Questions about rent control, security deposits and carpet replacement topped the list of most frequently asked questions during NBC 7 Responds’ Consumer Connection Facebook chat this week.
The event, held on Wednesday evening, invited San Diego renters to ask questions about anything related to renting. Local experts, including Steven Kellman, a tenant rights attorney, Azucena Valladolid from the San Diego Housing Commission, George Ibarra, a housing counselor from CSA San Diego and Jaime Levine with the Elder Law and Advocacy group.
This was the San Diego’s Consumer Connection Facebook group’s second live chat. The group now has more than 1,100 members. It’s part of the NBC 7 Responds franchise, spearheaded by Bob Hansen and producer Tom Jones, and aims to provide a forum where all San Diegans can ask questions and seek input on local consumer topics.
Regarding rental increases, Kellman said “the law is 30 days notice for an increase of under 10% over a 12 month period, and 60 days notice for an increase of over 10% over a 12 month period. Rent increases are cumulative when it comes to calculating whether it is over 10% within any 12 month period.”
Valladolid shared resources for renters needing section 8 assistance and explained programs available in the San Diego area.
In the group, a consumer asked about renting a room in their condo and what rights they would have if the tenant became violent or engaged in illegal acts. Levine said, “If the person you bring in becomes violent or otherwise threatening, you may want to seek a Restraining Order and a possible Kickout Order.”
One consumer said they have been in the same apartment for six years and “desperately need new carpet.” The consumer wondered how long a renter has to occupy a place before carpet gets replaced.
Ibarra asked whether or not the carpet was replaced when the renter first moved in and said, “the life of carpet is between 8-10 years depending on manufacturer’s warranty. I would suggest that you take pictures of the carpet and write a Certified Letter to the Landlord stating the carpet is completely worn and needs immediate replacement, the Landlord does not have to replace carpet but if it poses a health and safety issue then he might have to (for example tack strip is exposed and can cause injury to your person, padding is worn and dust is causing you to have a respiratory condition).”
Another San Diego renter asked if there is a law that states a property management company cannot charge a pet deposit and pet rent, at the same time.
Kellman said, there is no law on the books when it comes to landlords collecting both a pet deposit and pet rent. But, he said, there would be a strong argument against this practice in the courts as the landlord is essentially double-dipping. Kellman added that if a renter is paying extra money each month towards any pet damages, then that money would go towards any damages or repairs when you move out. Landlords cannot collect double payments from a tenant for the same thing.
Do you have questions about renting? Want to know what is legal for landlords and tenants? Request to join the Consumer Connection Facebook group to see more answers about this topic and receive tips about other consumer issues.