Skip to main content
Frances Miller Campbell

Frances Campbell’s Answers

1,136 total


  • Can a LA landlord change prop status from duplex to single. can judge forfeit lease grant landlord rite possessing/on disability

    new landlord demolished attach back unit to my rental home while i was in it. changed status with RSO from duplex to single. Judge ruled in trial that my lease be forfeited and rite of possession against all unnamed occ. Stated lock out date..No e...

    Frances’s Answer

    Unfortunately, your question shows why tenants served with an eviction lawsuit MUST HIRE A LAWYER to defend the case, particularly when the case involves complicated questions dealing with municipal law, as your case clearly does. In Los Angeles, there are plenty of resources for tenants faced with eviction, but many try to represent themselves, to their detriment.

    Now to the answer: A Judge has no obligation to issue a statement of decision in a bench trial (non-jury trial) that lasts less than 8 hours. If the tenant loses an unlawful detainer case, the lease is forfeited. The Judge does not have to explain his reasoning, although I can guess his reasoning: He might be thinking that once the attached back unit was destroyed, your unit became a single family unit. A single family unit in Los Angeles is not protected by the Los Angeles Rent Stabilization Ordinance (the "RSO"), and a tenant of a single family unit can be evicted on 60 days' notice for no cause. Although I disagree that a landlord should be able to evade the RSO and destroy your rights under the RSO by destroying one of the units that gives YOUR unit RSO status, unfortunately, I am in the minority on this point, which has never been addressed by the California Court of Appeal. Most Judges simply look at the unit as it current exists, not as it was rented, and decide SFR=No RSO.

    One a lease is forfeited, and the landlord obtains a judgment for possession, the landlord has to obtain a writ of possession and take it to the Sheriff's Department, so the Sheriff can execute the writ--that means, kick you out. This usually takes about 2 weeks (currently) in Los Angeles. Before the Sheriff comes to your house to lock you out, he will post a 5-day notice to vacate, so you will have a final 5 days' warning before the lock-out date.

    Good luck.

    See question 
  • Verbal Eviction Notice From Landlord

    (early apologies if this has been asked already) On 11/2, my stepdad and landlord got into an altercation regarding parking in our apartment complex, and it ended with our landlord telling my stepdad that she wanted us (family) moved out by the...

    Frances’s Answer

    The landlord can't give you and illegal notice to move and then say, "well, because my notice was illegal, you have to stay." You have a right to rely on the previous landlord telling you to move out by the end of November.

    P.S. This is why it's good to put everything in writing. Write an email to the landlord saying that "you told us to get out by the end of November, and that's why we're moving out now." Maybe they will write back and confirm that they said that--but don't ask for confirmation; just see what they say about what they said.

    See question 
  • Is a landlord responsible for the behavior of his tenants when he does something to encourage certain behavior of the tenants?

    In my neighborhood there is a narrow strip of land called a parking strip that lies between the curb and sidewalk. This strip beings to the city. The rental next door to my house is a tiny 2 bedroom 1 bath rental. The land lord turned the la...

    Frances’s Answer

    Wow. This is an annoying problem and an expensive one to fix if you can't get the City to take action. Assuming the City is too busy to enforce it's own rules, you can file a lawsuit against the property owner next door for trespass and nuisance, and as the Court to enjoin (stop or prohibit) the parking of cars on the lawn. Then if it continues, someone could be charged with contempt of court. But this is all very expensive. It would probably be cheaper to put an electric gate up at the start of your driveway to prevent the neighbors from using it.

    See question 
  • Can only one tenant be evicted?

    Me and my roommate are both on a lease. I received a phone call stating that I must vacate the property due to having my boyfriend there. She also has her boyfriend there. Is it legal to evict only me when she is committing the same offense? The l...

    Frances’s Answer

    First of all, you cannot be evicted following telephonic notice. Second of all, read your lease. If your lease says that you cannot sublet or have occupants other than the persons named on the lease, you can be served with a 3 day notice to cure or quit. "Cure" means "do what the lease says."

