My question involves landlord-tenant law in the State of: California
I rent a bedroom in a 2 bedroom single family house occupancy in Los Angeles CA. I share use of the house with the owner, and another tenant, her boyfriend. They share the master bedroom. I have been renting the room for 5 1/2 years. When I moved in I didn't sign a rental agreement and didn't pay a security deposit, my rent is $400/mos. When I moved in the owner was going through a Chapter 13 bankruptcy to avoid foreclosure and was working to reorganize her dept in order to keep ownership of her house. While going through this process she was able to refinance a loan that covered her initial mortgage loan amount but increased her debt almost $200,000 over the value of her home. Because of this new loan she was able to keep 2 years of mortgage payments that she had made towards the reorganization of her debts. I am not clear on why the payments were not made by the trustee to the bank that owned her mortgage for 2 years? The payments were returned to her and turned out to be a substantial amount.
My question that I can't seem to find any definitive answers on concerns the rights that I, one of 2 renters, have as far as evictions, renter's rights etc. Because the dwelling is a single family house occupancy I've found that I am not protected by the R.S.O. (Rent Stabilization Ordnance) and that a household with one renter doesn't fall under the jurisdiction of the RSO. But because we have 2 renters I've been finding that there is a "grey" area that doesn't seem to explain or have any definitive rules or renter's rights. I've researched this as much as I am able to but it seems to be a situation that remains very vague and unclear.
I was really hoping that maybe someone on ExpertLaw.com could help me figure out where I might stand as far as my renter's rights, eviction rights, the right of peaceful living conditions (my landlord has confronted me very hostilely, screaming and intimidating me whenever she feels like it and seems to think that she can do anything to make my living conditions unstable. Besides the screaming attacks about very minor issues (i.e. a window left open an inch while A/C is on, for example. She has gone as far as turning off and on the A/C and heat whenever she sees fit, and also introducing a pit-bull rescue dog (watch the video) that aggressively confronts me whenever I try to leave my room, even slightly nicking me the other day but not seriously, yet. Here is a video showing the living conditions from the dogs that she brings home.
And even though I am completely current on my monthly rent payments she has now presented me with a rent fee increase schedule that will raise my monthly rent 60% within the next 7 months to $640, while carefully raising it the necessary % each time so that it falls within the limit of the 30-day or 60-day notices that the law requires.
The normal situation would be for me to find another place to live and move out. Unfortunately, I am living month to month and have not been able to save the funds needed to move. I do not have good credit for a loan and because I am a freelance artist my income varies from month to month and hasn't given me the luxury of being able to save for more than the slow periods when work is scarce. I have not family nor any friends or past coworkers who I can turn to. This may be because of the isolated working lifestyle or a computer artist, of which I am to blame.
What rights do I have so that I can prolong my stay where I am living at until I am able to find a solution to saving the funds necessary to move, including security deposit, first and last and any other problems that I may be confronted with because of my bad credit rating within the constraints of living in a single family occupancy house with 2 renters in the city of Los Angeles Ca. Any and all advice and help would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.