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I recently got suckered into signing a lease on a room. I thought the place looked OK when I checked it out, and it was in a good area. The rent is $1,000/month and I put down a $100 deposit.

The room is in an in-law unit below a house. The unit does not have a kitchen sink or a stove, so I can only prepare food with a microwave and have to wash my dishes in the bathroom sink. I'm ok with this, but there is a slew of other issues.

The entire unit is infested with fleas and they have been eating me alive since I moved in. I had to spend about $30 on flea spray a couple days ago just to treat my room, clothes and bedding.

The landlord also has rules posted up saying "no loud noise after 10 pm or before 10 am" but she does not follow these rules herself. Her dogs bark and claw at my ceiling all night.

Last night, the landlord was out of town and left her daughter to watch the house. Her daughter had a friend over and they were talking and laughing loudly until around 10:30 PM.

They apparently left to go to some party and left her dogs alone in the house. The dogs then proceeded to bark and howl repeatedly until around 1:00 AM.

I sent the landlord a text message at 12:14 AM asking her to do something about the dogs, which is when she replied informing me she was not home, that her daughter should be home and that she'd call her. She texted me back again shortly saying she left her daughter a voicemail.

The dogs finally calmed down around 1 AM. I actually fell asleep at this point, but then that sleep was short lived. At around 2 AM, her daughter returned home. She came into the home shouting and laughing loudly (not sure if she was with her friend or on the phone) and the dogs erupted into barking once again.

This woke me up. The shouting, giggling and barking continued until around 2:30 AM. I didn't get back to sleep until around 3:00 AM.

Then, this morning, as I was trying to catch up on all of the hours of sleep I lost this past week from ongoing noise issues with the landlords dogs and her noisy family, I got woken up again by the sound of her dogs barking and clawing/pounding around the hardwood floor upstairs. It literally sounds like someone dumping a bag of bricks on the floor repeatedly.

I haven't been able to get any sleep since I moved here, even on the weekends. During the weekdays, I have to get up early for work and I'm finding myself dozing off at my desk at the office because of all the sleep I've lost. I'm also scratching myself non stop from all the flea bites, and its very embarrassing in front of my co-workers.

My back is covered in bites and I suspect I may have to go see a dermatologist and get some sort of treatment to prevent scarring. The bites are REALLY bad, swollen and scabbed over from being scratched.

I lived above a comedy club in one of the busiest neighborhoods in San Francisco a few years ago, and I got more sleep there than I did in this horrible room. This place is located in what is supposed to be a quiet bay area suburb, and yet its the noisiest place I've ever lived.

On top of that all the doors and windows are not properly installed. They do not open/close properly and I cannot lock my window shut.

I was able to find another studio apartment for $1,495 a month and she is willing to let me terminate my lease early. I have only been living here for a little over a week and asked if she would be willing to pro-rate my rent so that I pay only for the days I stayed, but she wants to keep the full $1,000 that I paid her. She said she would only pay me back the $100 deposit.

The place is frankly an overpriced, flea infested dump and I haven't been able to get more than 3 or 4 hours of sleep per night since I moved in. Is there anything I can do besides just move or am I SOL?

I would like to see if theres a way I can get some of the rent money I paid her back as I am pretty certain some of these are blatant code violations. This is in California, btw.

Update: To answer phoog's question, the room is in Alameda

  • In what city is the unit? Landlord/tenant relations are generally governed by state law, but in some municipalities there are additional restrictions. – phoog Oct 8 '17 at 19:08
  • The lack of a kitchen sink apparently violates the implied warranty of habitability. The flea infestation probably does as well. Since you've already decided to move out, however, I don't know whether you can do anything to recover any of your rent. Perhaps someone who knows will post something. – phoog Oct 8 '17 at 19:59
  • Also, you appear to have created two different accounts, which explains why you could not comment on or directly edit your own question. You can merge your accounts. – phoog Oct 8 '17 at 20:01
  • Thank you for the suggestion on the account merge, phoog. It appears that I can reply to comments now. Should I go to the Alameda department of building inspections and report this? Or should I try bringing these issues up with the landlord first? I am worried that she may withhold my security deposit and cause me trouble if I bring these issues up. I already have signed the lease on my other apartment but I don't have the means to move my stuff (I don't have a vehicle to move them with and my friend doesn't have his car for another week). – unfortunatetenant Oct 9 '17 at 0:51
  • Also want to add that she has still not given me a copy of my lease which she promised when I moved into the unit. I moved into the unit on Tuesday, September 26th. It is my understanding that she is legally required to provide me with a copy of my lease within 15 days of my signing it. I am wondering if this can also help in building a case against her in the event that I cannot get some of my rent back – unfortunatetenant Oct 9 '17 at 19:20

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