I need help with my landlordI rent a room in a house in San Jose. For almost a year now the landlord has allowed a person to live in the legally uninhabitable cellar (no natural lighting because there are no windows, it has a dirt floor, there is only one entrance/exit so that with no windows there is no secondary, emergency exit available, the cellar is a construction
zone due to city required improvements, no heat, and probably more code violations). There are also several other issues with him living in the cellar.A couple of years ago this man, Kenneth Bowen, was living in a tent made of tarps in the front yard. He moved from there into a house across the street with a woman and lived there for a few months until she was evicted. He then moved back into the tent in the front yard without asking the landlord for permission to do so. Mr. Bowen lived there for approximately one year until the city told the landlord he had to move.Mr. Bowen then asked the landlord if he could store some things in the cellar and received permission to do so. However, instead of simply storing some items as requested, Mr. Bowen moved from the yard into the cellar and, almost a year later, is still living there. He never received permission to move into the cellar, has no rental agreement
, and does not pay rent. The landlord does have Mr. Bowen do some work, typically minor house and vehicle repairs, but this is an occasional occurrence and it is not necessary for Mr. Bowen to live in the cellar in order to perform these tasks. Indeed, because of the reasons listed above, the cellar is a legally uninhabitable space.Mr. Bowen is also a known thief, having stolen $340 total (that we know of) from the landlord and I; another tenant once gave him a $300 rent payment to be passed on to the landlord and I once gave him $40 to buy materials for a project he was working on for me. Mr. Bowen spent these funds on items for himself instead of for their intended purposes.Mr. Bowen also creates a mess in the yard by dong weekly 'dumpster dives' and bringing back recyclables and objects that have been thrown in the trash by other persons. These objects include broken items such as televisions, washing machines and dryers, mobility scooters, coffee makers, and much more. He spreads these objects, and recycling materials, over a large are in the yard with his tools and some other possessions occupying even more yard space. The city has told the landlord the yard must be cleaned up and, except for Mr. Bowen's continued mess, the yard is in much better shape.Additionally, Mr. Bowen constantly makes derogatory, abusive comments to and about me. He once even called me a pedophile in front of several witnesses. Since I am 68 years old this constitutes verbal abuse of an elderly person, which I believe to be illegal. This is very detrimental to my health as I am a Vietnam Veteran with PTSD. I also have a rare type of Muscular Dystrophy, named Carnitine Polmitoyl Transferase Deficiency type 2 (use CPT 2 for a web search) which is an episodic affliction caused by a metabolic disorder. One potential trigger for these episodes is stress, which I feel a great deal of with Mr. Bowen living here. Not only is this is an unhealthy condition for me due to the CPT 2, I have also been treated for high blood pressure in the past. Although I have corrected that condition, Mr. Bowen's continued presence is detrimental to the continued control of my blood pressure; even typing this letter about him has raised my heart rate substantially while actually being in his presence is much worse. Because of this, I mostly stay in my room so that I can avoid any potential conflict with Mr. Bowen but am tired of feeling like a prisoner in a place I pay to live.The landlord is well aware of all of the above. For well over a year I have repeatedly tried to get him to make Mr. Bowen move, if for no other reason than the affect on my health. There are also the facts that the city h
JA: OK. To minimize me, please click the down arrow at the top right corner of this box.
Customer: Are you there? I sent the first message yesterday afternoon and have not heard back.
JA: No. I'm the real estate
lawyer's Assistant. Because real estate law varies from place to place, can you tell me what state this is in?
Customer: San Jose, CA.
JA: Has any paperwork been filed?
Customer: No. But the city has told the landlord that Mr. Bowen needed to go. That was almost a year ago.
JA: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: The landlord has told Mr. Bowen several times that he must move but he never does and the landlord relents, giving him more time.