Los Angeles has its fair share of rent-controlled properties. Tenants in these apartments are protected from drastic rent increases year after year, which can make living in this expensive city more manageable. Yet, far too often real estate investment firms swoop in and scoop up these properties in hopes of turning them into properties that are more expensive and more profitable. But without a legal means to evict residents who are in rent controlled properties, these companies often turn to methods aimed at pushing these residents out.
Beware of landlord harassment
One of the most common ways that these landlords try to force people out of their apartments is by engaging in construction harassment. These actions are intended to disrupt a tenant’s peaceful and safe enjoyment of the premises to the extent that they are so frustrated that they move out. Examples of construction harassment include:
- Failing to perform maintenance and repairs
- Changing the locks
- Performing construction at inopportune times, including in the middle of the night
- Making false claims that the tenant has violated terms of the lease
- Landlord intimidation of a tenant
- Cutting off access to amenities
- Turning off utilities
- Illegally entering the tenant’s residence without notice
These are just some of the ways that tenants can be harassed, and none of them are acceptable or legal.
Know what you could be entitled to
Landlord harassment is illegal in California. That means that you might be entitled to compensation for each instance of harassment. Punitive damages might even apply to your circumstances, which could increase your potential recovery. So, if you’re being subjected to construction that occurs around the clock, improper maintenance that has put your enjoyment of your residence or even your health in jeopardy, or some other form of harassment, then it might be time to speak to a legal professional about the steps you can take to try to remedy the situation.