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Old 10-09-2016, 01:39 PM
 
11,802 posts, read 8,955,820 times
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A friend of mine writes (and she may be signing in to c-d to address any questions or comments)
Does anyone know anything about tenant rights in an owner-occupied residence? Our 18-year-old daughter is renting a room in an owner-occupied residence while in school up at Monterey, California . There is one other tenant in another room on the property. The rental contract specifies no overnight guests and that is not a problem but my daughter had one of her girlfriends over the other day and they sat in the living room and watched a movie for about two hours, Jurassic Park and nothing vulgar, x-rated or anything like that and she said they weren't really watching it that much because they had seen it before, the volume was down low and they were mostly talking. After she drove her friend back to her dorm and came home there was a note on the counter in the kitchen telling my daughter that she is only allowed to have a visitor once a month for a maximum of two hours and that she has to notify the land lady in advance of such a visit? There was also a note about "remember you rented a room in the house not the house.... " The rental contract just specifies the address of the home and does not indicate that my daughter only has use of her room. She uses the kitchen for cooking and the laundry facilities and that has not been a problem. I have been looking up law in this area but it's hard to find anything about an owner-occupied residence because I think there are different rules for that. The landlady also recently left a note stating that they can only take 10 minute showers. My questions are, can she do this and if we signed a nine month lease that says if we leave for any reason we lose our security deposit what recourse do we have? She talked to my daughter this morning and asked her if she had read the note. My daughter told her that there is nothing in the contract about not being able to have visitors and the lady said "Yes, there is, I wrote no guests coming in and out." and that they have to be respectful of other people living there. Gary and I both read the contract twice and there is nothing in there about that. She has only had this friend over once or twice before and they are not loud, noisy girls. One time they made dinner and this time they watched a movie. She is paying almost $1000 a month to live in this house and if she is only allowed to be in her bedroom for the most part and not be able to enjoy the rest of the house or have anybody over that seems wrong. Any opinions or actual knowledge in this area?
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Old 10-09-2016, 04:30 PM
 
Location: Vancouver, WA
5,809 posts, read 12,735,445 times
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I don't know the law regarding these matters. And I really don't think you want to go down that road anyway since it can lead to a hostile home/living situation - talk about distracting from her studies and other more important things! I think this is obviously an unhealthy living environment for your daughter. The owner obviously wants the money without providing reasonable privileges within her home. So, you need to find her another place with a more reasonable owner/roommate situation, bottom line. For $1000/mo this is ridiculous.

Derek
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Old 10-09-2016, 04:53 PM
 
19,674 posts, read 21,747,198 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hunterseat View Post
A friend of mine writes (and she may be signing in to c-d to address any questions or comments)
Does anyone know anything about tenant rights in an owner-occupied residence? Our 18-year-old daughter is renting a room in an owner-occupied residence while in school up at Monterey, California . There is one other tenant in another room on the property. The rental contract specifies no overnight guests and that is not a problem but my daughter had one of her girlfriends over the other day and they sat in the living room and watched a movie for about two hours, Jurassic Park and nothing vulgar, x-rated or anything like that and she said they weren't really watching it that much because they had seen it before, the volume was down low and they were mostly talking. After she drove her friend back to her dorm and came home there was a note on the counter in the kitchen telling my daughter that she is only allowed to have a visitor once a month for a maximum of two hours and that she has to notify the land lady in advance of such a visit? There was also a note about "remember you rented a room in the house not the house.... " The rental contract just specifies the address of the home and does not indicate that my daughter only has use of her room. She uses the kitchen for cooking and the laundry facilities and that has not been a problem. I have been looking up law in this area but it's hard to find anything about an owner-occupied residence because I think there are different rules for that.

The rules on overnight guests or guests are whatever is agreed upon. The landlord can't just make up rules after the lease is signed and in effect


The landlady also recently left a note stating that they can only take 10 minute showers.

Same as above. If utilities are included there is no time limit. Granted you should be reasonable in your use. Normally a room rental includes utilities. Unless the lease states time limits or amount limits I.e. The water bill covered up to $100 anything over charged to tenants or shower and faucets have a time limit valve set to x minutes..

My questions are, can she do this and if we signed a nine month lease that says if we leave for any reason we lose our security deposit what recourse do we have?

It's illegal in California to use the security deposit in that way. The security deposit has strict guidelines as to what it can and cannot be used for. If you break the lease early it is REQUIRED BY LAW that the LL is responsible to mitigate damages . So no, breaking the lease does not mean you forefeit your secure deposit. Just because it's written in the lease does not make it legally enforceable. The LL is clueless on how the rental law works.


