I am in crisis

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by Californiablonde, Oct 25, 2017.

  1. Californiablonde

    Californiablonde Well-Known Member

    I am sitting here at work in tears, trying to hold it all in. I just received a phone call from my apartment complex, stating that during a mandatory bed bug inspection, our place was found dirty and if not cleaned we could get kicked out. We don't have bed bugs, a neighbor does, but we were inspected to make sure the bugs hadn't spread. Apparently an apartment representative was also there as well, and reported us after he saw the condition of our apartment.

    Thing is, I am so clueless. I knew ahead of time they were coming, and I cleaned the place spotless. Or so I thought. I vacuumed the entire apartment, swept and actually got down on my hands and knees to scrub the floors with a scrubber, and cleaned the bathroom, wiped up counters, and cleaned the litter box. I even went as far as to get out my hand vacuum and vacuum under the furniture and under the cushions and around the beds. I had to ask this apartment manager exactly what they had found wrong. She was very vague and wouldn't answer me. All she kept saying was, "Well it's dirty."

    I told her I needed a detailed explanation, and she told me she didn't have time to list each and every thing that was wrong. That's just BS. There couldn't be that many things wrong with my apartment that she couldn't take the time to tell me what they were. I persisted. This is the answer I got, "the carpets are dirty, the litter box was full, and there was litter on the floor." I completely cleaned out the litter box the night before the inspection, so there is not possible way it was full of anything than mostly clean litter. Of course there is going to be some litter around the litter box. The cats cover up their mess and the litter sometimes spills onto the carpet.

    We only have one litter box. It is in the bedroom. Granted, there was a little bit of litter surrounding the box that the vacuum wouldn't pick up, but in no way was the litter "all over the floor." As for the carpet, we have lived there for five years and in that time there have been some spills, spills that would not come out unless I got the whole carpet cleaned. In the past, whenever we have moved, they have had to take out the carpet and replace it. They always take it out of my deposit. It's understandable. I expect it. But seriously isn't a stained carpet considered normal wear and tear?

    When I tried to explain all of this to the lady, she didn't want to hear any of it. I told her quite bluntly that I need to know exactly what to do to keep my apartment. She kept saying, "I don't know." I told her I had no clue what else to do other than scrub down the whole place with a toothbrush. She had no answer. She asked me if I was going to be home tomorrow so they could do the inspection. I told her absolutely not, I will be at work, and I need way more than a half a day's notice to have my apartment insepected. She then told me she was going to contact her supervisor, and go from there.

    I broke down at work, had to go to the restroom, and cry. I have cleaned myself up a bit, and now I'm back at my desk still fighting off tears. If we lose this apartment, we lose everything. My credit has become SO bad over the last five years, my own bank has shut down my accounts and credit cards and I have about ten negative things on my credit report. There is no way I will be accepted for another apartment. Not to mention, I can't afford a deposit.

    I don't know what to do. We will have to go back to motel living, something I always promised my kids we would never do again since their dad left us. I worked hard to get us back from being homeless. We are now facing that again. Worse yet, we will lose our cats. They are my therapy cats. I need them to help my anxiety. My son and my cats are what help me most to keep going and pushing hard to make it. I know I keep repeating myself, but I seriously have no idea what they want!! Do I even have any recourse for this?
     
  2. Nomad

    Nomad Well-Known Member

    I would continue with insisting that she tell you specifically what they want cleaned.
    Ask for a reasonable amount of time to clean, which I think would be about 7-10 days.
    Ask via email so you have it in writing.
    How old are your kids?
    Older kids need to help.
    Asap get trash bags and load up any things you do t need and throw them out. This might be magazines, extra tv's, broken items.
    Now is not the time to be sentimental.
    Buy a pack of Magic Erasers. It could be marks on the wall bothering them. Buy Febreeze spray if you think there could be an odor.
    Scrub sinks , tubs, showers , counters , toilets and floors and any dark or large marks on the walls.
    Get rid of clutter.
    Does your place have a dump or big garbage receptacle?
    Use it.
    Then vacuum like crazy
    But first, continue trying to get specifics and I would tell them you need ten days from when they do give you more detail...but start now.
    You might ask your landlord or whoever is in charge if this is part of your lease and if so, send this (a copy of it) in writing.
    If you do all this, in my humble opinion, no way in heck they can kick you out.
    Ask for more specifics
    Ask for ten days
    Start getting rid of clutter now and cleaning now
    Ask your kids to help you
    Try not to worry
     
