Legal Question in Landlord & Tenant Law in California


I am contacting you to find out if I have a case against the leasing agency that we formally were renting an apartment with. We only live in the residence for 2 months and we paid a total of $3924.58 for the rent for those 2 months. Then they charged us an additional amount of 1083.20 for rent from 1-16 September in which we were not living in the apartment because they said we had to give them 30 days notice of moving out and we notified them on the 15th of August. Then they are charging us an additional 1880 for breaking our lease, 500 dollars for concession pay back, 97.50 dollars for paint when nothing needed to be painted, 65 dollars for carpet cleaning when we hired a professional cleaning company to clean the entire apartment and professionally clean the carpets and we provided them with the receipt, then they are charging us for final water, sew, and trash 114.12 dollars and vacant electricity of 36.86 when again we weren't living in the apartment. In total they are charging us $7602.26 ($5007.78 we have already paid of this amount) for living in an apartment for only 2 months. They want us to pay the remaining amount over a period of 3 months with a payment of 865 dollars each time. Due to the only income we have is my husbands Active Duty Marine paycheck of a Lance Corporal, we simply cannot afford to pay that. Especially since we have a 2 year old daughter and are expecting our second child in October. I plan on trying to negotiate with them again in letting us either pay $200 a month till the amount is paid off or a one time payment of $1500 but I am almost certain they will say no again and threaten again that they will report us to the Collection agency and repot us to the credit bureau. Can we legally take any action, possibly for them abusing leasing tenants financially with the outlandish amount they are charging us? Or what would be the best course of action? Thank you so much for your time. Very Respectfully two U.S. Marines. Amber and Andrew Morales

Asked on 9/26/13, 1:36 pm

1 Answer from Attorneys

Kelvin Green The Law Office of Kelvin Green

I guess the first question is why did you break your lease? When you break a contract the damaged person is allowed to collect reasonable damages for the property. .you are required by California law to give 30 day notice. You are responsible rent until September 15.

The concession payback is probably in you rent contract. The concession was probably a reduced rent amount or discount if you moved in. If it you contract requires full term and since you did not, you can't expect them to eat that....i don't know how your electricity bill worked but you could owe some. I don't know what your contract calls for with the water sewer and trash and how it is billed.

You are responsible for certain costs to get a new resident in the apartment and maybe even rent while vacant trying to get a tenant in...don't kmow how they computed the $1880. You may be entitled to a break down. Sounds like there is a dispute over paint and cleaning...

Based on a broken lease I would not necessarily say there are outlandish! there is no action you can take because it sounds like you breached so you have liability.. Your best course of action is to negotiate. You may need an attorney to negotiate and make a offer. If you don't pay and it goes to collections it could affect your security clearance an ultimately you ability to remain a marine

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Answered on 9/26/13, 8:22 pm

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