There is No Place Like Home

“There is no place like home,” Dorothy told us in the Wizard of Oz. But if you are a tenant being discriminated against by your landlord (or the management company), then home can be the worst place in the world, even if you live in an apartment in beautiful San Diego or up the coast in a homeowners’ association in San Francisco.  If you believe that your landlord is discriminating against you because you have children, or if the management company is discriminating against you because you are a different race from your landlord or the manager, or if you are being singled out because you are from a different country, etc., then we are here to help you, to protect your rights, and to bring about change.  So whether your landlord is threatening to evict you because your children have been playing outside or because your landlord objects to the religious sign in your apartment window or because you are a single mom who hasn’t been supervising your children while they are playing outside, we are here to fight fiercely on your behalf. Fair housing laws prevent landlords, managers, and management companies from discriminating against tenants, including families with children. Fair housing laws also prevent landlords from discriminating against tenants because of, among other things, their race, religion, national origin, or color.  Put simply, if you believe that you are being treated unfairly, then please contact us.  There are laws to protect your rights as a tenant. It’s time to take a stand against housing discrimination. Today is the day to take that stand.

Summer is Almost Here; May My Children Go Outside to Play?

Spring is in the air and summer is just around the corner.  Soon children will be out of school and at home looking for something to do.  During summer, most children want to simply go outside and play.  But all too often a child will be playing in the common areas of an apartment complex and the next thing you know out comes the apartment manager and tells the child to “Get inside, now! There is no playing out here!” Is this wrong? In most cases, yes, it is wrong.  Yet the manager will tell you that the rules say that all children under 18 years old must be supervised at all times by an adult or parent.  Is this true?  No, it’s not.  Perhaps in years past you’ve simply put up with it.  But let me encourage you to do something about it this year.  It will set an example for your children, and you will be happy that you did.  And the kids will be outside where they belong, playing and enjoying life. Life can change for the better, and we are here to help.

“Those Are The Rules That You Signed”

When most people look for a new place to live, they think about what the new place has to offer. Are there enough bedrooms?  Does the apartment complex have a pool? Is there a gym on site? How far away is the local grocery store? Are there good schools nearby? Is there a play area for kids? Is public transportation available? Is the rent fair?

Put simply, most people don’t think much about what an apartment complex’s rules are before they sign the lease. And this is particularly true for families with children. Who has the time to read through a whole bunch of apartment rules and regulations while the manager is sitting across the desk waiting for you to sign the lease?

But then one day the manager shows up at your apartment and says, “I found your child sitting outside without adult supervision. That’s against the rules.” “The rules?” you say, “He’s 15 years old. He’s not doing anything wrong.” “Sorry,” says the manager, “but if he’s going to be outside, then you have to supervise him.  Otherwise, I’m going to have to write you up.”

To be frank, most parents don’t have to time to be babysitting 15-year-olds who simply want to go outside and hang out with their friends after school.

So what is a parent supposed to do if they run into these type of rules? On the one hand, if a parent tells his or her children to simply disobey the rules, then they run the risk of being served a warning notice, or they may even face an eviction.  That’s the last thing a family needs.

On the other hand, often when a parent tries to reason with a manager about such rules, then the manager simply replies, “I’m sorry, but those are the rules that you signed.”

Put simply, families with children are often put between a rock and a hard place. If they disobey the rules and allow their children to be outside without adult supervision, then they run the risk of being evicted for breaking the rules. But if they obey the rules, then they are forced to make their children stay inside all the time.  The apartment complex starts to feel like a prison instead of a home.

Isn’t there a better choice? Yes, there is. While apartment complexes are allowed to enact and enforce reasonable rules, the type of supervision rule mentioned above has been found to be unreasonable (and therefore illegal), even if you signed the rules! Unfortunately, it normally takes the help of a lawyer to get an apartment complex to realize that it needs to change its rules. If you are in that situation, then, please, get in touch with us.