Our resident manager has violated CA Civil Codes 1927, 1940.2 and 1942.5 multiple times against me and another single female tenant. He's also forced out two other single females that we know of. We've met with the Housing Rights Center (a non-profit, who've offered free help with possible mediation) but we still don't understand the process. We are unsure of what the norm is in these sorts of cases. Are they too small for an attorney? Both of us are agitated and face ongoing retaliation/discrimination from our resident manager (who has a criminal past for theft -- while the manager -- and loads of documented incidents of "crazy" making activities for many tenants). Thank you.Resident manager sent around a petition to all residents and forged at least one signature, and also falsified defamatory comments on the cover page of the petition and in the petition margins. He also falsely represented what the petition was for (several tenants now tell me). This was over an issue I had written to the landlord (only) about. The response by the resident manager was this falsified petition and a demand to "IF YOU DON'T LIKE IT YOU CAN MOVE." (The issue at hand was his practice of leaving copies of our building security keys all over the property and a copy of his own apartment key behind a painting so he didn't have to carry a key ring to come and go. He also often leaves his door unlocked -- I have this on video. All of our tenant keys are in his unit and his leaving keys outside and leaving his door unlocked is a legit security concern.)
Some lawyers will take a case against a landlord on a contingency. You can use the find an attorney tab here on AVVO to find a local tenant attorney. Some will you to pays costs (filing fee etc. ) even on a contingent case so be prepared to have an honest discussion about finances.
Please consult or retain a lawyer for your particular issue.
It is possible, but quite frankly highly doubtful that any experienced attorney would be willing to represent the tenants in such a situation on a contingency fee basis. The potential monetary recovery would not justify the amount of time required to properly and effectively pursue such a case.
Frank W. Chen has been licensed to practice law in California since 1988. The information presented here is general in nature and is not intended nor should be construed as legal advice for any particular case or client. This Avvo.com posting does not create any attorney-client relationship with the author. For specific advice about your particular situation, please consult with your own attorney. This posting is not intended to constitute an advertisement nor a solicitation. Due to the high volume of phone calls and e-mails, not all phone calls or e-mails can be returned.
You should try AVVO's FInd A Lawyer Function, Google and the Los Angeles County Bar for referrals. Unfortunately, most landlord tenant lawyers do not take these types of cases on a contingency, because the amount of recoverable damages is often too small.
You should consider filing a complaint with the Los Angeles Housing + Community Development Department at:
It would not hurt to shop around, but I do not think it will be worthwhile to pursue unless you can get several tenants onboard. If you can add up the damages and credibility of several people it can make 5 small mediocre cases into one large good case.
See how many folks, current and former tenants, are willing to pursue legal action and then see if someone will reach a fee agreement you can live with.
For example, if you can prove repeat unlawful entries, another tenant can prove retaliatory eviction and a third can prove harassment, individually they may not be worth it, but if you put 5 stories like that together then it may become a bigger case. Plus, one person can be dismissed, it is much harder to dismiss 5 people with the same story.
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