    Can your landlord favor one of you over the other? Yes he can, unless he's doing it for an illegal reason, for example, he doesn't like your race or national origin or sexual orientation.

    See question 
  • Roommate or Tenant in California ?

    My friend with whom I recently rented a room has a previous roommate(A) with no lease agreement in a 3BR condo living with him for more than a year. He served 'A' a 30 day notice on Oct 1st (50 days ago) before I moved in on Oct 15th and then exte...

    Frances’s Answer

    The answer depends in part on if your friend owns the condo or not. If your friend owns the condo, and only rents out ONE ROOM, the "previous roommate" may be a lodger who can be ejected by the police after being served with a 30 day notice to vacate, if the police will cooperate. If your friend rents more than one room, or doesn't own but merely rents the condo, your friend needs to serve the "previous roommate" with a 60 day notice to vacate in order to successfully evict him or her.

    See question 
  • Tenant to Tenant harassment... With lease!

    Hello I am being harassed by my downstairs neighbor who is a tenant in the same building. This has been going on for 6 months, when I leave my apartment unit I must pass her unit and she verbally insults me about my disability which is a protected...

    Frances’s Answer

    The landlord has an obligation to stop the other tenant from harassing you due to your disability--that is absolutely a violation of the federal Fair Housing Act. HUD recently filed a lawsuit against a landlord who failed to stop tenant-on-tenant disability-based harassment. I've attached a link to the complaint.

    So, you can file a lawsuit, or file a complaint with HUD or the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing.

    See question 
  • TENANT LANDLORD ISSUE

    I was late paying my rent due for the month of October and November. I got a 3 day notice to pay or quit. I then found out that landlord was planning to file an eviction against me. I then made a FULL PAYMENT of ALL rent due. The landlord calle...

    Frances’s Answer

    It's possible, just possible, that the landlord's attorney had already sent the lawsuit out for service before you paid your back rent and the attorneys' fees. I would call the court and ask if a dismissal is on file. If it is, you are good. If it ISN'T, then, within FIVE DAYS of service, you need to defend the lawsuit on the ground that you already paid--the legal lingo is "The landlord accepted rent from the tenant on ___, ___, 2015, and reinstated the tenancy." It would be best if you could hire an attorney to do this for you.

    See question 
  • Landlord denying my ESA.

    I just got a letter to have my ESA. My landlady is telling me that I shouldn't have moved in since I knew I had a "problem" and that she has a no pet policy (the other tenants have cats, I'm getting a dog). Can I still get my dog? He is actually a...

    Frances’s Answer

    The landlord can't deny you having an emotional support animal. This is a right guaranteed to you by federal and state law. When she tells you that you know you have a "problem," that's disability discrimination, and so is the refusal to reasonably accommodate your disability.

    If you don't have an apartment, you will have a lawsuit. You might want to have a chat with someone at the San Diego Fair Housing Hotline--link is below.

    See question 
  • What gov. branch regulates motels? Mgr isn't giving receipts, engage in the 28 day shuffle, locking out long term tenants, etc.

    I've been living at a motel for almost a yr. as do 10 other families though this isn't a residential hotel. Problems include no receipts for cash transactions, tenants have to move their belongs into the hall every 28 days (28 day shuffle) then ba...

    Frances’s Answer

    This would be the jurisdiction of the LAHD, now the HCIDLA (the Housing and Community Investment Department of Los Angeles). Call 866-557-RENT and ask to speak to an investigator, not an inspector.

    See question 
  • Can I deduct from Security Deposit for broken window screen that was brand new when tenant moved in 3 years ago?

    Tenant's lawyer says no because it could be due to a burglar so rental property insurance should cover it. Tenant plans to place a lien on my rental until she gets full security deposit back.

    Frances’s Answer

    I say no. The window screen is 3 years old. At most, if you can prove that the tenant intentionally broke the screen, you would be entitled to the value of a 3-year-old window screen, not the value of a new window screen. It sounds like the amount of money is not worth the fight.

    On the other hand, the tenant is not entitled to place a lien on your property.

    See question