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RealEstateAnswer, Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 28066
Experience:  10+ years in handling Leases, Landlord-Tenant, Foreclosures,Mortgages, and Eviction cases
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My son is renting a 2 bedroom apartment in West Hollywood

Customer Question

My son is renting a 2 bedroom apartment in West Hollywood CA. He originally signed the lease with a roommate who moved to New York a couple of months ago. He brought in another person that he thought he knew well to sublet. It turns out the subletter has been scamming on Craig's List getting people to rent his room, and then keeping their money. He has not paid his share of the rent in 2 months, and keeps lying that he paid through December. A background check is showing he is on probation in OK for scamming and 15 counts of credit card fraud, and is awaiting a trial in Feb. I just helped my son pay the subletter's part of the rent owed, but he is afraid to go back to his apartment, as there are many angry people going after this thug. The subletter sits in the apartment all day with blankets over the windows. My son went to the police, but they would not do anything, as there has been no bodily harm. Is it possible for my son to terminate the lease early and leave the subletter? Your help is greatly appreciated!
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Real Estate Law
Expert:  RealEstateAnswer replied 1 year ago.

Good morning. Just to be clear, your son told the police that he knows this person was scamming people on Craiglist and the police refused to investigate the matter?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
He also called the secret service agent on the guys case. He is awaiting trial in February
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
The secret service agent is Frank Coffman. The defendent is James Rodney Sims.
Expert:  RealEstateAnswer replied 1 year ago.

Thank you. Very odd that the police would not investigate if he was doing this and you had evidence of this but it is at their discretion. Now, you shared that your son brought him in BUT if he is committing criminal acts, your son and/or the landlord, would have a legal right to evict him. Moreover, if he is not paying the rent which is owed, that would provide a basis as well. In addition, if your son knows he is on probation in OK, he can contact the State and report this, which could result in a violation and an arrest warrant be entered for him. If your son has concerns, he needs to speak with the landlord/owner and they need to work together to get him out, since the police refuse to investigate a known crime. Unless there was violence or harm between your son and this person, he could simply not vacate.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
My son does not believe he is violating probation. I spoke to the landlord, and all he told me is that he has to get him out somehow. I have put my son up in a hotel for the past 2 nights fearing his safety, and at this point, I want him to just break the lease (Calif Code 1942) and find a new place by himself.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
A tenant has the right to terminate a lease early for any small reason. The property is rent controlled, so the landlord would be able to raise price if my son left.
Expert:  RealEstateAnswer replied 1 year ago.

Just to be clear, you said this person is also not paying your son the agreed upon portion of the rent?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
We are in the midst of clearing up ourselves. Conducted background check on family, called his mom and she has western unioned us part of the money with intent to pay the rest.Thanks anyway
Expert:  RealEstateAnswer replied 1 year ago.

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