Downwarden, Other/Just Looking in Sacramento, CA

Our onsite apartment mngr (25 units) works fulltime offsite M-F 8-6, though the posted office hours are M-F 9-5, so he's never there. Is that?

Asked by Downwarden, Sacramento, CA Sat Aug 6, 2011

lawful? We have an onsite maintenance man, but he also works fulltime M-F during the day, so there's no one here except us tenants all week long. Also, last summer the owner (who shows up maybe once a week) talked us all into giving her 50 bucks each because she needed money to repair the swimming pool and said she'd raise the rent if we didn't pitch in. A year later, the pool still isn't fixed and we banded together to get our money back....and most of us did. Instead of fixing the pool, she now told us she's going to fill the pool with sand and turn the area into a BBQ pit, and none of us want that. Thanks for listening!

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Hard on landlords? Give me a break. It's the landlords that are hard on tenants in most cases. Personally? I think that the majority of landlords suffer from a Nepolean (Little Man's) Complex. They get all caught up in their power and position of authority. I've run across a few property managers that were so caught up in their self importance they scared me. They thought they were the second coming of the Nazi regime or something.

Tenants are not scum or the bottom of the barrel. In fact I know a few multi-millionaire renters. They just happen to love the freedom of renting and going any place in the world with total freedom with no residual commitments or responsibilities. Does that make them an inferior species? I don't think so.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Aug 8, 2011
Dearest John...

Ok......So you got some "bonafides"... but...

Let's clear one thing up here... No where did I say that this owner was anywhere near a professional... since we're only getting one side of the deal here, we're assuming what the original questioner brought up was all true.

Basically it sounds like the owner didn't have "the scratch" to make the repair and offered to fix it if the tenants ponied up an extra $50.00 or she'd have to raise their rent so she could afford to do it... So now it didn't get done and she gave the money back.

We don't know if there are other issues besides this one, other than there seems to be no one on the property during the day... it wasn't indicated if they had someone living on-site or not....

However... on most complexes if the office is closed, I just "betcha", to quote a former Alaskan Governor, there might be an "emergency" number to call posted either on the front door of the office or a window or some other prominent place....

Where you and I part John... is I'm not one to recommend that every time someone perceives they've been wronged, the situation then cry's out that we go out and get us an attorney to sue... sue...sue... sue...

But hey... Like I said... I don't live there but if I did, I'd just move... I don't think that's a "cavalier" attitude... just a "practical" one...

Tenants have rights to a place that is habitable. Giving them the idea that they can try and game a system that is already hard on Landlords is just wrong in my opinion. I just wouldn't have suggested it so quickly as you did... Because man o man..., you are sure quick to judge and say this gal is a thief and more... needs to be taught a leasson... whoa...!!!

Just sayin....
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Aug 8, 2011
Ed, just to set the record straight I've been in the RE game for 45 years as a general contractor, manufactured home contractor, manufactured home dealer and RE agent/broker, developer, property manager and investor. I too am a current landlord and have always provided the best of conditions for any/all my tenants.

FYI, I did read this question over a few times and to me it looks like this landlord has deceived, if not outright defrauded them. The notion that all the tenants should just up and move is rather cavalier if not outright ridiculous. I know that being the sophisticated RE property manager/landlord that you are you are not naive enough to really think that it would be as simple as that for 25 tenants to pull up stakes and do a "We'll Show You"

You and I being landlords/property managers know that it's not difficult today to attract new tenants. At least not in my neck of the woods. Add to that that once a tenant moves out you can usually re rent at a higher rate. It's a win win for the landlord and a lose lose for the tenant.

Tenants have rights. What this landlord has done to 25 tenants is outright theft and they need a good lesson taught to them. One tenant filing a civil action in small claims court is a waste of time and effort as far as I'm concerned. But power is in numbers.

I'm not suggesting that they file a class action for this one isolated incident. It sounds like this landlord is a bully and an abuser and has no doubt pulled other devious pranks on their tenants for sometime. That's where a good aggressive class action specialist would and could become interested.

The first thing the attorney/s would do is distribute a questionnaire to the tenants asking for a list of their grievances, complaints, concerns, incidents, etc. If after evaluating these questionnaires they felt they had a case they would proceed with an action on a 100% contingency basis. There would be no money coming out of the tenants pockets whatsoever and if there was I'd quickly seek alternative counsel.

