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Can i sue the local housing authority because i found out that the landlord we rent from is an arsonist?

Huntington Beach, CA |
Filed under: Landlord-tenant

I have informed my local housing auth that the landlord is an arsonist. Along with a million problems while living here i found this out and asked to be relocated hous said that i and the landlord must come to agreement to break the lease...of course there is no agreement and i have been stuck here to finish the lease in the last 8 months the landlord as well as her other tenants/friends have pushed us to the limit to disturb us to pressure us into signing under her terms and move. I have been assaulted by tenants, almost ran over, threatened to be killed. Local police do nothing because "they have no weapon at hand while saying it" i have been living a nightmare and me and my family have suffered from all of this. can i sue for not screening landlords only participants?

Attorney Answers 3


How are you damaged or harmed by a past criminal offense of your landlord? What kinds of criminal offenses do you contend you have a right to be forewarned about? Why?

Quite frankly, I can't see any loss or damage to you in this situation. You have the right to the premises as per your lease, not withstanding the checkered past of the landlord, right?

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As a result of me telling the housing authority about her past she has gathered a group of tenants to harass us on a regular basis. We are treated completely different then the others (as far as use of the premises) and since she (landlord) knows the only way we can move is if she dissolves the lease she has put her own terms into signing which we do not agree to. Housing will not let us move unless there is that agreement from landlord to break the lease. Being that there is a history of me getting assaulted and constantly harassed by other tenants i believe the least housing could've done since it's in their regulations is to stop payment and relocate us without need for an agreement from the landlord who is obviously bitter that her record has been brought to their attention.

Christine C McCall

Christine C McCall


Sort of a "reap what you sow situation," eh? There was no need or legitimate purpose for you to broadcast the landlord's unrelated past. Of course there is hostility now. If, as I expect, you wind up needing to start over somewhere else let this be a lesson that moderates your future conduct and causes you to pause and consider not acting on such impulse. Not what you wanted to hear, I know. To be totally candid with you -- and don't bother with the flame, we'll just consider it already launched and done-- it sounds very much as if you are rather chronically the architect of some of your problems: "there is a history of me getting assaulted and constantly harassed by other tenants." In all honesty, you need to consider the one action that is within your control: change your own behavior. Everything else is completely beyond your control. Think about it. I wish you the best, and a more peaceful future.


I don't see how his being "an arsonist" disqualifies him from being a landlord or gives you a cause of action to sue the housing authority. It also seems odd that the housing authority would tell you that...

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No, you cannot sue the local housing authority because your landlord was an arsonist in the past. You could not sue them even if she is an arsonist now. If she burns down your apartment, you could sue her, but not the housing authority. It looks like she is willing to let you move out early. If you cannot bear living there any longer, perhaps you should work something out and move.

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