Skip to main content
Frances Miller Campbell

Frances Campbell’s Answers

1,055 total


  • 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.

    See question 
  • 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.

    See question 
  • 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.

    See question 
  • 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.

    See question 
  • 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.

    See question 
  • I found out my roommate has been overcharging me for 1/2 the rent. Is this legal and what are my rights?

    I was recently added to the lease at the request of the landlord (although the lease is in my roommate's name). The landlord created a new tenant portal account online, where I realized our rent is $1200. I pay $645 plus split utilities. I have th...

    Frances’s Answer

    What were the terms of your agreement with your roommate? If she said, "You pay half the rent," then, yes, she is overcharging you. If the terms were, "You pay $600," and she has the right to raise the rent, assuming she has done so correctly, this is also fine. It doesn't matter what her deal is with the landlord.

    See question 
  • Can I (as a tenant) demand to see a contractors license before major work is done by the landlord's agent?

    The landlord has sent me 2 24 hour notices to perform work (a new kitchen counter) each time the vendor has not showed up. This time they did and I demanded to see a contractors license, can I legally do that??

    Frances’s Answer

    You can ask--you can't demand. A contractor's license may not be necessary for that job at any rate.

    See question 
  • Is this legal grounds to evict a family

    My landlord is threating to evict us because my neighbor has a problem with us parking in front of her house on a public street he says we are not keeping the peace is this legal

    Frances’s Answer

    There's no rent stabilization in Roseville, so the landlord can evict you for any reason or no reason. If you have lived there less than a year (and assuming you do not have a lease that guarantees you can stay for a specific period of time), the landlord can terminate your tenancy by serving a 30 day notice to terminate your tenancy. If you've been there a year, the landlord must give you a 60 day notice.

    See question 
  • My landlord has changed the locks without prior notice after one of my roommates has moved out. I am on an individual lease.

    5 bedroom house. Individual contract/lease per room. My landlord has decided to change the locks to my house because she is worried that the tenant that just moved out will return. She did not give me notice to do this. Currently, I am not stayi...

    Frances’s Answer

    The landlord cannot lock you out of your rental unit--period. Her "fears" are irrelevant. If you are paying rent, you live there.

    Go back, and hire a locksmith to let you in. It's your right.

    See question 
  • If i'm the only one in the building who got a rent increase, how do i know it's not discriminatory?

    I've been paying 1650 since 2012. i got a letter today saying that my rent has been increased by 80 dollars a month to 1730. No one else got the same letter and there are some people who have been living in this building for more than 7 years with...

    Frances’s Answer

    Beverly Hills has extremely weak rent stabilization--In buildings that are rent-stabilized (and not all are) in most cases, the landlord can raise your rent up to 10%. (There is an exception to this--if when you moved into your unit the rent was less than $600 per month [Ha! Who does this apply to? Right, about 7 elderly people in the City.] then the rent increase must be very, very low. I haven't researched the percentage lately.)

    But, that's not really your question. You want to know if the rent increase is discriminatory. Generally speaking, a landlord can treat different tenants differently so long as he is not discriminating against someone for an illegal reason, e.g., because of the tenant's race, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, disability, etc. He can decide, for example, "I like that tenant's fashion sense so I'm not going to raise his rent." That's perfectly legal.

    So, is your landlord discriminating against you illegally? Probably not. If, for example, you're the only African-American in the building, and the only tenant who got a rent increase, the answer is "maybe." But I still say probably not. If the landlord hated you because of your race, he would probably do something more extreme than raise your rent $80.00 per month.

    Hope that's helpful.

    See question