January 24, 2006

Ousting the Overlord

Our landlady is breaking all kinds of housing laws and we're going to do something about it. It always gives me that warm fuzzy feeling when Spikeuses his lawyer skills to do good. She has made several comments to tenants and prospective tenants about her concerns regarding accommodating children in our small complex or that the sound of their children would disturb other tenants. Basically, she doesn't want to rent to families or put families in apartments where we would get in the way of all the "civilized professionals" that she is so proud of housing. She is 50, single and childless herself and so maybe we just are a strange group to her that she cannot understand. I certainly can't understand her! And the old adage about ignorance breeding fear seems to hold up here. But any kind of housing discrimination based on familial status is totally illegal and we decided to finally call her on it.

She just denied a 2 bedroom apartment to some people we know because they are about to have a second baby and she thought that it would be too noisy for the neighbors and too crowded in the apartment. Spike is going to contact the government today (Housing and Urban Development Office) and see if they can scare our property owners straight so that this doesn't happen anymore.

I'm especially concerned to get this all ironed out since right now the landlady thinks that she can keep all the children currently living here indoors so they don't disturb other tenants (also illegal). She told my next door neighbor with an 8 year old boy that "the sound of his feet were too loud" when he played outdoors. My neighbor is now scared to let her poor son outside in fear that their contract will be terminated. Her little boy says he feels like he's in prison. So lame. Pixie and I plan on being out in the courtyard a lot this summer so better that they know they can't mess with us when we do it. I have no doubt that my smartie pants lawyer Spike will make sure that she is serving us cookies and lemonade when we do. As much as I hate confrontation, I hate people trying to mess with my right to have a loud, messy, keep all the neighbors awake family more. Good luck, Spike!

Here is a link to the actual rights of tenants and what landlords are and are not allowed to consider in housing applications. I urge all my California apartment friends to read it and know if you are being pushed around. Nothing like stickin it to The Man!


Stephanie said...

Right on! I hope you guys win!

momflake said...

Good blogs, Sarah. Kid-unfriendly people slay me as do too-pet-friendly people like the lady I met at the airport who was going to her sister's house to her dog's "funeral."

Ben Everton said...

Stick it to the man! You and I should start a blog about bad apartment situations. Oh wait, I already did.

Jared said...

I feel for you. Right now we don't have any big issues with our landlord, but our phone company calls us everyday and hangs up. I really wish that I could drive a tank over these people and their cars.

Foxy said...

The SF paper just ran an advice column on this topic. The columnist looks at it from the mom’s and the kid hatin' neighbor’s POV.