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Brandon M.
Brandon M., Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 12620
Experience:  Licensed Attorney
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If mold is discovered in the unit and landlord brings a

Customer Question

If mold is discovered in the unit and landlord brings a worker to inspect the leak but instead landlord and worker present to look at the leak. After the tenant leaves the unit, the landlord and worker enter without permission or notice and install a hidden camera without ever telling tenant. Few days later during a mold inspection at tenant's costs (landlord never responded to reimbursement request) and the mold inspector finds the hidden camera. Tenant files a police report. Then landlord demands under CA Civil Code section 1954 to inspect but landlord is a no show with out any explanation. The landlord demands to bring contractor in under a CA Civil Code section 1954, and tenant allows but requires landlord to provide identifying information of contractor and only one contractor as tenant is now very fearful of what landlord would do given the breaking in with the first worker who was really a security camera person who worked for the landlord at his business. How does the tenant tell this information to the judge in a UD action --- in the Response?
JA: Because laws vary from place to place, can you tell me what state the property is in?
Customer: CA
JA: Has any paperwork been filed?
Customer: Nothing has been filed but they threatened me that today they are starting the process.
JA: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: Lived in this unit for 1.5 years (2 year lease) and other two units have had mold since 2008 that landlord has ignored. I found this mold in August and then talked to neighbors about their mold. We did our own mold tests and LA Public Health Dept came out and confirmed and now landlord has until 10/14/16 to fix. Landlord wanted to bring contractor which I allowed as long as one person and I was given his identifying information --- all this in light of landlord breaking into my unit to install hidden cameras/recording/streaming devices (to his office and hand-held device). Landlord brought three workmen and no identifying information and I limited him to one with the identifying information for my safety based on previous break-in. Landlord refused to come in. I contacted his lawyer and told him landlord has one more hour to come back with one person and identifying info but no one responded to me. Landlord is demanding my renters insurance (which I have) but he is also trying to claim I caused the mold and that my delay in allowing the contractor (I have already allowed mold inspectors in and landlord filmed the entire time he was in my unit by a concealed body camera and I did not know and he never asked permission)
Submitted: 10 months ago.
Category: Real Estate Law
Expert:  Brandon M. replied 10 months ago.

Good evening, my name is Brandon. I am a California licensed attorney. To answer your question, you can raise any affirmative defenses that you may have to eviction in your answer to the unlawful detainer complaint. This is form UD 105, and can be filed/served after being served with the complaint (Form UD 100). That said, the camera issue is definitely concerning -- someone who secretly places a camera in someone else's residence without the resident's knowledge can face civil and criminal liability. So not only could a tenant in that situation potentially have a civil cause of action for "invasion of privacy", it's something that they may want to report to law enforcement as well.

Expert:  Brandon M. replied 10 months ago.

Does that make sense?

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
HI Brandon! This does make sense - thank you. I was reviewing CA Civil Code Section 1954 and there is no place there for tenant putting limitations on the entry to inspect (which I am happy to have him fix) given his invasion of privacy. I will review the Affirmative Defense form 105 -- is there anything I should know about that filling out that form given that the landlord's actions are retaliatory for my finding mold? BTW - when the landlord did his first inspection of the mold, he and his "mold inspector" told me "it is nothing" and "go to homedepo and gets some antimicrobial cleaner and clean it myself." then when I protested (because this mold has been causing my childhood asthma to start again since spring and I am now on five different medications -- then they both told me to take a q-tip and wet it in my mouth, rub it on the mold and put it in a ziplock and bring it to my doctor and he will tell me what it was. I got my own mold inspector to tell the spore count in the ambient air, and then hired a air quality specialist to do very detailed test throughout the whole unit (took 7 hours and costs $4,000 -- which landlord refused to reimburse me) -- and big shock --- they found black mold. In fact, it is in all the units.Can all of these details go into the affirmative defense form 105?
Expert:  Brandon M. replied 10 months ago.

Well, I'll answer by saying that it would be irresponsible for me to tell you how to write an answer to a complaint that doesn't yet exist. So bearing that in mind, it's usually best to just put everything in there. If information is not relevant, the court will just ignore it. If it is relevant, then you don't want to leave it out. So the conservative approach for a self-represented party is to just throw in everything plus the kitchen sink and let the court decide what is and isn't important.

Expert:  Brandon M. replied 10 months ago.

Let me know if further clarification is needed. If no clarification is needed, have my responses answered your questions to your satisfaction?

Expert:  Brandon M. replied 10 months ago.

I think that my last message may have not gone through. Have I been able to answer your questions to your satisfaction?

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