ED Magedson – Founder
Irene Lam Properties83 Cielo Drive Greenbrae, California USA
Irene Lam Properties, Irene Lam Landlord Keeps Deposits Illegally and Violates Privacy Laws Greenbrae California
The landlord could care less about privacy laws. She comes into the apartment, which is a studio in the back of her house, with one excuse and then proceeds to do whatever else she feels like.
For example, if you give her permission to enter the premises to investigate the critter noise within the walls, she takes that as permission to also remove curtains that she deems to be collecting moisture. If you give her permission to show the place to prospective tenants, she deems that good enough to come in with a cleaning crew while you are not there, reposition all the furniture and move your personal things out of the way to her liking.
Both these things happened to me. When confronted about this, she said "oh but that's the way we do it in real estate, we stage the place to show it to prospective tenants." When I insisted this was not admissible by renting law, she insisted that this is common practice in real estate and that she had asked me to move the furniture to a "most spacious arrangement" (which I interpreted at the time to mean after I moved out like any normal person would).
Do not bother doing a final walk-through with her. I did one during which she said everything was in order and thanked me for cleaning. Later on she deducted $40 from my security deposit and explained away as a "cleaning fee." When asked to explain, she said "$40 was only half of what she was charged" (of course an itemized statement was never included in her correspondence). California's Civil Code states this is illegal. A landlord cannot charge a cleaning fee to make the unit better than the condition in which the renter received it. Considering that there was a flea infestation when I moved in, I'd say I left it sparkling.
When I reported her to the local Better Business Bureau, she still failed to provide any documentation to back up her deduction for a "cleaning fee" as she is obliged to by law. She also justified moving my things around and letting a cleaning crew inside the rental unit by saying that she needed to stage the place to show it to prospective tenants.
I do not recommend renting here unless you like dealing with this kind of things.
This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 06/05/2013 07:50 AM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/reports/irene-lam-properties/greenbrae-california-94904/irene-lam-properties-irene-lam-landlord-keeps-deposits-illegally-and-violates-privacy-l-1056556. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.
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