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Frances Miller Campbell

Frances Campbell’s Answers

1,060 total


  • Am I entitled to relocation fees being over 62 yrs old and another adult who is also a tenant?

    The house I've been renting for over 5 years suddenly has a new owner. I was never informed about this house being for sale or offered new owner information. I don't know if it was foreclosed on or sold and I don't know how to find out. I received...

    Frances’s Answer

    As a tenant in a non-rent-controlled jurisdiction, your tenancy is subject to State, not local, laws regarding termination of your tenancy. As such, you are entitled to the same protections as any other tenant in the State of California. There is no law requiring a landlord to tell you if he or she is selling his or her property. Because you have been renting your single family house for over a year, you are entitled to receive a 60-day notice to vacate. No proof of service has to be attached to the notice.

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  • Late fee for late rent: how to enforce it and collect it?

    Hello As per lease agreement, rent is due on the 1st, late on the 2nd and renters are in breach of contract on the 10th if the rent is not paid by then. We have in the rental agreement detailed late fee schedule. On the 12th, the rent had not...

    Frances’s Answer

    Late fees that are more than around $5.00 are illegal in California, because generally they do not represent liquidated damages but rather penalties. Now, I know that is lawyer-eze, but I can't help it. Let me try to put it in lay language. To be a legal late fee, the late fee cannot be more than the actual amount of money you lost because of the late payment--otherwise, your late fee is called a "penalty." You can't charge your tenant a penalty for being late. With today's interest rates, if your tenant pays late, you probably lose a couple of cents. So, landlord, forget the late fees.

    I have beat many eviction actions because landlord include late fees in the monies they are trying to collect. Maybe your tenant will hire me!

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  • Will it hurt my case that I left the house I was staying in before being evicted

    I was staying in a room with my two puppies at a "friends" house. Her house was a mess the likes of which I had never seen. She needed help and I needed a place to stay. We agreed I would clean the house in lieu of rent. (average rent for room 500...

    Frances’s Answer

    Your question is not very clear. If you leave the house, you will not be evicted from the house. That would be a good thing.

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  • Landlord refuses to respond in writing, now what?

    i been having an ongoing issue with my landlord entering my home without my permission. it was suggested to me by a friend to write them a letter telling them they cannot enter unless its an emergency, to aks for a plain of action as to how they ...

    Frances’s Answer

    Most people, and even other lawyers, do not agree with this, but I find it is usually a waste of time to write to your landlord to him or her to stop breaking the law. It's like writing, "Dear O.J., Please stop killing people. It's illegal! See Penal Code section 187."

    This is the same. The landlord is committing criminal trespass by entering your unit. Why do you think a letter will stop a criminal? You have two things you can do: (1) Change the locks--the landlord will only find out if he or she attempts to break the law and enter your unit. (2) Get a dropcam or some other small camera and leave it in an inconspicuous place. If the landlord comes in again, take the recording to the police and file a police report.

    Oh, of course, there is one more thing you can do--you can move. I think that's what I would do. You don't need to live with crazy.

    Good luck.

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  • What happens if the landlord accepts rent after asking for a default judgement for unlawful detainer.

    This is regarding termination of a month to month tenancy for no cause

    Frances’s Answer

    Once a landlord collects rent from you, you can no longer be "guilty of unlawful detainer" (that's what the statute say you are) because you are no longer on the premises without permission. However, the Court needs to know that the landlord collected rent--the Court won't know this unless someone brings a motion to set aside the default judgment. Because this is somewhat technical, you will need a lawyer experienced in unlawful detainer to pull this off, but you must invest the money to save your record as a tenant.

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  • Is my landlord required by any civil code statute to maintain dilapidated lighting in the common areas ?

    We live in an apartment and our landlord refuses to repair the lighting in the common area. I am concerned for or safety because we live in a main downtown street and are prone to burglaries. Is this a legal requirement ?

    Frances’s Answer

    Yes, it is a legal requirement that the landlord maintain lighting in the common areas for three reasons that I can think of: (1) the lack of lighting could encourage crime for which the landlord would be liable (See the Frances T. v. Village Green case.) (2) Someone could trip and fall in the dark, and that would make the landlord liable for the injuries. (3) It is required by Civil Code section 1941.1(a)(5), which requires the landlord to maintain electrical lighting in good working order.

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  • Civil Rights and the ADA of 1990

    My property management company states if i do not pay for service/companion dogs 100$ per month i will be violating my lease. Under the ADA of 1990 they are not supposed to be charging me fees. I am confused as to why they need additional paperwor...

    Frances’s Answer

    Your landlord is 100% in the wrong. The landlord cannot charge you for having a service or emotional support animal. They can ask you for a doctor's note to prove that you need a service or emotional support animal, if your disability and need for a service / emotional support animal is not obvious. (An example of when it would be obvious is if a person who walks around with dark glasses and a cane has a seeing eye dog--the landlord probably can't demand a note from a doctor proving that the tenant is blind.) What the landlord is doing is a clear violation of the U.S. Fair Housing Act, the California Fair Employment and Housing Act, and the Unruh Civil Rights Act. The landlord cannot evict you and in fact is likely liable to you for damages.

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  • Do I have a retaliation claim if my landlord gives us a 30 day notice to vacate immediately after I filed a small claims suit?

    Just filed suit for breach of warranty of habitability. Landlord is now threatening us with a move out or an unlawful detainer. Is this illegal ?

    Frances’s Answer

    • Selected as best answer

    That's pretty much classic retaliatory eviction. You should be able to defend the eviction, provided that you retain a competent attorney to represent you at the eviction trial. Retaliatory eviction defenses are very hard to prove, and, in my experience, Judges are not very sympathetic to them, so you should try the case to a jury.

    Ask yourself if you really want to spend the money to do that, though. Sounds like the place is a mess and the landlord does not make repairs. There is no rent stabilization in Citrus Heights, so, eventually, your landlord will be able to evict you. I advise you to look for a better rental situation.

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  • Do I have to pay for water in the apartment I live in?

    I live in Los Angeles city and county. I rent an apartment. Who should pay for the water, the landlord or the tenant? I'm not sure what my contract says which I am "jumping the gun" here. Also, my water stops running while I'm taking a shower, its...

    Frances’s Answer

    4 issues: Whether you or your landlord has to pay for the water is set out in your lease.

    Complain about the water interruption problem to the Los Angeles COUNTY Department of Public Health. That needs to be fixed immediately, because it's a health concern.

    It's legal to raise one's voice, but It's a crime to record a telephone call without informing the other person you are doing so.

    You can sue your landlord in small claims court for the inconvenience of having your water turned off intermittently. Go to www.lacourt.org and follow the small claims court links.

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  • What should I do next? Is this illegal?

    On May 29,2015 My landlord served me with a Pay or Quit notice, which gave me until June 8th,2015 to pay back rent I owe him. I owe him a total of $890, however the notice said I owe him $940. I left him a message telling him the amount was wrong,...

    Frances’s Answer

    I don't get it. It sounds like he responded to your message by correcting the notice. You don't have to call or text him about it--just pay it.

    Your landlord doesn't have to call you or return your calls. He doesn't have to personally deliver the notice either.

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