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William Stanley Fitch

William Fitch’s Answers

1,848 total


  • What are the tenant responsibilities when filing a demurrer?

    My landlord served my a 3-day pay-or-quit notice with a few very visible mistakes (most notably: amount due overstated) If I am served with a UD lawsuit, which I would like to file a demurrer against, do I have any responsibilities to let the la...

    William’s Answer

    A Demurrer is a challenge to the legal sufficiency of the complaint. For the sake of a demurrer EVERYTHING contained within the complaint is deemed TRUE, whether it is or not. Just in case you read somewhere that you can challenge a misstated 3 day pay or quit through a motion to quash, that is no longer the case. The need to meet and confer prior to the filing of a demurrer is a new law that went into effect January 1st of this year. The meet and confer is necessary prior to the filing of a demurrer.

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  • Is Landlord supposed to use a remediation company to properly remove all mold in order for it to be conformed legally to code?

    I've had hell dealing with a slumlord who does half-ass patch job repairs on our home. Leaky roof gets a plastic non-graded tarp to cover the roof, water leakage onto our carpet in our living room, dead rats in our master bedroom walls, water from...

    William’s Answer

    There is no minimum exposure to mold established by the State of California, or by the Centers for Disease Control. The ONLY article I've seen was one written concerning levels of exposure was by a professor back east who opined that 5,000 spores per cubic inch would be his starting point to deem the air unhealthy. (Ball University if memory serves, and since I can't recall where I parked my car, I don't know how much stock I'd place in that recollection) This we portion of your question we agree upon.

    There is no requirement that he use a certified remediation company. The only reason for doing so is to be able to say later on, I used a certified remediation company so your lawsuit claiming damages for mold exposure AFTER the mold was removed can't be my fault. If you'd like some fun reading, look into the schooling required to become a remediation expert.

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  • Can rent be withheld for unsafe stove

    Rental; Friend moved in 2/ 19/16 stove top sparked he notify manager oven was first used about a week later there was an odd smell then a few days from that it caught fire. It's an electronic unite cleaning person was to wipe down but it was suppo...

    William’s Answer

    NEVER, and just in case you missed that NEVER withhold your rent. All that does is provide your landlord with the ammunition necessary to evict you. Okay, the stove didn't work and the unit was supposed to come with a stove. Any breach of habitability must be substantial. But I'm supposed to have a stove. Yes, you are if that is what the rental agreement calls for and you would be entitled to recover the difference between the value of a unit with a stove and one without. The last thing you want is to have to have some judge make a decision that could potentially evict you, ruining your credit and the ability to rent again in the near future. Talk to the manager first. If its electronic and is unsafe, call Edison and have them red-tag it. If that still doesn't work, call the housing department and tell them you have a red-tagged stove in your unit. Lots and lots of options, but none of them involve withholding rent which is something you should NEVER do.

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  • Is it legal to do yard work at any time without day/time notification? Is it legal to access the yard sans work being done?

    I rent 2 rooms in a home. The landlord & her boyfriend do the yard work (it can be either Saturday or Sunday at any time during daylight hours). The landlord's daughter is my house mate. I knew her mother owned the rental home when I went to see ...

    William’s Answer

    Wait, someone else is doing the yardwork??!? Unless you signed a rental agreement that gave you exclusive possessory rights to the back yard, (and that typically means you get to mow the grass and pull weeds), then the landlord has a right to enter. As to the unauthorized entry, since her own daughter lives there I think it would be a bit of a stretch of try and convince someone wearing a black dress that her entry to speak with her daughter falls within the ambit of Civil Code 1950.5

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  • Renting condo on third floor with no working elevator

    I'm renting a condo in a third floor. The building has some serious elevator problems since he day we moved in, and now it's been taking out of service for a couple of weeks every month. Right now it has been out of order for more than two weeks a...

    William’s Answer

    Mr. Kane is, as usual, right. The unit you rented was priced to come with an elevator (like paying for a car that was supposed to have a 6 cylinder motor but you only got a 4 cylinder) and your damages are the difference in price between what a unit with a working elevator is worth versus a third story unit without an elevator.
    It's always better to begin by trying to bargain (assuming you're not asking for the moon and stars) your way out of a situation like this versus simply filing a lawsuit. Do your research carefully and take the middle price when making your demand.

