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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Community > General Chit Chat > Anyone know anything about constructive eviction and tenant rights?
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Old 01-26-2011, 07:30 PM   #1
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Default Anyone know anything about constructive eviction and tenant rights?

So in a matter of a couple weeks we've had to move out and are now living in an extended stay hotel. We found a new place but can't move in for 29 more days. Thanks to anyone who has advice. Obviously this has been a real PITA and I'm fairly pissed at the landlords for not responding right away. BTW - we lived there for 9 years.


Here's the situation:

- We discoved mold growth on the walls in the bathroom cabinet under the sink as well as some growth under the kitchen sink in early December

- We sent an email to our landlord requesting repairs on 12/3/2010.

- They sent a contractor approximately one week later who started to work on the kitchen first after we told the landlords/contractor that the bathroom seemed to be getting worse more rapidly that the kitchen.

- We noticed increased humidity and temperature in the bathroom and living room adjacent to to the bathroom

- After 5 or so weeks of not really addressing the issue, even after I sent a powerpoint with pictures and labels, they finally tore out the cabinet in the bathroom, all of the drywall, toilet, sink, etc. on 1/12/2011 which exposed a huge amount of mold inside the walls. At this point we moved to a hotel. Additonally, when I came home from work that day, the contractor left the bathroom door closed and when I opened it, it was steamy like a shower had been running for hours.

- It turns out there was a broken hot water pipe underneath the floor which was causing steam to rise up through the walls and caused a huge mold infestation.

- So the apartment was deemed uninhabitable and we've been in hotels/extended stay since 1/12/2011. We were also served an eviction notice on 1/21/2011.

-The walls all have taped notes on them which show moisture levels in the walls

-The landlords also tore into the ceiling adjacent to bathroom to check for further damage

- Asbestos was also found in the walls

- We have since move all of our stuff into an onsite storage container.

- We do have renters insurance which will cover up to $3000 in moving cost, temporary accomodations, increased food cost, etc. Obviously we are going to exceed the $3000 fairly quickly

- We were not under any lease agreement

- We paid rent for December and January and also paid first and last and a deposit

- I have all emails between us and the landlord and also documented everything with pictures

-We are saving all receipts

- We have not signed anything or agreed to take any money from the landlords yet


So what I need to know is:

1. What rent is owed to us? All of January? December? The rest of January from when we moved to the hotel? Last months rent (paid when we moved in)? Deposit?

2. Is the landlord responsible for any costs to us associated with moving/accomodations above the $3000 that the renters insurance covers?

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Old 01-26-2011, 11:15 PM   #2
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I worked as an apartment maintenance supervisor for years and it all depends on the state and what your lease agreement says. Most states tend to side with the landlord. As for mold that is a serious health concern and you may want to try contacting your state health department for some suggestions. As for return money that probably wont happen but if you have a signed lease and the landlord is not able to provide somewhere for you to stay in compensation for your rent then you might have a case... it all depends on the lease.

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Old 01-26-2011, 11:17 PM   #3
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Just read that you don't have a lease. The lease is there to protect the landlord and tenant alike... you may be out of luck since technically you are not a "tenant" and you don't have a "landlord"

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Old 01-27-2011, 12:01 AM   #4
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1. This is all in California in the Bay Area
2. I talked to a mediator today who said the landlord has to pay from when we discoved the mold in our kitchen. So rent for December and January, last months rent (paid at move in), our security deposit, and any moving costs. I hope she's right, she said she would call the landlord for us.

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Old 01-27-2011, 12:08 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JonK331 View Post
2. I talked to a mediator today who said the landlord has to pay from when we discoved the mold in our kitchen. So rent for December and January,....
i likely would disagree with this part. You are "constructively evicted" when the place is uninhabitable-- it might be a judgment call but they usually mean things like no electricity, no water, no heat (in a cold winter), no appliances, etc. You are likely entitled to reimbursement for some rent of December, but I wouldn't call it uninhabitable from the description posted (sorry) until mid-January when the contractor tore out your kitchen/bath, etc.

this info is worth what you pay for it & i haven't researched anything and it has been years since i dealt with these issues.
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Old 01-27-2011, 12:16 AM   #6
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Not to be the blunt a55 in the room but there is still no lease... You weren't a Tenant. Hopefully the mediator has a solution.

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Old 01-27-2011, 12:22 AM   #7
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Do you really mean you have no lease, or that you are month-to-month?

I find it very hard to believe people are renting apartments in California with no lease.

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Old 01-27-2011, 12:34 AM   #8
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Quote:
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Not to be the blunt a55 in the room but there is still no lease... You weren't a Tenant. Hopefully the mediator has a solution.
Even without a lease, CA landlord-tenant laws apply.
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Old 01-27-2011, 12:35 AM   #9
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Did you, at one time, have a lease? From maybe when you first moved in? It's been a long time since I've been on a lease (homeowner), but I remember that I would always look for some kind of continuance statement, such as when the original term of the lease ran out then I could pay month to month without signing another lease, but all other terms in the original lease would stand. Such as termination notices and the rights and responsibilities of both parties.

If this is your case, then there's likely a lot of information that would apply in those documents.

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Old 01-27-2011, 12:50 AM   #10
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in CA, with no written lease: he has an oral lease. terms are for the LL to provide a habitable space in exchange for $xx/ month.

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