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Richard C Koman

Richard Koman’s Answers

317 total


  • Need to know the proper steps to evict a tenant.

    Already served a 3 day notice to quit. What is next?

    Richard’s Answer

    FIrst of all there are great resources online for this question, including my own awesome Avvo guide, "How to Evict a Tenant in California," and the state's landlord/tenant guide. So quick answer here: After the three days run, you need to file an unlawful detainer case with the local court (filing fee $435), have it served on the tenants (process server $50-$100). From the date of service tenants have 5 days to file papers with the court. If they don't take a default, obtain a judgment, have a writ issued, submit it to the sheriff for eviction.

    If they file an "answer," set the matter for trial. If they file a demurrer to your complaint (highly likely if they get a lawyer or go to legal aid and you draft the UD complaint yourself), file an opposition and show up to argue the merits of their motion in court.

    Advised: Hire a lawyer to get it done right. I've seen plenty of "doc prep assistant" drafted complaints that were rife with problems.

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  • Can I withhold part of the rent because (once again) the hallway carpet is waterlogged due to flooding under the house?

    For the fourth year in a row, water runoff during the rainy season floods the ground under the house I rent. My landlord has tried many solutions (trenches, extra pumps) each winter to no avail. We always hope it won't happen again. Meanwhile afte...

    Richard’s Answer

    Woah, woah, woah. I dont know where to start. If you've been there four years, 30 days notice doesn't cut it. Furthermore, the eviction is retaliatory, per se. Furthermore, you are suffering uninhabitable conditions with wet carpet and no doubt mold. Leaving is not a bad idea considering but I am very interested in speaking with you about all of the facts during your tenancy. I'm in Santa Rosa.

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  • What can be used as evidence

    I am being threatened with eviction. The landlord said she has enough evidence my file from 12 years to evict me. Anyone in my file is no longer around. Cannot be notarized as affidavits. There are anonymous complaints for privacy in resident’s f...

    Richard’s Answer

    Really hard to know what you're talking about. Anonymous complaints for privacy? What is the ground for evicting you? Something to do with harrassing the other tenants, or violating privacy? Does the landlord have personal knowledge of the facts in those documents? She may be able to testify to allow the documents to be used. If not, I agree with Frank, mere documents probably would not come in. Talk to a lawyer experienced in representing tenants and handling UD litigation.

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  • Can our landlord be held liable for our hotel stay while they make repairs?

    In making a repair, our landlord installed a LARGE dehumidifier in our bedroom, stuffing the bed against the wall. She insisted it has to stay on 24/7 until further notice. There are cords running from the bedroom to the bathroom sink and the dehu...

    Richard’s Answer

    It sounds like there is a very serious problem with the unit, that substantial repairs need to be made and that the landlord may not be making them properly. You may have the grounds for a substantial habitability case, depending on all of the facts. Feel free to contact my office to discuss further.

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  • My landlord trashed all my stuff without leting me have the chance to get my things

    my home caught fire and i was not allowed to get my things that was saved my landlord trashed everything

    Richard’s Answer

    Who was responsible for the fire? What does the fire dept report say? Was your stuff ruined? I doubt he has to store fire-damaged/hazardous stuff that has no value. If the landlord is at fault you have a right to replacement value of your stuff, regardless of whether he threw it out or not. Perhaps he caused some additional emotional damage by throwing out non-ruined personal mementos?

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  • What are my rights as a tenant for withholding rent when I have no heat? Is a fireplace considered a viable source of heat?

    I had the gas co. Com to my home to lite my pilot light on my floor furnace and was told it needed a part that had worn out. Gas had been leaking under my house. I notified the rental management co. And a repairman came out the next day. He said i...

    Richard’s Answer

    Excellent. It's not a question of reduction in rent. No heat for an extended period in winter is a serious breach of habitability. IF YOU CAN PROVE NOTICE to the management company. The company will say they didn't know there was a problem unless you have emails, written letters, written estimates from HVAC company, etc. Assuming you have been making provable demands that have been ignored, the law gives you the right to withhold rent in order to effect repairs. However, since you've paid through January, you dont really have any rent to withhold.

    So keep making demands in writing. If they continue to be nonresponsive, you can contact the local authorities. Ultimately you can move out (even if you have a lease) and sue for damages.

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  • When a petition regarding the issue of parking permits for a neighborhood is circulated is it legal for renters/tenants to sign

    in order to get the 75% needed?

    Richard’s Answer

    Yes. Perhaps you can explain why this is a question at all?

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  • Can I sue my previous landlord for the failure to return my security deposit?

    Bottom line is one of the stipulations in the judgement was that the landlord would not receive any money form me because it was a retaliatory eviction in which the landlords attorney did not want to want to tackle so the stipulation was that the ...

    Richard’s Answer

    Contract controls. Show the stipulation to an attorney for specific advice. Does it specify how long the LL has to return the deposit? If not a reasonable time would probably be the 21 days in 1950.5. And I would think actually you could go back into unlawful detainer court for that judgment , since that court most likely retains jurisdiction over the matter. So you probably don't have to start a new small claims action (and pay the filing fee). Were there any penalties for breach of the agreement?

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  • What can i do to make my landlord install a radiator in my bedroom

    the property am renting has no radiator in my bedroom and my daughters bedroom. didnt know before i moved in and its winter now and am spending a lot of money on electric heater. I have informed the agent and they sent someone round since August ...

    Richard’s Answer

    It's not really clear if the electric heater is a legitimate heating unit, or just space heaters that you're using. In any case, the LL has to provide heat in the bedrooms, and it sounds like there is no heat in the bedrooms, just a main heating unit (electrical)? or space heaters.

    Write demands on paper, keep copies, sent certified mail. Keep a record of your requests for reasonable accomodation. Maybe they will cover the utility bill, etc. but I believe they need to provide heat in the rooms.

    Ultimately you could withhold rent but that is a dire remedy. See if you can work out something... Then, consult with a landlord/tenant attorney before doing anything like withholding rent.

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  • Landlord blaming me for leakage

    I was renting a condo (from the condo owner) in LA. The unit downstairs complained of leakage from the bath tub/ bathroom in April 12. My landlord came to my condo and claimed to fix the leakage. The problem recurred in July/August and the landlor...

    Richard’s Answer

    Well, it's a bit more dire than that. It sounds like there is serious leakage in the downstairs unit and that could result in anything from the tenant's annoyance to serious water damage/mold/etc. The downstairs unit may sue the landlord. Assuming he has insurance, they will handle the claim. From what you're saying I doubt any lawyer would seriously think they could transfer liability to you. So, in all likelihood, not much to worry about.

    Of course if LL uses this as an excuse to withhold your deposit you're probably in the right to reclaim.

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