Richard C Koman’s Answers

Richard C Koman

Santa Rosa Litigation Lawyer.

Contributor Level 13
  1. Lease agreement with my roommate

    Answered over 4 years ago.

    1. Richard C Koman
    2. Robin Mashal
    2 lawyer answers

    $3000 would definitely seem worth hiring an attorney. You will want to get the judgment against you set aside. You need a lawyer for that. Unfortunately it sounds like its been a year since judgement, which definitely bars you from rellief from default. Your job right now is to fight off the collection efforts. An attorney knowledgble in collections defense can be a big help.

    1 person marked this answer as helpful

  2. I changed my mind on renting a CA home due to filth and mold. Can the landlord legally keep my deposit?

    Answered over 4 years ago.

    1. Richard C Koman
    1 lawyer answer

    If the situation is as bad as you describe, it's likely that the landlord is in breach of the contract and you have the right to cancel it and not move in or pay rent. Since he breached the contract, you may also be able to get damages for the higher rent you have to pay to get a decent place for the length of the lease. Strictly speaking the deposit is for security against damages and can't be applied to rent. However, what's to stop him from doing so? If he doesnt return it within 21 days...

    1 person marked this answer as helpful

  3. Security deposit sent estimated disposition with no amounts only the word unknown

    Answered over 4 years ago.

    1. Richard C Koman
    1 lawyer answer

    You are correct. The "itemization" is completely inadequate. He had until Feb. 25 to give you a proper accounting. Since he did not do so, your remedy is to sue in small claims for the security deposit plus a 200 percent penalty. You should easily win that suit based on these facts.

    1 person marked this answer as helpful

  4. Does a refund forfeit a right to sue?

    Answered over 4 years ago.

    1. Matthew Timothy Bechtel
    2. Richard C Koman
    2 lawyer answers

    This case is raising some red flags. I would tred carefully. That is, I would seek legal counsel. Didn't she see the place before she rented it? If it was dirty then, why didn't she ask to have it cleaned before she moved in? On the other hand, how dirty is it? To the point of being uninhabitable? The fact that she rented it, then sought a full refund makes me suspect that she may be a pro at this sort of thing. The fact that she says she wont vacate unless you meet her terms is even more...

    1 person marked this answer as helpful

  5. California landlord claims verbal contract entered when we expressed interest in staying after the new year and paid Jan rent.

    Answered over 4 years ago.

    1. Richard C Koman
    2. Ali Ebrahimzadeh
    2 lawyer answers

    Short answer: no. While it is theoretically possible to enter into an oral lease, the new lease would have to have agreement as to price, term, and other material terms. The conversation you describe "are you interested in staying on? yes." in no way creates a new year lease, since no term was discussed. The only document that exists is the expired lease and your tenancy there rolled over into a month to month lease when it expired and you stayed on. Therefore, you have a strong argument...

    1 person marked this answer as helpful

  6. Can I move out of my room without notice because of an unsanitary roommate? Can I withhold rent?

    Answered over 4 years ago.

    1. Richard C Koman
    2. Laura Mcfarland-Taylor
    2 lawyer answers

    So: subtenant is someone who rents from a tenant. A tenant is someone who rents from a landlord, Cotenants are two people who both rent from landlord. I'm going to guess that YOU are the subtenant, your roommate is the tenant on the lease. If this is the case, he has a duty of habitability to you, which he has clearly breached and you don't have to sit around for 30 days of this "crap." If he sues you for 30 days of rent, you can raise a defense if you can prove that you gave him notice of...

    1 person marked this answer as helpful

  7. It tenant required to give any money back for rent from forclosure home?

    Answered over 4 years ago.

    1. Pamela Koslyn
    2. Richard C Koman
    2 lawyer answers

    If the landlord still owned the home at the start of the prior month, there was no wrongdoing in collecting the rent. If the LL collected rent when he was no longer the owner, then he was not entitled to that money. In that case, you could bring a small claims suit to recover the money. The deposit is a tricky issue. You could include the deposit in your small claims action but I cannot speak to whether you would recover it. If you are being offered a cash for keys payment, you should...

    1 person marked this answer as helpful

  8. I was evicted but left the premises in good condition, did not owe any back rent can he still keep my security deposit?

    Answered over 4 years ago.

    1. Richard C Koman
    1 lawyer answer

    Two issues here: (1) you had an oral settlement agreement which you kept and the landlord breached. You could absolutely get the default set aside because you have a great answer. (If you can pay legal fees, of course -- does your lease include an attorneys fees clause?) (2) the security deposit is completely separate - he has 21 days from the day you vacate to refund the deposit or give you an itemized accounting. He cant just decide to apply it to the rent. It sounds you paid all the rent...

    1 person marked this answer as helpful

  9. Can CA landlords charge for their time involved in repairing/replacing damages?

    Answered over 4 years ago.

    1. Pamela Koslyn
    2. Richard C Koman
    2 lawyer answers

    Note that improper withholding comes with strict penalties. So, be judicious with how you value your time and the amount of time you bill. You dont want a small claims judge to decide you valued your time unreasonably. Don't forget to provide a written accounting within 21 days! -richard

    1 person marked this answer as helpful

  10. CA state landlord tenant law, tenant's rights

    Answered over 4 years ago.

    1. Deborah Fiumera Bayus
    2. Richard C Koman
    2 lawyer answers

    Everything is negotiable. But no, it doesnt appear that she can unilaterally cut off the lease. Since her name is on the lease, she could still be held liable for it. Trying to sublease it is a good idea if the landlord won't consider modifying the lease to a shorter term.

    1 person marked this answer as helpful