Monday, August 24, 2015

I want it back

Illegal tenant screening fees
Every day I get told stories.  Some fanciful like the guy who swore the girl looked 21 and was now looking at a 288 charge.  Some scary like the guy who had been stalked by a rather large linebacker sized female.  Then there are some that make me wonder what people are thinking.

Take, for instance, the guy that came in the other day.  Seems he was looking for a place to live.  Having found an apartment complex he liked, he inquired as to it's availability.  The landlord informed him that he would have to pay $100 up front for an Application Screening.  Not a problem; guy ponied up the $100 and waited for a response.  The problem was, the landlord didn't have any vacancies when guy handed landlord the $100.  This is a problem (in California, anyway) because under California Civil Code section 1950.6(c), it reads:
Unless the applicant agrees in writing, a landlord or his or her agent may not charge an applicant an application screening fee when he or she knows or should have known that no rental unit is available at that time or will be available within a reasonable period of time.
Oops.  So, maybe landlord forgot - or maybe landlord was just looking for some poker money.  Either way, landlord is looking at some civil liability.  As such, with the look of righteous indignation burning in his eyes, I guide guy over to

and off guy goes looking to create some havoc for landlord. Score one for the little guy.  

Anyway, if you ever need help, head on over to your local county law library.  Soon, we'll have you on your path to your personal nirvana in no time.