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Marc Drew Whitham

Marc Whitham’s Answers

11 total


  • I need to know if I am responsible for the costs of an exterminator for bed bugs or is the landlord responsible for the costs?

    We are unsure how the bugs got into my apartment. When I brought it to my landlords attention she informed me that I was the one that was going to have to pay the 460 dollar bill for the exterminator. Can this really be true? As it turns out I ...

    Marc’s Answer

    The other attorneys who have already posted are correct that the best answer to this question is: it depends. The facts surrounding the infestation are paramount. Much will depend upon how long have you lived in the unit,, whether they existed in other units, whether management has done anything to eradicate pests in the building that may have caused them to invade your apartment, as well as other details. I would recommend that you speak with an attorney about asserting your rights, and trying to get to the bottom of some of the most important questions. You should also make sure that you are getting treatment for the bites from a medical professional who can document that they are in fact bed bugs. Keep samples of the bugs that you find, and take pictures of the infestation and any and all property that you may have to discard or place in storage.

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  • My landlord is kicking me out 7 months into a 12 month contract lease. He will only give me up to $1,000 to move out.

    I recently signed a 12 month lease february of this year and recently got a call from my landlord demanding us to move out because he needs to sell his condo by the end of this year. We have 5 more months left on this lease and he is only willing ...

    Marc’s Answer

    You do not have to agree to your landlord's demand to move out early. I would strongly recommend that you get the assistance of a tenants' rights attorney. Feel free to contact me in order to discuss further.

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  • Landlord tenant: CA Civil Code: 1942.5 for someone with extreme sensitivities. Can someone with Westlaw or Nexus please help?

    Half of my apt. was rendered unihabitable for me after Management mishandled a plumbing leak unrelated to my usage. I have severe asthma, allergies, and auto immune dysfunction. management knows this. They denied my reasonable request in 201// for...

    Marc’s Answer

    In order to give you the appropriate advice for your situation, I would need to know more about what you mean by "corporate tried to bully me out of my lease." 1942.5 makes it illegal for a landlord or property manager to take certain actions after a tenant has made complaints about problems within their rental unit that violate the implied warranty of habitability. The most important thing is that your troubles with the apartment and your particular sensitivities to the things that management has done to your apartment are well documented.

    Please follow this link to see some more information about your rights to habitable housing. If you can't find your answers online, then please follow the second link to get my contact information, so you can give me a call.

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  • My landlord slandered me to family and friends when I was unable to pay rent...

    Can I sue? I have witness to testify she called them and tried to get my overdue rent money out of them. Said I was a prostitute and even called CPS on me. The same woman came into my rental uninvited with a kitchen knife when my roomate and I wer...

    Marc’s Answer

    I agree that you do have reason to sue for the defamatory statements, but it is very important that you have all of your witnesses and evidences in order and well documented. Make sure that from this point forward you are documenting everything that takes place within your rental and everything that your landlord does. Take lots of photos of the conditions in the home. Make your complaints in writing and keep copies them.

    Under Civil Code section 1940.2 it is also illegal for a landlord to engage in menacing conduct in order to influence a tenant to leave. I would strongly recommend that you talk to an attorney about your situation. You could be in a precarious position if you are not current on rent and you haven't documented all of your landlord's neglect in failing to keep up the property.

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  • What are my renters right?

    Hi, I really need advice on my rights as a renter. about a week ago I got a letter from the property owner/building owner that I rent from. The letter says that due to financial hardship they are issuing a 30 notice to vacate the property, and tha...

    Marc’s Answer

    If this is a residential tenancy and you have lived in the property for more than a year, then under California law, you have a right to receive 60 days notice to terminate. If you have lived there for less than one year, and if you live in a City without any eviction or rent control laws, then a 30 day notice is what the law requires, unless you have a fixed term lease agreement which gives you a right of possession for a fixed period of time. In that case, your landlord must wait until the end of the lease term before he attempts to terminate your tenancy.

    I would encourage you to contact the water utility and see about getting your water bill transferred into your name. You might also visit the county recorder's office to find out if any notices of default have been recorded against the property and if so, whether or not the trustee has issued a notice of sale. If these two events have occurred, then the property owner is indeed close to seeing the building lost to foreclosure. If there is no notice of default and no trustees sale scheduled, then it is hard to say what kind of financial trouble the landlord may be referring to.

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  • MY LANDLADY CALLED MY EX AND MOMSAYING I WAS HAVING SEX W MEN FOR RENT AND DRUG MONEY NEITHER IS TRUE WHAT CAN I DO ABOUT THIS?

    MY LANDLADY CALLED MY EX AND MOMSAYING I WAS HAVING SEX W MEN FOR RENT AND DRUG MONEY NEITHER IS TRUE WHAT CAN I DO ABOUT THIS?WE HAD AGREED THAT I WAS GOING TO MOVE OUT EVEN THOU IT WAS ONLY 2 WEEK VERBAL NOTICE WE AGREED ON. BUT AFTER SHE STARTI...

    Marc’s Answer

    If you can establish with credible evidence that she falsely told others you were prostituting yourself for money, then that would be a basis to sue her for defamation. Your landlady cannot enforce the verbal agreement to terminate your tenancy. She could serve you with a notice to terminate the tenancy, but it must give at least 30 days if you have lived at the property for less than one year.

    If you've been there for over one year, then you have a right to at least 60 days notice before she can bring an unlawful detainer suit to terminate. The three day notice is only valid if it is demanding rent, or if it demands that you perform a covenant or quit. She could also give you a three day notice if she truly believes you are using the property for an illegal purpose. If she does, then that may help you in support of any claim against her for defamation.

