Lease Proposed Unilateral Restrictions My Attorney Letter

I had Pre-Paid Legal. I never used it. I didn’t have the time nor stamina to take on the onsite manager, the owner and the City. Now I’m forced to defend myself.


March 16, 2013

To Whom It May Concern:

Saturday, March 16, 2013, residents received a letter from Santa Monica City Rent Control. Their attorney advised us the owner and/or onsite manager cannot unilaterally demand a new lease. We can ignore this without fear of eviction for doing so.

I’ve been calling the Rent Control office since approximately May or June 2010, when Mr and Mrs Gentry became our new onsite managers. They are belligerent, argumentative, slow to make repairs and now this lease business.

The lease revision DID NOT originate from the owner, Roberts Companies. It is a personal vendetta against the residents. This has been going on for three years.

Saturday, March 9, 2013, Ross Gentry, onsite manager, 2600 Virginia Ave, Santa Monica, 90404, slipped a new Lease agreement on everyone’s front door. Some of us are questioning the validity of such action.

Although many are now on a month-to-month lease, the building is under Rent Control.

No copy of the lease was provided for our records.

In the past, official documents have been mailed using RHB/Roberts Companies letterhead and envelopes.

Nothing regarding smoking or no smoking. Thought that was to be in new leases? (Although does not affect smokers living here prior to Nov 22, 2012).

What about the 3 units rented prior to new smoking law effective date?

As always, he demands to know the names of all tenants. I complied in the past. Many will not.

The ‘lease’ is overly broad. Issues such as ‘perceived emergencies’ allows Ross Gentry entrance without warning. According to some residents, Mr Gentry has already entered without warning nor notice and caused concern by the women inhabitants.

He will ascertain what is acceptable noise levels and if not to his approval, that is grounds for eviction. The building is a rather quiet building.

October 2012, tenants and Mr Gentry had a meeting with attorneys from Consumer Protection Unit, I believe led by Gary Rhoades, Deputy City Attorney.

Unfortunately my hard drive failed and I lost emails. BUT we were told we COULD use the courtyard and certain latitude re parking (whether engine facing in or out of space) and other issues.

This ‘lease’ contradicts what the city representatives told us.

A few of the issues from various residents:

I have, on several occasions, attempted to discuss issues with Mr. Gentry, to no avail. My attorney suggested all correspondence in writing.

Whenever I tell Mr. Gentry that, he tells me not to talk to my attorney. In fact, both Mr and Mrs Gentry have told many of us not to discuss these issues amongst other residents in the building.

According to more than one, many residents did not turn the smoking questionnaire. I wonder if the three new units rented since November, 22, 2012, comply with the no smoking ordinance. I wonder if new tenants were told. I have informed new tenants of the long-standing no smoking in the common areas, i.e., the courtyard. Mr Gentry failed to notify them of the city ordinance.

Do NEW leases have any reference to the new city law?

This ‘lease’ has enough loopholes to frighten residents, especially long time, who are paying less than market rate. Those who moved in with a one year lease usually move out when the lease expires. Very hard to find long term residents paying top dollar.

Makes us wonder if there’s more to this than sees the eye. It’s very hard to express the intimidation and harassment many feel.

My main concern: who is to say what’s too loud, what constitutes an emergency and entering without notice, and legitimate plumbing and other maintenance issues? This new ‘lease’ opens the door to untold issues, with no legal recourse.

Are we compelled by law to sign this new lease? Or materially different enough to not sign?

Thank you,

Jenny Lens

Author: anat

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