2

I am very frustrated with my landlord. They inspected my unit while I was at work and yesterday they posted on my door a 3 day notice to cure breach or quit over a "dirty bathtub". They didn't even give me a warning about it. In my opinion, it's not that dirty and certainly not to the extent requiring a legal threat.

Also I noticed a typographical error on the notice. Instead of "Address of : Unit name" it was "Address if : Unit name"

I've always paid my rent on time and I am very quiet. I am pissed they would treat me like this. I am thinking of the fighting this.

Is it standard operating procedure to threaten tenants over such a small infractions? If I take this to court, is a judge going to issue an eviction order over a bathtub whose cleanliness is debatable? How can I take advantage of the typographical error?

3

Clean your tub. Scratch that off the list.

Typo - forget about it, there is nothing here, clerical errors are curable if not outright reasonable.

In CA your landlord can enter under certain circumstances. All but emergency require notice, agreement, or your presence. But what is your remedy? A civil suit for damages or call the cops and try to get the landlord charged with criminal trespass under CAL. PEN. CODE § 602.

  • They posted a notice on my door a day before they did the inspection. Was that legal? The the 3 day notice to cure breach or quit indicated they will inspect the bathtub in on 8/14/15, but I haven't consented nor will I be present. If they come in and inspect, will that be legal? And I do live in California. – PizzaFan Aug 11 '15 at 22:38
  • 1
    What did the notice say? Landlord tenant law is an area that is very available to renters. CA has a renters handbook. It's online. Read it. Based on the facts it sounds like landlord cannot enter without your consent. But there are things for which the landlord can terminate tenancy with three days notice. Seriously, this isn't stuff you need to hire a lawyer for but its stuff that you should not need to rely on internets for either. – jqning Aug 11 '15 at 23:11
  • 2
    Thanks! Found some interesting stuff here: housing.ucsc.edu/cro/pdf/CCC_privacy.pdf. I think they may violated the law. They weren't doing repairs, I never consented, nor was the inspection pursuant to subdivision (f) of Section 1950.5. Obviously I think I have a case since they keep entering my apartment when I am away, but may just end up cleaning the tub to avoid the hassle. Definitely leaving this landlord when I get the chance since they obviously don't respect the law or their tenants. – PizzaFan Aug 11 '15 at 23:34
  • 1
    Are you by any chance being discriminated against? Are you part of a protected class? CA has a ton (that's a legal term of art) of protected classes. Is this behavior pretext? – jqning Aug 11 '15 at 23:51
  • 1
    I am a protected class and that thought has crossed my mind, but I have no solid proof of it. Hanlon's razor may apply: "never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity". – PizzaFan Aug 11 '15 at 23:54
2

If anyone runs to a similar issue, here is the relevant law:

Some landlords seek to perform periodic inspections (usually once a year) to look for any needed repairs or unsafe conditions, such as inoperable smoke detectors, water leaks, mold, termite damage, tripping hazards, etc. While periodic maintenance inspections can be beneficial to tenants and landlords, California law does not give a private landlord the right to enter for that purpose unless the tenant consents. Any rental agreement provision that allows a landlord to enter for such inspections without the tenant’s consent is unenforceable. Evicting a tenant who refused to allow such an inspection would constitute an illegal retaliatory eviction.

http://housing.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/Landlord-entry-annual-inspections.pdf

So their initial inspection was illegal, and the inspection they will do in a few days will be illegal. I will never consent to them entering my apartment. If they start legal proceedings against me, I will be vindicated in the end.

I will not clean my bathtub if don't want to, gosh darn it! This is America!

  • 3
    I would be extremely careful in concluding that an inspection without your consent can't be used in eviction proceedings. Landlords are not the police; the exclusionary rule normally doesn't apply to civil cases. – cpast Aug 12 '15 at 0:05
  • 2
    You are right: niclawgrp.com/Resource-Materials/Nicolai-Law-Letter/…. Obviously that was a case of the police illegally entering versus the landlords illegally entering in this case. I could refuse entry so they will never be able to verify if the bathtub was clean or not. – PizzaFan Aug 12 '15 at 0:14
0

Is it standard operating procedure to threaten tenants over such a small infractions?

Maybe, we don't have enough information; all we know is that they have done it at least once, to you. Wrong question anyway; it doesn't matter if it is standard practice; it matters if it is legal. I don't know enough about California tenancy law or your lease to say.

If I take this to court, is a judge going to issue an eviction order over a bathtub whose cleanliness is debatable?

Maybe , depends on the judge, depends on the law, depends on the facts. By the way, when you say "cleanliness is debatable" and "not that dirty", I hear "not clean"; maybe a judge will hear the same thing?

How can I take advantage of the typographical error?

You can't; an error that insignificant will not invalidate the notice.

You need to ask yourself some simple questions:

  • do you want to keep living here? If so, don't piss off the landlord and clean the bath!

  • if you don't want to keep living here; do you want to spend a lot of time and money fighting for the right to live somewhere you don't want to?

  • 1
    I won't live there for long, I can guarantee you that. I debating whether to clean the tub now and make my move later, or act now. Giving a legally binding notice over a bathtub without warning is not something a considerate landlord would do. – PizzaFan Aug 11 '15 at 22:42
  • Consider the potential impact on your ability to rent in the future if you have an eviction in your history. Right or wrong, it may cause you to be perceived in a negative light. You are correct that these are not the actions of a considerate landlord, just don't shoot yourself in the foot on the way out. Resolve this issue and plan to move on your schedule. IMO – Tim Nevins Aug 7 '19 at 15:30

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.