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  • What can i do to ensure that justice is served?

    I was given relocation money to vacate a rental unit . During my move , while i was at work, the landlord took down my front door and removed my personal items out of my unit. including my t.v., medical records, mail, photographs, medications and ...

    William’s Answer

    Even after the period of time for you to move has expired, a landlord may not simply begin removing items that have been left behind and then refuse to return them to you. After the period of time to move has expired the items may be removed, but they also have to be returned.
    With that in mind, hire an experienced tenant attorney like the one who first answered your question. You can try and go it alone, but you're better off represented.

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  • What are my rights in regards to the water leak and exterminator. Is the 60 day notice invalid since incomplete ?

    Our landlord is selling his home. He sent a notice of termination of tenancy. On the second page there is a spot for his name, address, etc. That part is not filled out. All he did was date it. Its located where It shows property address, and belo...

    William’s Answer

    Simply put, that landlord has to properly comply with the notice requirement or his case will fall apart in court. A proper notice terminating the tenancy is the keystone of any eviction and must be strictly complied with. That there is a blank portion of the notice means nothing. The important fact it what is stated on the notice and a 60 day notice need only state two things. First, it must be an unequivocal demand for possession and Second, it has to contain a provision that advises you of your rights as to any personal property that is left behind following your leaving the property.
    As to the failure to address the water leak, the garage door or the exterminator, that would depend entirely upon the terms contained within the rental agreement. You need to have a landlord tenant attorney look over the notice and your lease. He or she can advise you as to whether or not you would have a complaint for breach of contract

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  • What do I have to do in order for them to remove the abandoned property that they left my house almost 1 year ago?

    Friends stayed in our motor home free of charge for about 9 months ( all bad ). When they moved they left a lot of stuff in my yard, 2 cars, car parts, buckets of paint, a lot of stuff in a locked shed. I think its all junk and needs to go in a d...

    William’s Answer

    Abandonment is defined as the ‘voluntary giving up of a thing by the owner because he no longer desires to possess it or to assert any right or dominion over it and is entirely indifferent as to what may become of it or as to who may thereafter possess it.’ (1 Cal.Jur.2d, sec. 2, p. 2.) Mere absence from the premises when the landlord calls for the rent is insufficient to support a finding of abandonment. In Swigert v. Stafford, 85 Cal.App.2d 469, 472, 193 P.2d 106, 108, the court states: ‘Abandonment cannot be inferred unless it can be fairly shown that non-user by lessee is coupled with an intent to relinquish all rights in the premises.’ (Martin v. Cassidy (1957) 149 Cal.App.2d 106, 110)
    Translated into English. As Mr. Moss suggested. Write a letter, give them a very short period of time to retake possession of the property. If they fail to do so then I would feel safe in advising you that they have abandoned the property (That is assuming of course I wrote the notice or at least had a chance to review the notice which should be read as "hire someone who knows what they're doing"). The two cars present a different and unique issue as they come with title and abandonment doesn't play well with titled pieces of property. Let me reiterate. Hire someone who knows what they're doing

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  • In a civil/unlawful detainer case can I plead alternative allegations where I am unsure as to what happened?

    There is someone in a house and I am not sure if they received permission to be there. In my complaint can I plead the occupants are there in the house without permission and then in my next allegation argue that the occupants are there with perm...

    William’s Answer

    As to your question about pleading conflicting facts, it is never a good idea, and here is why. If your complaint is at all confusing (and I submit that pleading facts that are in conflict with one another would be confusing) then it is subject to a legal challenge called a demur. In ruling on a demurrer the court must consider each allegation contained within the complaint as true BUT the court may disregard any conflicting factual allegations within the complaint. [Del E. Webb Corp. v. Structural Materials Co. (1981) 123 CA3d 593, 604, 176 CR 824, 830) So if you need any of the factual allegations to stand, chose one set of facts and stick with them.

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  • What can I do to help myself out of this now? Where do I go? How do I survive another day?

    I'm a homeless black woman with mental issues, due wrongful eviction, set aside default judgment granting my request that starts with" i am requesting to be let back in my unit ", set up by target store that took the deal to be released faster to ...

    William’s Answer

    There is no simple answer for any of the 10 some odd questions you presented in your post.

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