California Department of Fair Housing (Santa Ana):
Telephone: (714) 558-4266
Fax: (714) 558-6461
Did you know that just weeks ago, after living in the same rental for almost five years,
with zero complaints from my landlord, realtor, police, or neighbors, and a perfect rent
payment history, I was actually EVICTED and then had my eviction RETRACTED within 48
hours? Yes, it's true...
Would you know how to have your eviction retracted?
After weeks of having the son of my landlord parking behind my garage and
leaving (while blocking me in), I sent a complaint letter to my realtor, Newport Escape. I informed Darryl
Frisbie (yeah, that's really his name) that I had talked to this the owner's son
with no resolution. The owner's son's actions not only violated my lease, they violated California Vehicle
Code (I actually could have towed him).
Anyway, exactly 10 days later, Newport Escape sends me an eviction letter!
So I see the silver-spoon-sucking spoiled brat (owner's son) the following morning, and I ask him why I was being evicted. "Oh, that's our
response to your complaint letter."
Can you believe this? My fellow renters, this is against the law!
So, I sent another letter to my realtor, Darryl Frisbie, Newport Escape, and the actual owner. It stated that they had now violated California Civil Code Section 1942.5,
which protects renters from retaliation by their landlords. It went on to state that unless
they retracted this eviction, then they were going to be paying all of my damages, my attorney
fees, AND up to $1000 in punitive damages.
Darryl said that he didn't know that this was against the law. The
owner didn't respond.
Well Darryl, it is against the law, and after he educated himself, he retracted my eviction
notice within 48 hours. It should also be known though that Darryl then
went on to state that I should
expect no more than the 180 days of protection that California law provides me! I guess that
they can't make enough retaliation laws to protect you from Darryl Frisbie.
It's true, California Civil Code Section 1942.5 does protect renters from retaliation by
their landlords, but if Darryl truly didn't know this, it's probably safe to assume that
other realtors don't know this as well. Knowing that
West Newport is comprised of 60%
renters - I wonder how many hundreds of other renters have been unlawfully evicted in
You see the problem in Newport Beach is the fact that renters are not in demand, but the
rental units that we live in are. So, our so-called realtors, are not working for us at
all. In fact, they should actually be called landlord agents, because they really are working
for our landlords. If you rock the boat even a little, it's easy for them to find dozens of
other renters lined up to take your place. On the other hand, it's almost impossible for them
to find other rental units if they upset your landlord.
This is just basic supply and demand. I don't care how much you think that your realtor likes
you, if he has to choose between you or your landlord, he's going to choose his wallet - which
is your landlord! This fact makes it critical that you know your rights, because no matter how
good of a tenant you are, they are not going to stand up for you.
The other problem is the fact that our representative,
could care less about renters. So, the bottom line is that if you rent, you're on your own in
For your information, I pasted the the actual California "retaliation " law below.
Read it. Learn it. Also, click on the links at the top of this page and learn all of your
rights as a renter. You may need them someday...
1942.5. (a) If the lessor retaliates against the lessee because of the exercise by the lessee
of his rights under this chapter or because of his complaint to an appropriate agency as to
tenantability of a dwelling, and if the lessee of a dwelling is not in default as to the
payment of his rent, the lessor may not recover possession of a dwelling in any action or
proceeding, cause the lessee to quit involuntarily, increase the rent, or decrease any
services within 180 days:
(1) After the date upon which the lessee, in good faith, has given notice pursuant to
Section 1942, or has made an oral complaint to the lessor regarding tenantability; or
(2) After the date upon which the lessee, in good faith, has filed a written complaint, or
an oral complaint which is registered or otherwise recorded in writing, with an appropriate
agency, of which the lessor has notice, for the purpose of obtaining correction of a
condition relating to tenantability or
(3) After the date of an inspection or issuance of a citation, resulting from a complaint
described in paragraph (2) of which the lessor did not have notice; or
(4) After the filing of appropriate documents commencing a judicial or arbitration proceeding
involving the issue of tenantability; or
(5) After entry of judgment or the signing of an arbitration award, if any, when in the judicial
proceeding or arbitration the issue of tenantability is determined adversely to the lessor.
In each instance, the 180-day period shall run from the latest applicable date referred to in
paragraphs (1) to (5), inclusive.
(b) A lessee may not invoke the provisions of subdivision (a) more than once in any 12-month
(c) It shall be unlawful for a lessor to increase rent, decrease services, cause a lessee to
quit involuntarily, bring an action to recover possession, or threaten to do any of such acts,
for the purpose of retaliating against the lessee because he or she has lawfully organized or
participated in a lessees' association or an organization advocating lessees' rights or has
lawfully and peaceably exercised any rights under the law. In an action brought by or
against the lessee pursuant to this subdivision, the lessee shall bear the burden of producing
evidence that the lessor's conduct was, in fact, retaliatory.
(d) Nothing in this section shall be construed as limiting in any way the exercise by the
lessor of his rights under any lease or agreement or any law pertaining to the hiring of
property or his right to do any of the acts described in subdivision (a) or (c) for any
lawful cause. Any waiver by a lessee of his rights under this section shall be void as
contrary to public policy.
(e) Notwithstanding the provisions of subdivisions (a) to (d), inclusive, a lessor may
recover possession of a dwelling and do any of the other acts described in subdivision
(a) within the period or periods prescribed therein, or within subdivision (c), if the
notice of termination, rent increase, or other act, and any pleading or statement of
issues in an arbitration, if any, states the ground upon which the lessor, in good faith,
seeks to recover possession, increase rent, or do any of the other acts described in
subdivision (a) or (c). If such statement be controverted, the lessor shall establish its
truth at the trial or other hearing.
(f) Any lessor or agent of a lessor who violates this section shall be liable to the lessee
in a civil action for all of the following:
(1) The actual damages sustained by the lessee.
(2) Punitive damages in an amount of not less than one hundred dollars ($100) nor more than
one thousand dollars ($1,000) for each retaliatory act where the lessor or agent has been
guilty of fraud, oppression, or malice with respect to such act.
(g) In any action brought for damages for retaliatory eviction, the court shall award
reasonable attorney's fees to the prevailing party if either party requests attorney's fees
upon the initiation of the action.
(h) The remedies provided by this section shall be in addition to any other remedies provided
by statutory or decisional law.
A few important points here:
This way it's not your word against theirs (you know who will win that one). In my case, I
brought a few witnesses with me when I handed in my complaint, but certified mail is really
the best way to go.
Keep in mind, California law only protects you from retaliations for 180 days, so you may want
to keep your eye out for other units in the meantime. At least now you have 180 days to find
another place, which is much better than thirty!
Editors Note: All names used in this page are fictitious names - any
resemblance to any person either living or dead is purely coincidental!
- Document your complaint - IN WRITING!
- Staple your rent check to your letter - MAKE A COPY.
- Send your complaint to your realtor - VIA CERTIFIED MAIL.
- Keep your copies and your certified mail receipt for 180 days.