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  3. Littleboylost

    Littleboylost On the road unwanted to travel

    I agree with Nomad fight for your rights. Don't cave.
    Deep breathes this must be Terribly overwhelming.
     
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  4. Californiablonde

    Californiablonde Well-Known Member

    Nomad, where do I find magic erasers? I have heard about them but never seen them. The walls do have some stains, and I have relentlessly tried to clean them with a scrubber but they don't work.
     
  5. Littleboylost

    Littleboylost On the road unwanted to travel

    Stains are not dirt. Try the hardware store for magic erasers.

    A fresh coat of paint does wonders as well.
     
  6. Californiablonde

    Californiablonde Well-Known Member

     
  7. Nomad

    Nomad Well-Known Member

    I get mine from the food store. I think I have also seen them at Home Depot. In either case, they are in the cleaning department. Get several. They are made by Mr. Clean. You moisten them and scrub. They get off marks that other things can't get off.

    You might need to paint if it is something very bad. I don't know. But this product is often very helpful.
     
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  8. KTMom91

    KTMom91 Well-Known Member

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  9. Californiablonde

    Californiablonde Well-Known Member

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  10. Nomad

    Nomad Well-Known Member

    PS when we moved this past summer and had the final inspection I was surprised how many marks were on the walls behind our furniture. The magic eraser got rid of all of them with the exception of one.

    Yes...I do wonder if they have the legal right to do this!

    But it might not be a bad idea to try to get them off your back.
     
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  11. Californiablonde

    Californiablonde Well-Known Member

    You know right now I'm feeling very stupid for breaking down and crying at work. I am a strong person. At times I may feel weak, but I have overcome so much and I fight every single day to give my kids a good life. I am in a job I hate, detest, loath, and abhor, but I still get up every day and do it. Our generous holidays and vacation time helps keep me going. So do my kids, who I will fight for with every ounce of my being. So yeah, to break down at work makes me feel really low right now, but I have overcome worse. Dodgers are in the World Series this year, which is a happy thought I'm going to hold on to, and I think I may go home and watch part of the game. And pet my cats. And forget about this for awhile.
     
  12. GoingNorth

    GoingNorth Crazy Cat Lady

    Ugh..your apartment sounds like mine. I've had people in here. Now, they've never inspected, but no one's ever complained. They are going to have to rip out the carpet when I leave or die.

    I have a 100,000 dollar rider on my renter's insurance that covers damage, including pet damage, to the apartment. As regarding painting? They do it whenever a tenant moves out.

    Cat litter around the pans? Yep. Thomas digs like a backhoe. Better yet, he's got very fuzzy feet and tracks litter everywhere, including into my bed.

    Right now my floors need washing, and vacuuming? Well, my vac crapped out...again. Carpet is disgusting.

    And the place is hella cluttered, with boxes lying all over my living room because I have a lot of stuff delivered.


    Apartments in CA are tight. Especially affordable ones. If you've had ANY issues with paying your rent on time, and especially if they are planning on raising the rent, they may be looking for an excuse to get you out of there.

    Check leasing laws, etc. Another issue, depending on size of apartment, may be having an adult child living with you.

    Don't flip out. Check laws, and get with Legal Aid, ASAP.
     
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  13. GoingNorth

    GoingNorth Crazy Cat Lady

    Edited above post because I realized I hadn't read CB's post properly and some of what I originally said came off as insensitive (not to mention stupid) as a result.

