Question: I’m paying my rent on time, but my landlord is not holding up his side of the agreement. What can I do?
The Rental Girl: First of all, a disclaimer: we can help direct you to the right resources, but we are not attorneys so we cannot give you legal advice or interpret your lease. Undoubtedly, you have come to know The Rental Girl as a source for all things rental related. We offer a lot of information and help for renters. Most laws pertaining to renting may seem black and white, but in actuality are interpreted in court fairly ambiguously. Most laws are open to interpretation by the individual judge or jury. We may know a lot of the laws, but we are not in court everyday. We don’t know how judges are ruling, we don’t know all the idiosyncrasies of the Los Angeles legal system. We leave that to the experts and therefore prefer to defer your legal issues and questions to the attorneys who practice real estate law on a daily basis. Fortunately, the majority of the listings you find on TheRentalGirl.com have amazing property owners. We do not have many of our renter clients asking us for attorney referrals. Hopefully you can find your future rental through us. But in the event you don’t and you end up needing advice, here is what we have to say about landlord and tenant disagreements:
1) Is your property under rent control? If so, you can seek help from LAHD (Los Angeles Housing Department).
2) If not, you can seek advice from a California Consumer Affair counselor.
3) For a fee, you can get advice from a real estate attorney. Since most of you are probably trying to save money, we’ll refer one that is good but isn’t too expensive: David Dantes Law Offices.
4) After you have done your research, the best step is to try to mediate on your own: Write a letter to your landlord and date it. (You should always put all requests and complaints in writing. You need a record of all correspondence, even if it’s for something that may seem minor like a drain is draining slow.) Outline what the lease says, what the law says, and note the advice you got from consumer affairs or the civil code. Follow up by calling your landlord to discuss in person. Try to work things out before you seek further help. If you use the right approach, most disagreements can be worked out amicably.
“Ask a Rental Agent” is a series of helpful Q&A’s brought to you by the lovely real estate agents at The Rental Girl . The Rental Girl is a leasing agency with branches throughout Los Angeles. Each branch is operated by a unique agent who specializes in her area. All agents at The Rental Girl are California licensed Real Estate agents who specialize in helping renters and home buyers with all their real estate needs. Do you have a question you would like answered by an agent? Fill out the form below to submit a question to The Rental Girl: