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Zoeeeeeee

Rental/legal advice needed please! California

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Legal advice needed please, from those that have experienced similar or have an understanding of rental rights/law here  - trying to understand whether we have any room to argue...

 

My husband began renting our old apartment in 2017 - he signed a contract (but wasn't given a copy of it as it was a huge document), that was stored in the building's property management office. He's unsure whether he was offered a copy or not.

 

In May 2020, he was contacted re renewing his lease and asked if he'd been given a lease renewal, as his current lease was due to expire 1st July. He advised he hadn't, so which they apologised and said they'd bring one over (they leave them stuck to the door nornally). They then didn't bring one.

 

We bought a place in June and moved on 30th June. A week before that, we went to the office to advise we were moving out on 30th June and to check when the walk through and key return would be. Our details were taken and the aforementioned was arranged. 

 

On 30th June, a member of staff came round to do the walkthrough. I then returned the keys to the office, where they took them, sighed for them, I signed confirming their return, etc. I also provided our forwarding address, where they said we'd receive a final statement, including deposit amount being returned, etc. 

 

A week later, we've not had a final statement yet, so my husband logged onto his online account today, only to find that they've billed him for another month!

 

I did a bit of digging through our paperwork folder and found the lease renewal documents for 2019 - and on that, it says that you have to give 30 days notice when you move out, or you go onto a rolling monthly contract - and it advises that this is stated in your contract. 

 

So, my husband didn't give 30 days notice, as he thought his contract ended automatically on 1at July...however, he didn't receive the renewal info for 2020, nor was he given a copy of the initial contract...so technically, it doesn't seem fair or legal to expect him to know to do that...

 

Admittedly, he was made aware on his 2019 renewal, but that was in January 2019...most people wouldn't remember that (as he didn't) and many wouldn't have saved the letter.

 

Also, we no longer have keys for the property - these were all returned and accepted on 30th June - again, doesn't seem legal to bill us for rent for a place that we don't have access to...and doesn't seem legal to take the keys without making us aware, by the way, you're still renting the place.

 

I've left a voicemail and awaiting a call back - I obviously intend to argue this, but if they refuse to make any adjustment (I'm prepared to meet them halfway, if needed, though would prefer not to), do we have any kind of legal claim? Would it even be worth trying? 

 

Thanks in advance!

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14 minutes ago, aaron2020 said:

Most if not all leases will require a 30 days notice.  If it's in the lease, then you're liable for July rent.  

 

Even if you've not been given a copy of the lease...or a current renewal stating the terms...and you don't have access to the property? I fail to see how it's that cut and dry, there are a lot of precision in this example... 

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Filed: Citizen (apr) Country: Ecuador
Timeline

Bummer, but it's his responsibility to obtain a copy of, and adhere to, anything that he signs -- anytime in life.


06-04-2007 = TSC stamps postal return-receipt for I-129f.

06-11-2007 = NOA1 date (unknown to me).

07-20-2007 = Phoned Immigration Officer; got WAC#; where's NOA1?

09-25-2007 = Touch (first-ever).

09-28-2007 = NOA1, 23 days after their 45-day promise to send it (grrrr).

10-20 & 11-14-2007 = Phoned ImmOffs; "still pending."

12-11-2007 = 180 days; file is "between workstations, may be early Jan."; touches 12/11 & 12/12.

12-18-2007 = Call; file is with Division 9 ofcr. (bckgrnd check); e-prompt to shake it; touch.

12-19-2007 = NOA2 by e-mail & web, dated 12-18-07 (187 days; 201 per VJ); in mail 12/24/07.

01-09-2008 = File from USCIS to NVC, 1-4-08; NVC creates file, 1/15/08; to consulate 1/16/08.

01-23-2008 = Consulate gets file; outdated Packet 4 mailed to fiancee 1/27/08; rec'd 3/3/08.

04-29-2008 = Fiancee's 4-min. consular interview, 8:30 a.m.; much evidence brought but not allowed to be presented (consul: "More proof! Second interview! Bring your fiance!").

05-05-2008 = Infuriating $12 call to non-English-speaking consulate appointment-setter.

05-06-2008 = Better $12 call to English-speaker; "joint" interview date 6/30/08 (my selection).

06-30-2008 = Stokes Interrogations w/Ecuadorian (not USC); "wait 2 weeks; we'll mail her."

07-2008 = Daily calls to DOS: "currently processing"; 8/05 = Phoned consulate, got Section Chief; wrote him.

08-07-08 = E-mail from consulate, promising to issue visa "as soon as we get her passport" (on 8/12, per DHL).

08-27-08 = Phoned consulate (they "couldn't find" our file); visa DHL'd 8/28; in hand 9/1; through POE on 10/9 with NO hassles(!).

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Filed: Country: Vietnam (no flag)
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1 minute ago, Zoeeeeeee said:

Even if you've not been given a copy of the lease...or a current renewal stating the terms...and you don't have access to the property? I fail to see how it's that cut and dry, there are a lot of precision in this example... 

