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By Ted Kimball, Esq.  Question: A tenant wants to use the last month’s rent, which was paid at the time of the lease signing, for this month’s unpaid rent. If he is not moving out, can he do so? Answer: Not unless your rental agreement provides that the tenant can use the last month’s rent deposit at any time, which it should not do. Question: Can we use a recent Section 8 inspection report as a standard of habitability in an eviction case? Answer: The court will allow any relevant evidence that tends to prove the condition of the premises… Read More

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An audit to test whether landlords are abiding by fair housing laws shows a decline in discrimination but room for improvement in customer service. The 2011-2012 audit by ECHO Housing involved Latinos and non-Latinos calling landlords in several East Bay cities, according to this article in The Alamedan. The idea: To see whether callers with certain accents got calls back from landlords. “The 2011-2012 national origin audit testing represented the lowest amount of discrimination in ECHO’s history of conducting audits,” the 12-page audit said, according to The Alamedan. While the “tester’s” accents had little influence over whether landlords called people… Read More

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