February 5th, 2013

shoebox
  • kengwen

Hello, any legal-y people still here?

I'm wondering if anyone here has some legal-type experience and is willing to take a minute to give me some info/an opinion - basically I think it'll probably be just confirming what I think is true, and I'm assuming it'll all be kind of general because the actual issue is happening in California not here in OR.

Long story somewhat short, my friend/family member has to move out of an apartment because it is not a legal occupance, which was discovered/confirmed by inspectors after she spoke with a city department trying to determine her rights when the landlord was failing to fix serious maintenance items then trying to evict her illegally. So she has to move anyway, because now the city is evicting her as they make the property owner bring the building to code (return it to being the garage it legally is). CA law says the landlord has to refund all rent paid (it's illegal to accept rent for a non-legal occupance) AND pay her moving costs, which is theoretically pretty awesome. BUT, I'm kind of assuming in practice that she probably won't get any of that without taking the landlord to court, which means taking time off work, lots of paperwork, etc. And that's I guess my not-quite-a-question: we should expect a (possibly lengthy) court battle to actually secure any funds owed her, correct?

thanks DP

ETA/clarify, definitely not looking for/expecting official legal advice here, and my pal is making friends at several relevant offices including Oakland's Rent Adjustment Bureau (what a weird name, really) and another tenant-rights-type office.
Mostly I'm trying to weigh the money she most likely has a right to vs the time/effort/etc. likely required to actually obtain that money...