It's cut and dry because you have a copy of the 2019 lease which states you have to give 30 days notice.  You're expected to know that.  You gave notice a week before the end of June, so under the terms of the lease, you are liable for July rent.  

The reason for the 30 days notice is so the landlord can schedule cleaning and advertise the place to rent quickly.

 

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31 minutes ago, Zoeeeeeee said:

Legal advice needed please, from those that have experienced similar or have an understanding of rental rights/law here  - trying to understand whether we have any room to argue...

 

My husband began renting our old apartment in 2017 - he signed a contract (but wasn't given a copy of it as it was a huge document), that was stored in the building's property management office. He's unsure whether he was offered a copy or not.

 

In May 2020, he was contacted re renewing his lease and asked if he'd been given a lease renewal, as his current lease was due to expire 1st July. He advised he hadn't, so which they apologised and said they'd bring one over (they leave them stuck to the door nornally). They then didn't bring one.

 

We bought a place in June and moved on 30th June. A week before that, we went to the office to advise we were moving out on 30th June and to check when the walk through and key return would be. Our details were taken and the aforementioned was arranged. 

 

On 30th June, a member of staff came round to do the walkthrough. I then returned the keys to the office, where they took them, sighed for them, I signed confirming their return, etc. I also provided our forwarding address, where they said we'd receive a final statement, including deposit amount being returned, etc. 

 

A week later, we've not had a final statement yet, so my husband logged onto his online account today, only to find that they've billed him for another month!

 

I did a bit of digging through our paperwork folder and found the lease renewal documents for 2019 - and on that, it says that you have to give 30 days notice when you move out, or you go onto a rolling monthly contract - and it advises that this is stated in your contract. 

 

So, my husband didn't give 30 days notice, as he thought his contract ended automatically on 1at July...however, he didn't receive the renewal info for 2020, nor was he given a copy of the initial contract...so technically, it doesn't seem fair or legal to expect him to know to do that...

 

Admittedly, he was made aware on his 2019 renewal, but that was in January 2019...most people wouldn't remember that (as he didn't) and many wouldn't have saved the letter.

 

Also, we no longer have keys for the property - these were all returned and accepted on 30th June - again, doesn't seem legal to bill us for rent for a place that we don't have access to...and doesn't seem legal to take the keys without making us aware, by the way, you're still renting the place.

 

I've left a voicemail and awaiting a call back - I obviously intend to argue this, but if they refuse to make any adjustment (I'm prepared to meet them halfway, if needed, though would prefer not to), do we have any kind of legal claim? Would it even be worth trying? 

 

Thanks in advance!

 

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2 hours ago, TBoneTX said:

Bummer, but it's his responsibility to obtain a copy of, and adhere to, anything that he signs -- anytime in life.

Oh, I know this - trust me, he's has a royal(removed). He's one of those super-clever people that struggle with day to day life and common sense. 🤷🏻‍♀️

Edited by Ontarkie
edited for language

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35 minutes ago, aaron2020 said:

It's cut and dry because you have a copy of the 2019 lease which states you have to give 30 days notice.  You're expected to know that.  You gave notice a week before the end of June, so under the terms of the lease, you are liable for July rent.  

The reason for the 30 days notice is so the landlord can schedule cleaning and advertise the place to rent quickly.

 

I totally agree with that...and if it were an independent landlord, I don't think I'd even be trying to argue it...but this is a big apartment complex, of which they have multiple properties, of every size, empty and available for rent (including several identical to ours)...and the guy that did the walk through told me they'd be in to clean it the very next day.

 

So us giving minimal notice has genuinely had zero impact on them.

 

I think we probably will get stuck on the technicality of it being a term of the lease and end up paying - God only knows how my husband has rented multiple properties before and never been aware of this - but I will definitely argue it until the end...particularly as they've taken the keys from us...

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Filed: Citizen (apr) Country: Ecuador
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Agreements in writing always supersede verbal agreements or assurances.  If he signed the contract, he's obligated to fulfill his part of it.


06-04-2007 = TSC stamps postal return-receipt for I-129f.

06-11-2007 = NOA1 date (unknown to me).

07-20-2007 = Phoned Immigration Officer; got WAC#; where's NOA1?

09-25-2007 = Touch (first-ever).

09-28-2007 = NOA1, 23 days after their 45-day promise to send it (grrrr).

10-20 & 11-14-2007 = Phoned ImmOffs; "still pending."

12-11-2007 = 180 days; file is "between workstations, may be early Jan."; touches 12/11 & 12/12.

12-18-2007 = Call; file is with Division 9 ofcr. (bckgrnd check); e-prompt to shake it; touch.

12-19-2007 = NOA2 by e-mail & web, dated 12-18-07 (187 days; 201 per VJ); in mail 12/24/07.