She talked to my daughter this morning and asked her if she had read the note. My daughter told her that there is nothing in the contract about not being able to have visitors and the lady said "Yes, there is, I wrote no guests coming in and out." and that they have to be respectful of other people living there. Gary and I both read the contract twice and there is nothing in there about that. She has only had this friend over once or twice before and they are not loud, noisy girls. One time they made dinner and this time they watched a movie. She is paying almost $1000 a month to live in this house and if she is only allowed to be in her bedroom for the most part and not be able to enjoy the rest of the house or have anybody over that seems wrong. Any opinions or actual knowledge in this area?

No guest coming in ad out? What exactly does that mean? It's so vague I can punch holes you can drive a Mack truck through.
Bold in your quote
The LL is simply a idiot. You can argue with stupid but you won't win. next time get EVERYTHING in writing. If the LL says they are willing to do so ask for it in writing. If they won't write it down they are just blowing smoke.
1k a month for one room is pretty good money.
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Old 10-09-2016, 06:09 PM
 
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Thanks so much for the valuable insight and affirming what we already suspect.
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Old 10-09-2016, 06:38 PM
 
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Thank you for your input! Her utilities are included in the rent and there is nothing about limits on hot water or anything like that. Originally when my daughter moved in she could not get hot water in the shower but she is a resourceful kid, googled it and figured out that there was a ring inside the shower faucet that limited the hot water and she fixed it  Yes I agree she should've told the landlord but in hindsight it appears that the landlord was being cheap in this way too so it probably wouldn't have changed things if she had told her ..... She probably just hasn't figured out that's why Her gas bill is going up .......

Good to know about the security deposit rules. We are having her find another place to live before she gives notice so that she will not have to stay there after that.
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Old 10-09-2016, 06:59 PM
 
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^^^ My friend!
Hi Dana!!!
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Old 10-09-2016, 07:08 PM
 
Location: State of Transition
80,940 posts, read 73,997,511 times
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OP, when I first read your post, I thought the TV was in your daughter's room. Now I see that they were using a "common" room in the house. That's a little different. I think the renters should clarify with the LL whether they're allowed to entertain guests in the common rooms (incl. kitchen) or not. If not, the daughter could get her own small TV.

This LL sounds like she doesn't want to have renters. She doesn't like having her space invaded by extraneous people, but she does like charging what sounds like close to the max. rent the market will bear in that locale. Perhaps your daughter could confine her entertaining to the kitchen in the future--that might help, until the rental contract runs out.
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Old 10-09-2016, 09:08 PM
 
Location: Santa Cruz, CA
1,723 posts, read 1,194,345 times
Reputation: 1302
Quote:
Originally Posted by MtnSurfer View Post
I don't know the law regarding these matters. And I really don't think you want to go down that road anyway since it can lead to a hostile home/living situation - talk about distracting from her studies and other more important things! I think this is obviously an unhealthy living environment for your daughter. The owner obviously wants the money without providing reasonable privileges within her home. So, you need to find her another place with a more reasonable owner/roommate situation, bottom line. For $1000/mo this is ridiculous.

Derek
I agree. I'd take a loss (the security deposit) and get your daughter out of there. The owner sounds like trouble and it may (most likely?) get worse.
And yeah, 1K for a room is a lot of money especially if there are restrictions and not full use of the house. Nah. No good. Get her out. Don't waste money or energy dealing with this kind of person and situation.
It's a real hassle to move. But it's worse dealing with a toxic person and a bad situation.
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Old 10-10-2016, 02:40 AM
 
19,674 posts, read 21,747,198 times
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i would be careful because new LLs tend to call old LLs to get references. Whatever you do don't start with badmouthing the old LL to the new LL. But it does sound like the current LL doesn't really want tenants or of they do is a control freak situation and is going to make the arrangement as difficult as possible and as stated most likely will keep making up "rules" as time goes on. 1k in rent should give you access to common areas also. And Jurassic Park? Lol. I would probably sit down and watch it with them. Who doesn't wanna see a bunch of people getting chased and eaten by giant lizards? And the screaming T-Rex? lol where's the goat?
The restrictions are IMO a bit austere and weird. If I was the LL I wouldn't care if a tenant has a friend over. As long as the friend eventually goes home and it doesn't become a daily recurring thing.
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Old 10-10-2016, 07:41 PM
 
805 posts, read 1,333,913 times
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How much is the security deposit? Whatever it is, I would get out of there too. That LL is nothing but trouble and the next few months will be a complete nightmare.

I know that owner-occupied rentals do have different rights. Not all rental laws apply to owners who rent out a room of their house. For instance, they are allowed to be discriminate and rent only to women or men. I don't know about all the other absurd demands she's making, though.

Oh, I think I found your local Fair Housing agency. It's a free service and they will tell you what the law says about the LL's demands and about breaking your lease:

FAIR HOUSING COUNCIL OF CENTRAL CALIFORNIA
333 W. SHAW AVENUE SUITE 14
FRESNO, CA 93704
Ph: (559) 244-2950
Toll Free: (888) 498-FAIR (3247)
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