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Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 117365
Experience:  Licensed attorney practicing landlord-tenant, land use and other real estate law and litigation.
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I'm currently in a very bad situation. I am mentally

Customer Question

Hello. I'm currently in a very bad situation. I am mentally disabled for six years with critical PTSD, DID AND ADHD. I have been living at my parents at 44 years old so they could monitor me. I finally got instructions from my Psyciatrist to get my own place to recover. No stress, no yelling,, no abuse. Just a relaxing quiet place.before renting my own place. To recover after
JA: Because laws vary from place to place, can you tell me what state the property is in?
Customer: im in Georgia.
JA: Has any paperwork been filed?
Customer: i met with a lawyer with all of the fines, photographs I took, talked to neighbors etc... But I cannot find a lawyer because of my PTSD. All lawyers I've contacted deal only with military PTSD. that's discrimination. Millions have PTSD without serving in the military. The one lawyer I met with said you have a very good case but I can only handle veterans.
JA: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: Quick and easy....harrassment / discrimatiom from my HOA has caused unbelievable stress, Dr visits, increase in medication and severe depression.
Submitted: 11 months ago.
Category: Real Estate Law
Expert:  AttyHeather replied 11 months ago.

Hi! I'm Heather. I've been a practicing attorney for the last 15 years, and I'd be happy to assist you for informational and educational purposes.

Expert:  AttyHeather replied 11 months ago.

I've read what you wrote, but I'm not sure I understand just what you are asking. Can you clarify what you are asking?

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
I really need help. I am on disability for extreme PTSD amongst other mental illnesses. which barely covers bills, 1. In the Georgia Landlord and tenant law book I downloaded from Georgia.gov site to be knowledgeable about real estate law as it pertains to discrimination / harrassment on disabled laws.
1. My landlord is aware I'm disabled as I had to supply my Disability income which he said, "you aren't going to commit suicide are you?" Then knowing I live paycheck to paycheck he increased my rent which now I cannot afford. He stated no reason for increase other than a comp in this development. Legally, he was supposed to give me 30 days. He gave me 25 by mailing late. Additionally, I reviewed the only document he gave me. My lease.
After reviewing my book, the number one thing required on a lease is including his full name, his address, and his phone number. Plus give the same information about the property management company. I didn't even know we had one. Due to his irresponsibility of writing a contract missing the #1 law, does this make the contract / lease not a legal lease? He has also come out numerous A/C UNIT HE SAYS HE HATES FIXING ALL THE TIME. MY A/C bill is 5 times my neighbors who I asked due to his faulty A/C. THESE BILLS HAVE BEEN KILLING ME FINANCIALLY EVERY MONTH. Can you let me know what legal action I can take against him?
Expert:  AttyHeather replied 11 months ago.

If he was 25 days on the rent increase, but he needed to give you 30, he could probably just pro-rate the next month, unless the lease says he cannot do that.

If the a/c is really faulty, then you can demand that he fix it. The fact that it is 5 times the neighbor's bill might indicate that it is not working properly, but it is not definitive. He will probably blame you and say you use it 5 times more than the neighbors.

If things are that bad and he is jerking you around so much, you are probably going to continue to have problems with you until you move and find a more decent landlord.

Does that make sense?

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
No, it does not make sense. First, I am on disability with Critical PTSD. I downloaded the landlord tenant book from GA gov website. Under leases, the first requirement is names and phone numbers of all parties including property manager. I suppose a book issued by GA Gov has incorrect information in it? As far as the AC we've exhausted efforts for him to fix it and had weeks of a house packed with fans it was so hot! Additionally, I ran a report on usage by month and Bill. It blatantly shows a huge spike when the climate changed. $345 vs. $80 from two neighbors? That is as my neighbor said, that broken down noisy AC unit is your problem. And the power chart shows blatantly proves there is no way this is based on basic power use. What's really upsetting is, with my severe condition, I am supposed to avoid any stress, confrontation or major changes. I am supposed to be recovering in peace. You suggested to Move to a better landlord? Other then, supporting the GA gov book on the lease part. You said to Get AC fixed? Not achieve able after uncountable attempts by him. That's isn't breach of contract? In response to move to a better landlord instead of accountability? I am disabled, on my Psyciatrists orders, I am in recovery at home. Critical PTSD flares up painful symptoms in any stressful situation or causes anxiety. A move is stressful for a normal person. The thought of a move has caused incredible stress, crying spells, trauma, anxiety, lack of sleep etc...it's a very serious condition. With the $155 increase I can't afford it. My small disability check covers bills, medicine and Dr and food. When I had the first huge power bill, I had to pay it, and went for groceries at the food bank. That was something I should have never had to do because of a faulty, broken AC unit.
I now am living in trauma...I have to move, which is traumatic for someone with my condition causing all side effects to come out. I don't have leftover income to pay deposits. How does this make sense to you? Possibly I need a lawyer who understands mental illness and its effects. Christina
Expert:  AttyHeather replied 11 months ago.