01-09-2008 = File from USCIS to NVC, 1-4-08; NVC creates file, 1/15/08; to consulate 1/16/08.

01-23-2008 = Consulate gets file; outdated Packet 4 mailed to fiancee 1/27/08; rec'd 3/3/08.

04-29-2008 = Fiancee's 4-min. consular interview, 8:30 a.m.; much evidence brought but not allowed to be presented (consul: "More proof! Second interview! Bring your fiance!").

05-05-2008 = Infuriating $12 call to non-English-speaking consulate appointment-setter.

05-06-2008 = Better $12 call to English-speaker; "joint" interview date 6/30/08 (my selection).

06-30-2008 = Stokes Interrogations w/Ecuadorian (not USC); "wait 2 weeks; we'll mail her."

07-2008 = Daily calls to DOS: "currently processing"; 8/05 = Phoned consulate, got Section Chief; wrote him.

08-07-08 = E-mail from consulate, promising to issue visa "as soon as we get her passport" (on 8/12, per DHL).

08-27-08 = Phoned consulate (they "couldn't find" our file); visa DHL'd 8/28; in hand 9/1; through POE on 10/9 with NO hassles(!).

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Interesting turn of events...just got off the phone to the landlord agency...they said the July bill was issued in error and to hold on a couple of days, as they'll be sending a new, lesser bill tomorrow...

 

Will let you know how it pans out!

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@Zoeeeeeee, I specialize in commercial property law in California  but have familiarity with residential as well. Let me have a look at what you've written more closely and I'll post again after I'm done for the day.

 

I just saw your update -- sounds like you're moving in the right direction!

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6 hours ago, elmcitymaven said:

@Zoeeeeeee, I specialize in commercial property law in California  but have familiarity with residential as well. Let me have a look at what you've written more closely and I'll post again after I'm done for the day.

 

I just saw your update -- sounds like you're moving in the right direction!

Thanks @elmcitymaven, that's very kind of you to offer.

 

Essentially, I know my husband made an error, but the managing agents definitely didn't do things that they should've, which, had they done, would've stopped him from making this error...so I feel like getting him to pay the full month doesn't seem fair. Today's call sounded positive though, so fingers crossed!

Edited by Zoeeeeeee

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I just realized I never actually updated this 🤔. In case anyone was wondering, we didn't have to pay the extra month and we got our deposit back, excluding the deductions we expected (repainting a wall where we'd hung pictures, etc). This may be a huge fluke, but I definitely think it's worth trying to negotiate/argue if you think you may have a case! 🙂

 

And to conclude, my husband is no longer trusted with paperwork/admin/etc. 😆

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Filed: Citizen (apr) Country: Ecuador
Timeline

Thanks for returning with the update.  It's always good to have closure, especially of the positive type.

12 hours ago, Zoeeeeeee said:

it's worth trying to negotiate/argue if you think you may have a case

We rarely get what we don't ask for. :) 


06-04-2007 = TSC stamps postal return-receipt for I-129f.

06-11-2007 = NOA1 date (unknown to me).

07-20-2007 = Phoned Immigration Officer; got WAC#; where's NOA1?

09-25-2007 = Touch (first-ever).

09-28-2007 = NOA1, 23 days after their 45-day promise to send it (grrrr).

10-20 & 11-14-2007 = Phoned ImmOffs; "still pending."

12-11-2007 = 180 days; file is "between workstations, may be early Jan."; touches 12/11 & 12/12.

12-18-2007 = Call; file is with Division 9 ofcr. (bckgrnd check); e-prompt to shake it; touch.

12-19-2007 = NOA2 by e-mail & web, dated 12-18-07 (187 days; 201 per VJ); in mail 12/24/07.

01-09-2008 = File from USCIS to NVC, 1-4-08; NVC creates file, 1/15/08; to consulate 1/16/08.

01-23-2008 = Consulate gets file; outdated Packet 4 mailed to fiancee 1/27/08; rec'd 3/3/08.

04-29-2008 = Fiancee's 4-min. consular interview, 8:30 a.m.; much evidence brought but not allowed to be presented (consul: "More proof! Second interview! Bring your fiance!").

05-05-2008 = Infuriating $12 call to non-English-speaking consulate appointment-setter.

05-06-2008 = Better $12 call to English-speaker; "joint" interview date 6/30/08 (my selection).

06-30-2008 = Stokes Interrogations w/Ecuadorian (not USC); "wait 2 weeks; we'll mail her."

07-2008 = Daily calls to DOS: "currently processing"; 8/05 = Phoned consulate, got Section Chief; wrote him.

08-07-08 = E-mail from consulate, promising to issue visa "as soon as we get her passport" (on 8/12, per DHL).

08-27-08 = Phoned consulate (they "couldn't find" our file); visa DHL'd 8/28; in hand 9/1; through POE on 10/9 with NO hassles(!).

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