    CB, I'm keeping my fingers crossed for you, and good thoughts flowing in your direction.

    Do you HAVE to stay in CA? There are other places you can live that are so much more affordable, and your skills are pretty transferable as regards working for school districts wherever.

    Part of the reason I went to WI is that I couldn't afford to rent in N.IL, and taxes and prices were higher.

    If you can, talk to a lawyer first, but I'd seriously consider filing bankruptcy at this point (Chapter 7), assuming you can still discharge credit card debt. You have nothing to lose and you don't seem to be getting out of the hole you are in on your own.

    Are you HUD eligible? Are you in HUD housing? if so, you have certain rights (and certain obligations)

    I would seriously pay for a consultation with a bankruptcy attorney and see if this is a route that will work for you.

    (And leave your mother completely out of it!)
     
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  14. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    first. this is harassment. they are breaking the law. there is calif landlord tenant law that requires written notice except for defined emergencies. many cities have even more favorable laws to tenants.

    i would go to a free legal aid clinic. you can find phone numbers for ca tenant law clinics online.

    nolo press sells big books on tenant rights. you can look on their site to find a title and then buy it used on ebay or abebooks.com. it should not cost more tha ten or fifteen dollars. or look at library.

    second. talk to nobody. ask for everything in writing.

    third. take pictures of the entire apartment. with a date stamp. you can buy a disposable camera. if you can't find a camera with a date stamp, in each room have one picture with a dated magazine with the date visible.

    first get a carpet shampoo machine for rent at a market. they are cheap and easy to use.

    in some communities there are day labor services where sonebody will come to clean.i do not know what it would coat where you live but here it is $15 hour.

    at the worst they have to give you notice to correct the conditiions. which they have to put in writing. and you can ask for documentatiion from them. they can 't just accuse you. i want to see the photos! put this back on them in writing.

    don't defend yourself. make them hang themselves. just say: please put it in writing. and find a free attorney.

    and don't let anybody in without lawful written notice.

    my gosh. a one time fumigation service costs $150.

    law schools have housing law clinics. pepperdine is one. but many do.

    they need to be scared. because you could have a lawsuit. a big one.

    ps you should not have to paint. in fact that could get you in trouble. that's what your deposit is for.
     
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    Last edited: Oct 25, 2017
  15. DoneDad

    DoneDad Active Member

    California is very tenant friendly in its laws, and some cities especially so. If you live in a big city like LA or SF, there is no way they can evict you for your apartment being messy. First, they have to give you a 3 day notice to perform or quit. They have to detail exactly what you need to correct. Then they have to give you a 30 day notice to quit. Then if you are still there, they have to file an unlawful detainer, which can go to a jury trial and be very expensive for them if you want to pursue it. There are many free legal aid type tenant rights organizations in California that will give you free legal advice and representation. Do you live in a rent controlled area? If so, it’s very likely they’re trying to get rid of you to rent to someone else at a higher rent. Stay strong, inform yourself of your rights, and let them know you’re not going to be a pushover and that they will have a big legal battle on their hands if they do try to evict you.

    Landlord/Tenant Book Index - California Department of Consumer Affairs

    Is one place to start reading
     
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    Last edited: Oct 25, 2017
  16. Crayola13

    Crayola13 Active Member

    Tell them you want a detailed written report with specific problems stated and threaten legal action. Also, the report should specify what you are supposed to do as far as corrective measures.
     
  17. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    i found the magic erasers at costco.
     
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  18. Nomad

    Nomad Well-Known Member

    The more I think about this, the more I think they could be bluffing. BUT you still have to take it seriously.

    And what was said above makes sense...if you've paid late or something they don't like, maybe they are trying to get you out . It's a small, but real possibility.

    Again, you might calmly ask them to send you a copy of where in the lease it discusses cleanliness and consequences if the place isn't clean.

