Has your landlord been harassing you? This article offers some case law on some of the facts required to establish harassment.
Here is the complaint I filed in Sonoma County Superior Court in the case of Zephirin v. Ruppenthal. Ruppenthal is the owner of the unit. The property manager is Burbank Rentals, owned by Michael Mugridge.
Here are the relevant violations:
- Infestation of slugs;
- Mold and mildew at windows;
- Degraded condition of wall under kitchen sink;
- Leaking, unsecured toilet;
- Failed and inadequate exterior stucco surface;
- Dilapidated and broken fence;
- Cracked and deteriorated foundation;
- Leaking roof;
- Inadequate roof drainage;
- Failed and degraded gutters in very poor condition;
- Water heater missing seismic straps;
- Unpermitted and unapproved window replacement;
- Interior surfaces with holes and cracks;
- Large air gaps allowing exterior air, moisture and slug intrusion;
- Garage mold and drywall not secured to ceiling joist.
- Cracked skylight, allowing moisture intrusion;
- Broken electrical faceplates.
“The system is so broken,” Wiener said. “It gives the public a false sense that a step has been taken toward having more housing when in fact it’s just an illusion.”
Sponsored by then-Supervisor David Campos, the ordinance would have required landlords to pay former tenants the difference between their current rent and the market rate for a similar unit in the city for up to two years, up to a maximum of $50,000. Tenants would have to show they were using the funds solely for relocation costs and rents, and landlords who faced hardships could appeal to the city Rent Board to reduce their payments.