of the action.

(h) The remedies provided by this section shall be in addition to any other remedies provided by statutory or decisional law.

.

You might also want to contact the local Code Enforcement office and ask them out to inspect as that gives you more evidence of the condition of the property and they can force her to make repairs..

.

.

thanks

Barrister

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