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Frances Miller Campbell

Frances Campbell’s Answers

1,136 total


  • How long can a landlord keep an over payment?

    For several months the management where live has owe money because I over paid in the rent. It was paid with a money order and it did say for what month and "rent". How long are able to hold onto that over payment? Or how soon should I wait until ...

    Frances’s Answer

    Ask for the refund immediately. They have zero right to keep it for any period of time.

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  • New owner,landlord of property

    My landlord sold his property on may 2016,A management company took over and now the manager they hired to oversee the apartments ,keeps giving me and other tenants 3 day notices to quit of we don't get rid of our outside items such as bikes,bbq g...

    Frances’s Answer

    It sounds like the new owners are attempting to "re-tenant" the building so they can raise the rents. This is typical in Los Angeles, where property values are going up significantly. Landlords buy buildings and try to "hassle out" the existing rent-controlled tenants, so they can raise the rent.

    The answer to your question is, yes, you have the right to keep your garage. It doesn't matter if the new owner has "proof" of this--the new owner doesn't have "proof" of this because he doesn't want to have "proof" of this. Your proof is that you have been using the garage since you've lived there, and you were there and they were not.

    Unfortunately, it is possible that the landlord could take away your garage, but he would have to decrease your rent to do so. My advice is to stop talking to the management company--that gives them information but doesn't help you at all. Tell them to communicate with you only in writing by email. Do not attempt to argue with them, because they will just lie to you about what they have the "right" to do. If the management company attempts to take away any of the benefits of your tenancy, that is an illegal rent increase by law. Call the City at 866-557-RENT and speak to an investigator about the situation.

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  • What should I do if I think my landlord was fraudulent with my lease.

    In the process of signing my lease I noticed my landlord had locked me in for five years, and it appeared that I would lose my deposit of I did not stay for the entire time. I had already signed a section at the bottom of that page pertaining to ...

    Frances’s Answer

    So long as YOUR lease has a one-year term, you are covered. Also, there is no such thing as a non-refundable deposit, FYI.

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  • Can a landlord forbid a tenant from playing with a visiting dog/cat

    A tenant/neighbor has a pet visiting., but not living in the court. May I pet & pat the visiting animal?

    Frances’s Answer

    Of course! Your landlord has no power to "forbid you from playing with a visiting dog/cat" any more than he can "forbid" you from putting marmalade on your toast, or having a friend come over to watch TV. A landlord is not your Dad, and he has no business in your day-to-day life. He rents you a place to live, and that place is YOURS while you are renting it.

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  • Tenant vs. Landlord for security deposit. punitive damages? Can I include attorney costs?

    I had a land lord in California decide not to return my security deposit . He didn't get back to me till 30 days after vacating the property. The law says he has 21 days to return the security deposit and/or issue a list of damages. He failed to ...

    Frances’s Answer

    You can sue the landlord for "bad faith retention" of your security deposit, and sue him for the security deposit plus 2x the amount of your security deposit. See Civil Code section 1950.5(L). The problem is, how are you going to do this from Tennessee? You have to sue him here, and no lawyer will take the case. (And it's likely a small claims case, and lawyers can't practice in small claims court.) Maybe you can assign your right to sue the landlord to a friend, and you and your friend can split the proceeds.

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  • What are the repercussions for breaking a rental agreement as a landlord?

    I just signed a rental agreement for tenants to move into my property in 3 weeks. Right after I signed with them, the tenants' previous landlord called me and said he lied about giving them a good recommendation. He said he did not want to go th...

    Frances’s Answer

    Call the tenants and tell them the deal's off. The good thing about contract law is that the law allows you to break a contract as long as you are willing to pay damages. Because these tenants still have 3 weeks to find another place, assuming they find another place that is comparable for comparable money they will have NO damages associated with you breaking the lease. Return whatever application fee they paid you and that's it. I would be up front about why you are doing this. Tell them their former landlord is a liar.

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  • How to expose Co-Tenant's Airbnb without getting involved

    My flat-mate and co-tenant suddenly decided to rent her room on Airbnb to cover some expenses she had to face. When she asked as a favor I said that was ok (I even helped her!) but then she continued to do it just to make money and I'm no longer o...

    Frances’s Answer

    What your roommate is doing is likely a violation of YOUR lease agreement, and can get YOU evicted. You'd better tell your roommate to stop--otherwise, you can both get evicted. If she won't do it, you had better go to the landlord and tell him. He might appreciate you being honest, and if he serves a 3-day notice to cure (stop) or quit (move), maybe that will get her attention. Tough situation.

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  • How should I proceed after an unlawful detainer as the tenant?

    I received an unlawful detainer on Friday June 3rd. I owe late fees that I asked landlord to make payment arrangements for, and asked repairs to the unit be made with no reponse. My rent was raised by $165 in March. I am current on rent but re...

    Frances’s Answer

    I hope by now you have hired a LAWYER to assist you with your unlawful detainer, and it should be a lawyer who regularly does unlawful detainer litigation. Just reading your facts, I can tell you that you have a defense to the action, because it is illegal for the landlord to charge a $120 late fee. If you've EVER paid a $120 late fee, you have overpaid, and the amount the landlord is seeking in the 3-day notice is wrong. If the 3-day notice amount is off by even ONE PENNY, you win, but, AGAIN, you need a lawyer to properly prove this defense. You can't show up and just say, $120.00 is too much for a late fee. That's not evidence. You have to prove it's too much, and it's too complicated to explain why here. Also, if you are in a rent-controlled tenancy, there are lots of defenses that have nothing to do with what the landlord is asking you for.

    Again, find a lawyer who knows how to do this. A lawyer who is well known to the landlord's bar will save you money, perhaps more than you pay the lawyer. In addition to the private bar, there are two low cost law firms that do this--The Eviction Defense Network and Basta. Hire a lawyer now before it's too late.

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  • Can I fight this lawsuit against my landlord?

    Hello- my name is Anabel. Today I got a Notice of termination of tenancy letter from my landlord. I called my landlord to questioned her the reason why I was being evicted , since I haven't broken any rules. Her response was I don't have to give...

    Frances’s Answer

    Because you are not in a city that has rent control, your landlord may evict you for no reason--this is the law in most of California. However, the landlord can never evict you for an illegal reason, such as discrimination because of race, gender, disability, etc. What is your evidence of discrimination? If you can prove discrimination, you can defend an eviction on that ground, or sue your landlord. However, most of the time, discrimination is difficult to prove.

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  • Can a master tenant illegally subletting act as "landlord"

    I am renting out a room from a master tenant. I recently discovered they have no right to sublet the apartment and the real owner is not aware of my tenancy Does this situation make my contract void? Can the sub-tenant still file an unlawful d...

    Frances’s Answer

    Complicated situation. Is the apartment rent-controlled? If so, then your "master tenant" is a landlord under municipal law, and you are a "tenant" under municipal law because you are a person entitled to the use and occupancy of the premises. See LAMC 151.02. Your contract is not "void". The "master tenant," being your landlord can indeed evict you, but only for "good cause." See LAMC 151.09 for the 14 reasons why you can be evicted. "Because he feels like it" is not one of the reasons.

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