    And I would continue to insist calmly, but firmly in writing that you need more details. What specifically do they want you to clean?

    Agree that you should seek the advice of a legal clinic

    It won't hurt to do some cleaning as mentioned earlier. We don't know what they are truly thinking or have up their sleeves.

    But, know there is a good chance that what they are doing is discriminatory and if so, very likely against the law.

    In other words, try not to overly worry about this. However, cover your behind by asking for specifics , beginning with the extra cleaning and so forth.
     
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    Last edited: Oct 25, 2017
  19. BloodiedButUnbowed

    BloodiedButUnbowed Active Member

    I agree - none of this sounds legal.

    I would contact free legal aid ASAP. Contact your landlord and let them know you're lawyering up and you won't allow them to enter your home. Demand written documentation of their complaints about the condition of your home.

    They must give you a certain amount of time to correct whatever is wrong.

    I have never heard of a mandatory bedbug inspection but it sounds like you consented to that.

    In my state 24 hours notice is required before entering a unit and it takes 6-12 months to evict even for cause.
     
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  20. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    CB, here's some info I found which may ease your mind a bit. You have many rights as a tenant in the state of CA. Get to know them and don't let anyone intimidate you.
    You have too much going on at once, completely understandable that you broke down. Now that you have calmed down, understand that you have rights. You did a great job talking to the woman, continue demanding legal documents. Sending hugs......


    [​IMG]
    Unlawful Detainer (Eviction)
    Eviction – the Unlawful Detainer process

    [​IMG]
    First Step – Get out of Victim Mode
    Chances are, you’re panicked at the moment because the landlord has started evicting you. You feel like a victim. If you feel intimidated or threatened by the process, you’re normal. You don’t know what to expect, and the landlord acts like he’s holding all the cards. You’ve heard rumors about how it goes. It’s like walking in the dark, and things are hitting you in head. We’re going to turn on the floodlights, give you a map, show you where the safe spots are and how to avoid the danger zones, and get you where you want to be.

    You can’t have fun doing this if you’re intimidated. The goal here is to replace your fear and anxiety with knowledge, a strategy, a clear plan, and enjoyment of the game you’ve just been invited to play. Yes, it’s a game, and one that you can win in real terms. The downside is real, certainly, but not the end of the world. Usually, your worst case scenario is that you have to move to another location, and continue with life there. Yes, having to move is such a hassle, sometimes an expensive one. Nobody likes moving. However, it’s not something you couldn’t have chosen to do, in your own sweet time. And there we are: you might want to move, but just not yet. Most clients have lots of fun doing this, driving the landlord crazy.

    Try to have an open mind. You may think that you don’t have a chance to win, but only because you don’t know. For example, contrary to popular belief, winning a case over nonpayment of rent is actually the easiest for the tenant to win: a defective notice, prior illegal late fees or repairs that you made, uninhabitable conditions that exist now, unsatisfied citations by the building or health department, illegal structures, unlicensed managers, unregistered fictitious business names, miscalculations, waivers, special agreements with the prior landlord, unsigned leases, confusing lease languages, illegal lease terms, rent control requirements,…the list goes on and on. One little mistake in the landlord’s case and you win, even if the real reason you didn’t pay is because you didn’t have the money.

    Winning, in reality, is getting what you want, or getting the best with what you’ve got. It’s about practical consequences, not just winning the trial. While you’re fighting the eviction, you’re not paying any rent, so you can save up to move and take the time to look around. Just by fighting the eviction, you’re gaining the time to take it easy, the pressure is off, and you can calmly look for a new place, if that’s your plan. You’re watching your frustrated and angry landlord being held at bay ironically by the process he chose, rather than work things out with you, peacefully and reasonably. You’re seeing his embarrassed and confused lawyer scrambling to keep pace with your better tactics, while your landlord is wondering why he’s paying so much for a lawyer who is being outwitted by his unrepresented tenant. It’s hilarious. And then, on the day of trial, they buckle, and all their saber rattling comes to an end: you get what you wanted. I see it over and over again. All you need to do is play the game better that they do, and if you have a winning case, all the better!


