Legal Question in Landlord & Tenant Law in California

My husband and I have lived in a home in San Diego County since 2018, however there was only a signed lease the first year we were here. Since then, it's been month-to-month, however he moved out in 2021 and I'm still in the home. While my husband was here, the homeowner/landlord insisted on only dealing with him and I later learned he did this intentionally by lying to her. She's refused to make certain repairs, including rats getting in through holes in the roof and coming in through attic space to our loft. I've sent her photos of how gross the loft carpeting looks, this was several years ago and she ignored my requests and only stated she preferred to deal with my husband. I have all communications saved. As of July 2022, she sent a notice stating she's raising my rent from $3,000 to $4,000, which is well beyond the allowable yearly 10% maximum, it's right over 30%. It's my understanding, it doesn't matter if we have a current lease agreement signed or not, I've lived in the home for six years now and she's not able to come in and randomly raise the rent by more than 30% now. She's never claimed any exemption status whatsoever, in fact all notices she's provided me with clearly state she's in compliance with all rent control laws, however this specific action doesn't appear to be, unless I'm misunderstanding something?

Asked on 10/04/22, 4:42 pm

1 Answer from Attorneys

Timothy McCormick Haapala, Thompson & Abern, LLP

You are entirely correct. I recommend you start by calling the code enforcement department in your jurisdiction (city, or county if you are in unincorporated county). She will have 35 days to repair any dilapidation, including rodents, that they find. If she fails to do so, it will be illegal for her to collect or even ask for any rent until repairs are completed. If she even asks for rent you can sue and collect your attorneys' fees as well. Also, put all your complaints in writing to her and keep a record of all communications. Lastly, yes, the rent increase is illegal if not exempt.

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Answered on 10/05/22, 10:06 am

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