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CBS12 Chico

Local Attorney discusses landlord and tenant rights in Redding

Local Attorney discusses landlord and tenant rights in Redding

Tenants renting from a specific landlord in Shasta County have been complaining about unfair treatment neglect and even threats from their property owner.

The managing attorney at Legal Services of Northern California said it's common for low-income tenants to be unfairly treated by their landlord but that doesn't mean it's right.

Stoves operating on only one pilot leaky sinks and ceilings and buckling floors just some of the many complaints heard from tenants who rent from Sandra Downs.

Lauren Sanchez, managing attorney, Legal Services of Northern California said some tenants think it’s their the economic status as to why they’re being neglected.

“We understand there are a lot of people who complain they are being unfairly treated because they are on HUD,” she said. “Absolutely not! We love HUD.”

“HUD" or the U.S. Department of Urban Housing Development caters to low-income people and, according to city officials, Sandra Downs is one of the primary landlords in Redding who rents properties to people under HUD.

“A lot of times we see people with limited incomes who don't have options other than to live in substandard housing,” Sanchez said.

Sanchez said under the law landlords are required to keep their properties in safe and sanitary condition and up to code.

In fact HUD inspects properties open for rent before people under their program can move in.

“HUD requiring an inspection will motivate the landlord to do repairs,” Sanchez said.

But after that initial inspection there's no oversight to continuously monitor each property unless the tenant specifically calls code enforcement.

In a phone interview a Redding code enforcement supervisor said there have been some complaints against downs but nothing major.

Sanchez says it's important for tenants to know their rights and know when to speak up if something is wrong.

“You need to put everything in writing to avoid retaliation,” she said.

Legal Services of Northern California handles more than a thousand cases each year involving tenant-landlord disputes.


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