    If she demands rent and you don't pay it within three days, then she can proceed to court with an unlawful detainer. The fact that she left a copy on the door and sent a copy through the mail would mean that service was effective, but if the notice has the wrong property address, then it is fatally defective.

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  • I live in an apartment and we have a mice problem I have been complaining and they put in glue traps and said they hired

    an exterminator but we still have a problem. I can't move because my husband is in the navy and he is going thru a security clearance and we are not allowed to move. What should I do? Is there a governing office that we can go to or what should we...

    Marc’s Answer

    It is important that you communicate with your landlord about the problem in writing. Send dated letters that identify your address and clearly state that the situation with the rodents is unacceptable. Make sure that you keep copies for yourself. If you want to send home to the landlord that you are serious,send the letter certified mail with return receipt, so that you have a signature showing they received it and include a copy of a complaint to code enforcement. (You can get the online fillable form to lodge the complaint here - http://www.sandiego.gov/nccd/pdf/investigation.pdf). La Mesa may be outside of the jurisdiction of the City authorities, but you can reach the County of San Diego enforcement authorities at http://www.co.san-diego.ca.us/dplu/ce5/.

    Make sure that you follow up with code enforcement, call them at (619) 236-5500, and pressure them to send someone out to take a look at the apartment. I would not advise withholding rent until you have taken these steps and have given your landlord an opportunity to respond and fix the problem. If the landlord takes an unreasonably long time to act, or if the efforts put forth fail to get rid of the rodents, then write a follow up letter explaining that you will be forced to withhold rent.

    It is still a good idea to talk to an attorney before taking the step of withholding even if you follow all these steps.

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  • Lived in rental for 9 years. A mold problem was found. Do i still have to pay rent for the time it has taken me to move out?

    I have lived in my rental in Riverside California for 9 years. The house really needs some maintanience but landloord refuses to spend any money for the upkeep. When I say upkeep I am talking about the floors falling through. After the big rai...

    Marc’s Answer

    You may have good cause to assert a demand that your landlord reimburse you for your moving expenses or reimburse you for losses that you suffered as a result of the rain damage to your personal property. This depends on your history with the landlord and your appetite for confrontation. You need to decide from the outset whether you are interested in pushing for your rights to a reimbursement of some rent money, or whether you simply want to avoid paying full rent during your last month in possession. If you want to get a reimbursement on a theory of breach of warranty, then I would strongly suggest contacting an attorney who works for tenants in this field.

    If you would like to simply avoid paying full rent during the last 30 days you are there, your success will depend upon how and when you made complaints to your landlord about the problems with the house. Assuming that you complained and the landlord failed to respond, then you need to have good documentation about these conversations and the problems you complained of. Take lots of photographs. If you ever made complaints to code enforcement, get copies of those complaints. Also assemble copies of any complaints you made to the landlord in writing, and get statements from witnesses who have seen the property and could testify about the problems. If your complaints were not made in writing, then you may have a harder time insisting that your landlord knew about the problems within the house.

    If you have already secured substitute housing and have a set date when you intend to depart, then make sure that you give your landlord notice that you are terminating. If you have a month to month tenancy, then you will only need to give 30 days notice. If you have a fixed term with more than 30 days remaining, you can still terminate the agreement if the problems at the house are severe in nature. Floor boards falling apart is certainly severe. Reiterate in your notice the problematic conditions within the house and make sure that you state that this is the reason you are being compelled to leave.

    Your landlord may attempt to retain your security deposit for a default in the payment of rent, or even sue you in small claims after you move out. If you end up in court, your pictures, letters and notice of termination will be critical to demonstrating that the problems were severe and justified your non-payment of rent.

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  • Payed property mgr to stop eviction but still served

    we were givin a 3 day notice to pay rent or they will evict us . after speaking to the property mgr we were told we could pay the rent and extra fees to stop eviction with in 30 days.Yesterday we paid the full amount plus fees before the 30 days a...

    Marc’s Answer

    You need to make certain that the plaintiff in the unlawful detainer does not go forward in court. I would send a fax immediately to the attorney that filed the lawsuit that includes a copy of the receipt showing that your rent payment was accepted, and a demand that they send you a copy of the request of dismissal to be filed in court and when they intend to file it. I would also state in the letter that if the case is not dismissed and you are forced to file an answer in court, then you will expect to be reimbursed for the court costs and attorney's fees.

    If the plaintiff's attorney does not send you a copy of the request for dismissal within five days from the date that you were served with the complaint, then you need to make certain that you file an answer so that your rights are protected against a request for an entry of default. If for whatever reason, the plaintiff does not dismiss the UD, you have a complete defense. By accepting the rent payment after the expiration of the three day notice the landlord has waived his right to sue for your eviction.

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  • 3 Day notice

    My landlord has 7 units in the building I live in. Our rent is due the 1st of each month. Some months the first & payday are a few days apart. On these months we get a 3 day notice taped to our door, (Only taped to the door, there is no second met...

    Marc’s Answer

    It is a good idea to document the discrepancy between the date on the notices and the dates when they are being posted on the property, as well as the fact that the notices are not arriving in the mail. I would suggest that you write to your landlord the next time that this happens and mention that the notice is being posted three or more days after the date on the document. Make sure that the letter has the date, your name, and your address. Make a copy of the letter before you send it to keep with your records.

    However, beware that if your landlord serves a proper notice when the rent is past due and you don't pay within the three days, then she doesn't have to accept the payment afterward and can move forward in court to evict you. If rent is late under the lease on the second day of the month, and your landlord serves a notice that same day, then you have to make certain you tender the payment by no later than the 5th. If she serves a notice on the 5th of the month, even though it is dated the 2nd, you will still have until the end of the 8th to make the payment.

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