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Constructive eviction or retaliation?

Albany, CA |

In June 2012 all the tenants in the building demanded compensation for a series of problems: construction work at 2:00 AM, water shut offs, obstruction to garbage cans and more...Landlord refused to respond and rejected mediation. She is raising my rent next month, but not anyone else's rent in the building. Terms on the new lease are draconian and conflict with a number of Civil Codes (1717, 3302, 1671, 1670.5 (a), 1953, 1668, 1941, 1942). I've been in the building longest i.e. 10 months before other tenants who were parties to the complaints. We don't have rent control, but is she trying to get rid of me? I don't feel I'm being treated fairly.

Attorney Answers 3

  1. Your landlord cannot retaliate against you, including by raising the rent, for participating in a tenant's association. I would consult with an attorney to determine whether you can prove retaliation.

    Legal consultation would be especially appropriate because you seem to have lost some objectivity. You cite a string of sections that the lease supposedly violates, but the lease itself cannot violate sections 1717, 3302, 1670.5, 1671, or 1942.

  2. I agree with counsel's post, many of the statute sections you cite are not applicable to your fact description. If you have been there longer than any other tenant, perhaps the increase is justified, if no rent control restricts such an increase and the lease term is coming to an end. You many want to seek counsel to look at all the facts to determine if this is truly a case of retaliation. Good luck.

    These answers are not intended nor shall it be deemed to be the rendering of legal advise, they are given based on the information provided which is insufficient to give meaningful advise. These answers shall not be construed as part of the creation of an attorney-client relationship, nor shall it impose an obligation on the part of the attorney to respond to further inquiry. The Questioner has responsibility of obtaining legal advise from an attorney and is urged to do so.

  3. Raising the rent in such instance is definitely not constructive eviction, and is not necessarily retaliatory. You'll need an attorney to review the new proposed lease before you can come to any conclusions.

    Frank W. Chen has been licensed to practice law in California since 1988. The information presented here is general in nature and is not intended, nor should be construed, as legal advice for a particular case. This posting does not create any attorney-client relationship with the author. For specific advice about your particular situation, please consult with your own attorney.

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