    The Second Step – Take Action
    The Eviction Process

    Eviction is the means by which a landlord can legally get you to move out. If you win, you stay put. If you did nothing to stop it, you would lose but have about a month from the filing of the eviction lawsuit before you would be locked out by the Sheriff. If you fight it, getting 2-3 months more time [even if you lose] is easy. My record is now 4½ years [not a misprint]; it could have been longer were it not for judicial corruption, and that case is now on appeal. That was an unusual situation, for sure, but eviction cases lasting for several months to more than a year are not uncommon. Each case depends on the facts, the law, the Plaintiff’s lawyer, the judge, the clerks and what you want to invest in getting the additional time.

    As shown in the diagram below, eviction usually starts with a notice, then goes to a lawsuit called an “unlawful detainer”, or “UD” for short. If you win, you stay in possession and the landlord has to reimburse you for your legal costs. If you lose, the Sheriff has to give you a 5-day notice before a lockout, and finally you leave. You can go back and get your stuff after being locked out. While you’re in this process, you pay no rent; you still owe it, but it stays in your pocket. You can use that money to pay for legal expenses to fight the eviction [thanks, Mr. Landlord!] and to pay for moving, if you choose to do that.

    Landlords try to scare you into moving, and not fighting it, because they know how much hassle you can give them, and how expensive it can be to get you out. Here are the common myths:

    (1) The landlord CANNOT lock you out, remove your property, remove doors or windows, or turn off utilities to get you out, in lieu of court; Civil Code 789.3 prohibits that [for residential tenants] and makes the landlord liable to you for actual costs plus $100 per day that it continues, and the police will back you on this one [Penal Code 484].

    (2) The landlord CANNOT have the police or Sheriff arrest you for overstaying your welcome, instead of going to court. The Sheriff may be used to serve the eviction papers, but anything beyond that awaits the court’s determination, first.

    (3) The landlord CANNOT barge in and start doing major construction to make it impossible to live there, or otherwise interfere with your quiet enjoyment to force you out; Civil Code 1940.2 prohibits that, and makes the landlord liable for $2000 for each such attempt, in addition to your actual losses. The police will back you on this one, too [Penal Code 484].

    (4) The landlord CANNOT threaten to report you to immigration authorities or other law enforcement, nor make any other threat to get you out. Civil Code 1940.2 prohibits that, and makes the landlord liable for $2000 for each such attempt, in addition to your actual losses. The police will back you on this one, as well [Penal Code 518].

    If the landlord wants you out, he can negotiate with you, wait for you to go, or take his chances in court with the UD.

    1. Basic Eviction Defense Kit [click]



    If you are low on funds and cannot afford to hire a lawyer, at all, the Eviction Defense Kit on this site is your best option. The Kit explains all of your defenses, your strategy, how to fill out the forms, how to conduct discovery, how to prepare for trial, how to pick a judge, how to present yourself at trial, and what happens afterwards. It has the Answer form and form interrogatories, along with some organizational forms. Even if you also hire a lawyer, the Kit gives you details about the process which will put you at ease and help you work with the lawyer.

    Pros: The Kit is only $20, and can be purchased online from this website. It comes back immediately as an Acrobat “pdf” attachment to an email, like a vending machine. You pull up the Kit on your computer and print out what you want, fill in the forms on your computer, and you have professional-looking, and properly prepared papers for your case.

    Cons: The Kit does not include the motion to strike, demurrer, motion for relief from default, motion for automatic stay, appeal documents, other discovery devices, motions to compel, and other papers which a lawyer needs to prepare for you. Therefore, using the Kit will get you to trial in about 2-3 weeks, not 2-3 months. If time is a strong consideration, getting the Kit is probably not your best option.