I am so sorry you are going through this. I wish I could help you more, but I will go ahead and opt out and perhaps there is another lawyer expert that can better assist you.

Expert:  Attyadvisor replied 11 months ago.

Hello Christina I am a different attorney and it will be my pleasure to assist you.

First and foremost a landlord cannot harass you and he must provide habitable living conditions.

There are many Pro Bono and legal attorneys that should be able to assist you. That being said let's take the position (and I do believe this is the case) that the landlord is going out of his way to mistreat you based on your mental disability. Have you filed an ADA complaint for discrimination? Have you contacted your local housing authority? Where in Georgia are you located?

Expert:  Attyadvisor replied 11 months ago.

If you have not filed the ADA complaint please do this today at https://www.ada.gov/complaint/

Legal Aid is available through:

"Try the resources listed below for assistance involving legal issues.

  • Atlanta Legal Aid Society - serves low-income Georgians in the following 5 counties:
    • Atlanta/Fulton County(###) ###-####/li>
    • South Fulton/Clayton Counties(###) ###-####/li>
    • Cobb County(###) ###-####/li>
    • DeKalb County(###) ###-####/li>
    • Gwinnett County(###) ###-####br />(Hearing impaired - dial 711 for Georgia Relay Center)
  • Georgia Legal Services Program - serves low-income rural Georgians in all counties not served by Atlanta Legal Aid Society
  • LegalAid-GA.org - find self-help publications, legal services organizations, pro bono programs and lawyer referral projects in Georgia
  • State Bar of Georgia
  • Other legal resources in Georgia"

http://portal.hud.gov/hudportal/HUD?src=/states/georgia/homeownership/legalaid

"What is Illegal Landlord Retaliation?

If a landlord tenant dispute goes south and a tenant decides to inform the authorities, the tenant is protected from certain retaliatory activity. A landlord is not permitted to go after the tenant in a number of ways. The kinds of retaliatory acts covered by most state statutes include:

  • increasing the rent;
  • ending a month-to-month tenancy or refusing to renew a lease;
  • firing off an eviction lawsuit if a tenant decides to stay put and fight in court; and
  • petty inconveniences like draining a pool, removing laundry facilities, cancelling cable access, etc." http://realestate.findlaw.com/landlord-tenant-law/how-does-the-tenant-prove-that-the-landlord-s-conduct-was-retalia.html

As far as the AC

O.C.G.A. 44-7-13
44-7-13. Landlord's duties as to repairs and improvements

The landlord must keep the premises in repair. He shall be liable for all substantial improvements placed upon the premises by his consent.

http://law.justia.com/codes/georgia/2010/title-44/chapter-7/article-1/44-7-13

The landlord is responsible for the repair and the costs you are incurring because of his failure to make repairs.

What is surprising to me is that no one has taken your case when this is a standard habitability, landlord harassment and ADA issue. How did you find the attorney that would not take the case?

Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 11 months ago.
Thank you for your question. I look forward to working with you to provide you the information you are seeking for educational purposes only.
I am a DIFFERENT CONTRIBUTOR, do you have further questions as your other two contributors have left?
Customer: replied 11 months ago.
My only hesitation about filing with ADA yet is because I still have to live here with a short fused landlord. So, if they start sending letters, he may get aggressive. And , does ADA have access to lawyers? I spoke to a pro bono this morning and he said I definitely need t get moving on this now as I only have 60 days and I'm out. If he decides tools my deposits in an immaculate home, I won't have deposits for a new place to live. I don't know what to do. Is there a way to force a jurdgrment on my landlord to give even some of my deposit so I can secure a new place and not be homeless? What are your thoughts?
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 11 months ago.
Thank you for your reply.
They cannot retaliate against you for filing a ADA claim. Also, you can file your complaint with the Office of Housing and Urban Development for discrimination. If they try to retaliate against you for doing so, then you have grounds to file a separate suit for that retaliation.
YOU do need to go and file your claim though, but the landlord will not release the security deposit until you leave because that is to cover damages I am afraid.
You would need to go through legal aid for legal representation or through the pro bono service if you want representation, but you do not need an attorney to file an ADA complaint.
Customer: replied 11 months ago.
I am beyond shocked after months of reading, researching and determined to get justice for what they have and are doing to me mentally I haven't found the right attorney. Most I think, don't feel comfortable representing a mentally ill person if they don't understand or have compassion. .
HOA/Property Management case too... I haven't been outside in months. I cry looking at all the dead flowers and evaporated fountain where I spent most of my peaceful time. I had a beautiful gazebo for over a year, my landlord complimented how pretty it was out there. In the letters, they fined violations. 1. We had to remove our gazebo they didn't approve. My landlord said, that's crazy, they are everywhere. I had 15 days to dissemble the monster of. pieces
O remove one everywhere around mand walk by house after house with gazebos. I documented EVERYTHING and took photos everywhere. 2. Violation was found feces from my tiny therapy dog in my yard. I do the best I can, I keep my place beautiful and when I looked next door there were huge piles in that yard. I walked over and asked if they ever dealt with this or been fined. No he said
3. Violation for leveling mountain back behind every house has grass, then huge bushes to stop water run off a steep hill. My address is the only eyesore in the middle with no bushes only clay. I google earthed a zoomed in picture and it shows this has been like that for a long time. HOA didn't do their job obviously. Gardening is my therapy, so I shoveled / tilled the dirt and leveled it for water run off then bought great soil, and getting ready to atleast plant and garden there. Immediate fine $100 in 15 days back to its original condition.
Search the address***** Cumming Ga. Oddly enough it is a residential home pulling up as Wyngate Townhome Community as the owner. No public records can be found on that house and it said in small writing, "trade". Not sure how that'sCoincidentally, I have met the President of the HOA. We introduced ourselves, she told me she was the HOA president. More chatter then she asked what I do for a living. I embarrassingly said I was mentally disabled. Her demeanor changed, we say goodbye and ever since, never waves back to me, walks by me out front after I said hello. She did move to another unit in here but, I believe is still president and I believe has it out for me.
My landlord and I have called non stop with zero response. My landlord sent them a message to stop harassing me and then showed me a letter on property management letterhead addressed to him that stated...any HOA violations will be given 30 days notice to rectify and then a fine. Why are the community covenents neither I or my landlord have copies of, different for me? T
To top it off, after finally moving in to a peaceful, quiet affordable place vs. my extremely abusive parents house. Now that everything is unpacked and in place, my landlord sent me a letter last week raising my rent to unaffordable now, with 30 day notice.
The mental damage these people / companies with big lawyers do iI hope I helped you doing some homework on my own. I read the entire GA Gov tenant landlord book including leases.
Contract Violation Landlord number 1. In the book state I the names of ALL properties involved hand names and numbers to contact. Not one when I have three. And, by lamdlord asked ME if I know how to get ahold of the HOA. He's the owner! I received a lease that does not fall within GA guidelines, not one more document including any rules or covenants...nothing!
However, hand me a stack of late fines from property management with no description, what they consider rectify or any contact information. All of the notices, has an invoice #and $100 fine sent to my landlord giving me 15 days to rectify or another $100. The amount is well over $700 dollars. With my extreme mental condition, I had an extreme attack and had to friends to my psyciatrist. After three hours and medines increased, he told me to get a lawyer asap as I am supposed to avoid stress, confrontation, driving unless it's close, read what my psychiatry team gives me, go to appointments and rest , recover as my Critical PTSD won't heal without peace of mind and focus on my health. This has been so traumatic for me and I still have a lot ahead.Disability discrimination. 2. When I handed my proof of income, I handed him my disabilty statement. He immediately said "you don't seem disabled, what is your disability? I said extreme mental illnesses. He then said "you aren't going to kill yourself in her or anything are you?" Shocked isn't the word. So I had to explain very personal medical information and treatment plan I'm on and too not worry at all about that! (Blatant discrimination) I red that a landlord can not ask you anything about your marital status, race, sexual orientation, disability physical or mental unless he had to accommodate a wheel chair.
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 11 months ago.
Thank you for your reply.
You need to file your complaint with the Office of Housing and Urban Development regarding this discrimination. This really your only option right now. If HUD finds a violation, you can get a local housing discrimination attorney at the same sites used by other attorneys, http://www.hg.org or http://www.lexmundi.com