As for your comment, "Suing an owner in a class action will cost us all in higher premiums because a stinking lawyer gins up a bunch of angst from some disgruntled tenants... How much do you think this tenant is entitled to, based upon the information you've seen here...? That's laughable and deplorable all in one. It sounds like you have more sympathy and empathy for the bully landlords than you do for the abused tenants.


As to this statement, "By the way... I'm not aware that a pool is a required habitability issue... The question posed was regards the on-site situation and the fact the pool was going to be filled... ". Well then why on Earth did she extort money out of them for the pool,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, "Instead of fixing the pool, she now told us she's going to fill the pool with sand and turn the area into a BBQ pit, and none of us want that" No doubt in part with the money she stole from the tenants.

I have a very short fuse when it comes to landlord abuse issues. I've seen too many folks being intimidated, harassed and even accosted by idiots like that. They need to be called to the carpet and sometimes you must confront the issue in force.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Aug 8, 2011
John...

So this is so egregious that instead of moving... you suggest these tenants sue the stinking owner... and of course the "insurance" company that probably has a policy on it... ?

I'm not in favor of this remedy... what would be much more of an impact would be for all the tenants to just vote with their feet and move...

Suing an owner in a class action will cost us all in higher premiums because a stinking lawyer gins up a bunch of angst from some disgruntled tenants... How much do you think this tenant is entitled to, based upon the information you've seen here...?

By the way... I'm not aware that a pool is a required habitability issue... The question posed was regards the on-site situation and the fact the pool was going to be filled...

This kind of action makes it harder to attract investors because folks like you think it's ok to sue a landlord for far more than any "perceived" loss... I've been in real estate for over 30 years now...and a property manager for 20...just so you know that this isn't my 1st rodeo....

Again... my suggestion would be to just move out of there and find a place that is run better.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Aug 8, 2011
Ed, I take issue with your rather open ended and very uneducated assessment of class action law suits. Having been an expert witness for the past 20 years in my industry I have been retained by several attorneys who have won huge class action cases, some with very handsome and their clients prospered overwhelmingly.

Granted there are attorneys, as in every business and/or profession RE included, that tend to take advantage of their clients. But none of the attorneys I've ever been retained by have engaged in that practice and have in fact garnered extremely generous punitive actions as well. I'm curious where you got your information.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Aug 8, 2011
Whoa there...

I'm sorry but I don't like class action lawsuits... the only person who wins is the lawyer handling the case. The best solution is for you to just move out and find a better run complex.

Chances of you getting any money out of this landlord are slim and none.... I mean if they can't maintain the pool, it's not a well run property and the owner is probably under capitalized and has no money...

Just sayin....
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Aug 8, 2011
Twenty-five units could possibly smell of a class action lawsuit. You may want to discuss this with someone who specializes in Landlord bullying and abuse. Try contacting Endeman, Lincoln, Turik and Heater in San Diego. Ask to speak with James Allen. He's actually working on a case in Sacramento as I write. Not sure if he'd be willing to take this case on but I do think he'd point you in the right direction.

600 B St # 2400
San Diego, CA 92101-4582
(619) 544-0123
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Aug 7, 2011
As Ron said... you can elect to move out of the apartment if you are unhappy.

If the property is not maintained and the owner is over there asking for an additional $50.00 so they can fix the pool, means this complex is either not run very well, and/or could possibly be "underwater" because it doesn't generate enough cash flow to pay for repairs and service the debt.

My math suggests she raised over $1,000 to make a repair on the pool assuming just about everyone chipped in but still didn't make the repair.

If it were me... I think I'd bail if I were you because if you wanted to be in a complex with a working pool, this complex isn't going to get it done... after all it has been over a year according to you.

I hope this helps...

Make it a great day...
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Aug 7, 2011
http://www.dca.ca.gov/publications/landlordbook/index.shtml

This is the link to the California Tenant Rights Law.

All the best to you.
Web Reference: http://www.terrivellios.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Aug 6, 2011
All kinds of RED FLAGS!
Have you considered moving?
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Aug 6, 2011
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