    2. The Deluxe Eviction Defense Kit [click]

    The $120 Deluxe Eviction Defense Kit is the basic kit plus detailed instructions on how to do your own jury trial [or regular trial if you prefer]. Preparing for the trial, jury instructions, witness and exhibit lists, opening statements, presenting evidence, testifying, and more are explained in plain and simple language. Even if you need more help, knowing the process in advance in such straight-forward and logical terms takes all the fear out of the process. When you walk in confident, ready to go, especially when the landlord was expecting you to be scared to death, he knows he’s in trouble.

    Pros: For a small portion of what you pay in rent each month, it’s a lot of clout. Realize that the landlord has to pay his lawyer $5,000 or more to do what you’re doing on a shoestring budget. You Answer the Complaint, make your landlord answer your Interrogatories, and then make him go through a very expensive and risky jury trial while you have spent so little and are confident. It’s a great understanding of the law and process.

    Cons: It’s still not like having a lawyer doing it for you in person or even remotely. There is no way that even a Deluxe kit could include the motions that could extend the time, since the proper papers depend on the technicalities and individual circumstances. Also, most clients find it helpful to have me prepare some of the jury documents for them and give them a final organizational consultation.

    3. Consultation and Drafting by Ken Carlson [Click]

    You can hire Ken Carlson to consult with you and draft papers for you in a piecemeal basis or (b) call him on the Hotline on a per-minute basis. You begin with a phone consultation, after faxing or scanning and emailing the paperwork to him. He then evaluates whether a motion to quash or demurrer is your best choice for a first paper, and gives you an overall strategy and complete understanding of your defenses. If you choose the piecemeal basis, you pay him to prepare the paperwork at the set rates, and pay for each consultation at $100 per half-hour,. You take responsibility for monitoring your own case, and when the next papers are due. If you choose the Hotline, Ken can answer most questions without an appointment being necessary, although it costs 50% more for this “rush job” contact. When it comes time to go to trial, Ken helps you find a trial lawyer to “substitute in” and appear on your behalf, just like the big law firms do it. Ken brings that lawyer up to speed.

    Pros: This is the least expensive way to get the most time in possession. You have the benefit of Ken’s expertise, both in the drafting of the paperwork and the strategy for your particular case. Buying time gives you breathing room to look around for another place, if you wish, as well as permits a more thorough discovery process to make you better prepared for trial. Often, the landlord’s paperwork is riddled with flaws, which are not apparent even to the typical lawyer, but Ken often gets the judge to order the landlord to start over again, and perhaps even again after that. Since you are not paying for Ken to drive to and sit around in court, or haggle with the other lawyer over the phone, you get the essential benefit of having a lawyer without the wasteful parts of litigation. If you don’t excessively use his time, you can often achieve the months of extra time at a small fraction of what your rent would have been, so that you can save up for a move while still affording his legal assistance. You save the costs of gas and parking coming to a law office, because everything done by is phone, fax, e-mail, and regular mail. For those who have video-conferencing through their computer, a virtual face-to-face consultation is available. For cases in the Los Angeles area where Ken used to practice, his personal relationships with many of the lawyers can help resolve things in an amicable fashion, or warn the landlord that this may be a hellish experience.

    Cons: For some people, having the lawyer in a face-to-face meeting is important, and worth the extra money. Ken’s consultations are all over the phone, except if you wnt to have a video Skype consultation. The paperwork is exchanged by e-mail or fax, but not in person. Ken cannot appear in court for you for two good reasons: (1) he is busy just handling the website and these types of cases, and (2) it is economically infeasible for Ken to travel all around the State in each courthouse where his client’s cases are. The other lawyer talks to you [i.e., not to Ken, unless you hire Ken to negotiate directly for you] so you may not know what to say, or how to handle things when caught off guard. For some of the minor hearings before trial, the other lawyer may take advantage of the fact that you don’t know how to handle some of the technicalities, or exploit the judge’s bias, and get a minor victory. However, for those situations, you can set up a “lifeline” or use the Hotline, and call Ken from the courthouse on the spot to get help right then.

    4. Hiring a Local Lawyer [click]

    The California Tenant Law website contains the most complete list of lawyers who will represent tenants in California. The list is arranged by geographic region, and then by city, with no particular order after that. Each listing has the name, address, and telephone number of the lawyer, and if they have it, their e-mail and website address. If there are restrictions by these lawyers on the type of case, it is shown. Many of them represent both landlords and tenants, as Ken did, but some only represent tenants. Since this website is NOT a lawyer referral service, there is NO recommendation made.

    Pros: Having a lawyer handle the case from the beginning has the primary advantage of continuity, and a secondary benefit of the interpersonal contact. The lawyer has you in their office in a face-to-face meeting, which is more comfortable for some people than merely talking over the phone or through e-mails. You can watch the lawyer in action in other tenants’ cases, and get a better idea of that lawyer’s skill and ability. You can drive to the lawyer’s office to pick up or drop off original papers and photos, rather than wait for the mail to deliver them, where timing is critical. When the other lawyer makes contact, he/she talks to your lawyer, not you. Therefore, you are less vulnerable to unfair manipulation in person or before the judge in those minor pre-trial hearings.

    Cons: The main disadvantage of having a lawyer officially representing you is the cost. You are paying either a large flat fee or on an hourly basis for whatever they do for you. A small court hearing can easily cost you $500 between the travel time, parking fees, and waiting time in court, in addition to the document preparation and consultations with you. Also, telephone calls and letters from the other lawyer, or witnesses, or the Court are all billable time for your lawyer, even if they don’t advance your case very much, and you could have handled it yourself. There is a lot of wasted time in the legal system which is unavoidable for your lawyer, who is responsible to handle all of it. You can’t “help”. Also, the interpersonal relationship you begin with may disintegrate as your lawyer has the secretary or paralegal making contact with you, or the lawyer has phone consultations with you, anyway. If you come on an appointment, you may have to wait for the prior consultation to finish, or for the lawyer to get back from court where the hearing took longer than expected. Much of the work by the lawyer’s office may be done by subordinate staff, rather than the lawyer, who may just glance over it and sign. The local lawyers may not have the expertise that someone like Ken does, so the quality of work may not be as good, despite the much higher cost.










    The point is that when you delay, and you get the time you want, it is best to settle your case, with the intent to give you the kind of closure you would like. You certainly don’t want an old debt haunting you as you try to go on with life. There are ways around these problems, of course. Lots.



    By You:

    If you win the eviction case, the landlord has to at least reimburse you for your court filing fees. If the rental agreement or your defense permit attorney fees, you are entitled to an award of reasonable attorney fees as well, even if you don’t have an official attorney [Mix v. Tumanjan], such as where Ken is helping you. This is a money judgment which you can collect in a number of ways, including sending the Sheriff to the landlord’s bank and taking money from his account, having the Sheriff collect rents from your neighbors which the landlord would otherwise get, having the Sheriff take the landlord’s car and selling it, or having the Sheriff put the rental property up for sale at an auction. Each of these requires you to advance the costs, and some are more expensive than others. However, when you collect, the Sheriff adds those extra costs on the judgment amount being collected, so your landlord pays for your collection efforts. You can also put a lien on all the landlord’s property, so he can’t sell or refinance it without you being paid, and interest at 10% per year does accrue on his judgment as well.

    Of course, you CAN make an agreement to deduct the judgment from your rent, or the landlord can simply write you a check for the full amount. Landlords just HATE to do that, because it’s like paying for the beating. They are, anyway, but that doesn’t keep them from hating it. After all, paying you money after losing a fight that they started was not what they had planned, and it leaves an understandably bad taste in their mouth, maybe enough not to try it again. You never know.


    Ready to take the next step? Contact Ken Carlson.


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