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James Coy Driscoll
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James Driscoll’s Answers

620 total


  • Is this even legal?

    I am renting a room with a friend since April. No written lease or rental agreement. Im now 3 days late on the paying my part of the rent but told her i get paid the 10th. I come home from today and all my stuff is thrown outside clothes and all a...

    James’s Answer

    What your "friend" did is illegal. See if the sheriff/local police will have a talk with her. If not, you will need to speak with an attorney. A lawsuit called a "forcible entry" and/or "forcible detainer" can be filed to get you back in. However, a letter from a lawyer is sometimes enough to get people to act properly.

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  • I offered a job to a person with few hours because the business is losing and we were considering selling it.

    in the end we agreed that he gonna run the business for us and get $60 out of profit which equals $90 and we agreed and we gave him the money in cash. He kept borrowing money from us and when the store was almost ruined and we decided to sell it, ...

    James’s Answer

    I generally agree with Mr. Matthews. Please realize that you are dealing with potentially thousands of dollars of your liability in unpaid wages and taxes, penalties, and attorney fees. Speak with an employer-side employment law attorney today.

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  • Can I legally withhold rent?

    We moved into the house last month may 1st when we moved in the swamp cooler worked it doesn't anymore! We live in the desert and the temps are 100 plus degrees now that it's summer. We have an infant in the home and it very uncomfortable. We cont...

    James’s Answer

    Contact the city code enforcement agency to see if they will cite the landlord for this condition (see link below). If they do, it may get him to fix the problem.
    Withholding rent is tricky. You can only withhold one month's rent and only to fix the problem. Even then, the landlord may still try to evict you for non-payment of rent.
    If the landlord will not fix the problem, you can move out, giving written notice to the landlord that you are doing so because you have been constructively evicted. Speak with a tenants' attorney before withholding rent or moving out.

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  • I live in San Francisco; and I found out my unit is an illegal in-law unit. My landlord does not allow me to have

    overnight guests stay for 3 consecutive days in a 12-month period. Is this cause for eviction? I have already been given a warning. Lastly, is the rental agreement valid? Thank you for your help.

    James’s Answer

    If the unit is illegal, you may be able to recover the money that you paid in rent to the landlord. You should talk with experience tenants attorney immediately

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  • I moved into a apartment with my girl the bathroom ceiling fell on me while using the restroom what can i do

    4 months into a new lease everything was inspected before my girlfriend signed the lease i need help

    James’s Answer

    If you were injured in the accident you should speak with a personal injury attorney immediately.

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  • I'm on a month to month lease I just paid my rent on the 1st I just got home and there's a 30 day notice taped to my door

    We just paid the rent I have 3 small children and my husbands permanently disabled I don't know what I can do but I have nowhere to go

    James’s Answer

    If you've lived there for a year or less they only have to give you 30 days written notice. If you've lived there for more than a year they have to give you 60 days written notice Unfortunately, they don't need a good reason or any reason at all to terminate your tenancy. However, they cannot terminate your tenancy to retaliate against you or do to illegal discrimination on their part.
    If you do not move out by the end of the proper notice period, they cannot legally lock you out. They must go through the courts and to evict you. If you get any legal papers you should speak with an attorney immediately; you have only five days including weekends days to file your response with the court. Your written response must be in the proper forma--a letter or phone call will not do.
    Best of luck to you and your husband !

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  • How much notice must I be given for eviction.

    I was a caretaker in a home. I also paid month to month rent. There is no rental agreement per se, but instead, just a list of house rules I agreed to. I've lived here more than two years. The man I was taking care of died and his son has inhe...

    James’s Answer

    Since you paid rent, you are a tenant. You must be given written notice of termination of your tenancy. Since you lived there more than a year, the notice given to you must be a 60-day notice.
    Often in-home caretakers are not properly compensated for their time. Minimum wage laws, deductions for housing, and other violations are often committed by the employer. You should speak with an employee-side employment lawyer immediately about your rights. DO NOT count on the son of your former boss to "do the right thing."

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  • 2 yrs ago our apt was "Ellised" & we moved. Never paid relocation. Now owner is about to re-rent. Do we have a case?

    The owner of the building was incredibly unscrupulous. Never opened an escrow account and used self help to get us out without paying relocation. Turned off water, power, removed security gates, parking etc. Now just over 2 years later and stil...

    James’s Answer

    From what you are saying, you were wrongfully evicted. You should speak with a tenants' attorney immediately to discuss your rights. You may be able to receive tens of thousands of dollars for your eviction.
    You want to speak with an attorney who does NOT also represent landlords. Lawyers who also represent landlords can have mixed loyalties when they represent tenants: they do not want to alienate the landlords who are their source of steady work.

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  • I was recently stuck in an elevator at my apartment building for 45 minutes in 100+ heat; Advice requested.

    This occurred last Thursday at 3pm. It is first worth mentioning that this elevator had been broken down twice in May alone, and has suffered over 10 breakdowns in the year I've lived here. I had to call 911 from my cell phone after it finally go...

    James’s Answer

    What you have is a personal injury claim against the landlord and property management company. You should speak with a personal injury lawyer immediately.

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  • My 83 yr old dad live 4 yrs now in extendid stay inn . They gave a non registered guest his mail a 11,500 dollar insurance check

    The person my father new , however I care taker was out of town . The person whom they gave this check to deposited the check into my dads bank but took 5000 plus dollars out and ran . Is the inn keepers at all responsible for this. Being that th...

    James’s Answer

    In addition, the place that cashed the check and the organization that issued the check should be advised immediate. Be filing a declaration of forgery,!your dad may be able to get the money back.

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