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Claiming constructive eviction because of landlord harassment?

Los Angeles, CA |

Is one documented case of harassment and threads (landlord told my wife not to ask her about repairs to her or else she would have to "take certain actions") sufficient to move out and claim constructive eviction? Other tenants in the building are looking to break their lases because of the landlord's conduct as well... Would this strengthen our case?

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Attorney answers 2


Number 1, in my view, telling tenant that he would "take certain actions" is not enough to cause tenant to move out sufficient to make a case for constructive eviction.

Number 2, each tenant may have their own individual reasons for breaking a lease. Each tenant will have their own evidence to present at trial. I just don't see how the two are related and how one strenghtens the other.


You haven't provided any details about the landlord's harassment and conduct, and I don't think a very vague statement about "taking certain actions" means anything, and it's certainly not grounds for constructive eviction. Constructive eviction means you're literally forced to leave such as due to the lack of heat or water.

As for what other tenants are experiencing, it's impossible to tell what you mean. I can think of some cases where the landlord's conduct towards others would be relevant, such as discrimination based on race or age or gender or marital status, and other cases where it would be legally irrelevant, such as if the landlord was being a jerk to everyone, which is bad but not against the law.

If your building is in LA and is covered by LA's rent control ordinance, you may want to take advantage of how relatively hard it would be for the landlord to evict you, by asserting your "repair and deduct" remedies (please see the link below)and/or by calling LA's code enforcement authorities, if applicable to your needed repair situation.

Disclaimer: Please note that this answer does not constitute legal advice, and should not be relied on, since each state has different laws, each situation is fact specific, and it is impossible to evaluate a legal problem without a comprehensive consultation and review of all the facts and documents at issue. This answer does not create an attorney-client relationship.

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