Is this legal? They've bought the building and making it clear they want everyone out. In spite of 60-day notices, things like no hot water for over a week, smell of harsh chemicals used during multiple unit renovations, etc. Demanding we keep our windows closed during the day while front of bldg being upgraded. No air circulation. How can I find a lawyer who will handle my case?
Tenants would gladly join together. But how would we find an attorney (you?).
Landlord / Tenant Lawyer
If you can get at least ten tenants who want to band together and sue, it should not be difficult to find an attorney to represent you in this case. Because you are in Los Angeles, you should also call the Los Angeles Housing Department at 866-557-RENT and ask to speak to an investigator about the problems associated with the renovation. If the renovation is extensive, the landlord may be required to file a tenant habitability plan with the City and relocate the tenants.
Contracts / Agreements Lawyer
First of all, is this property in the City of Los Angeles? If so, then the next question is to determine whether or not the property is under LA rent control. Most buildings built before 1979 are under rent control. You have to check.
If under rent control, there are a lot of steps the landlord has to take before they can do what they are doing.
If it is not under rent control, they might not have to do anything except give all tenants the required 60 day notice to move out, or make other arrangements with you.
I would contact them and see if you can work something out, such as rent abatement until they are finished. That means you can move out and not pay your rent, but you only have that amount to use for another place temporarily. The landlord does not have to pay the higher amount, if applicable.
Find out about rent control, and if the buildiing is covered, you can contact the LA city rent control office.
This is general legal advice intended for informational purposes only and does not create and attorney/client relationship. If you wish further advice, please contact an attorney of your own choosing or you may contact me for further advice and make other arrangements including retaining my services.