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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2008

    Default Dispute with Landlord Over Missing Personal Belongings

    My question involves landlord-tenant law in the State of: California

    I used to reside in an apartment in Oakland, Ca.
    I was out of town, away from apartment for about 5 months straight. Each of those months' rent was mailed
    However, at some point during those 5 months, the apartment bldg owners switched to a different bldg management company, and from that point on, rent checks were then supposed to be sent to a different address. The problem was that no one ever contacted me about the change in management & address, so my rent checks continued to go to old outdated address (meaning the management company did not receive rent).
    Of those 5 months, the bldg owners did cash checks for 3 months, but the final two checks were sequestered by the owners because rent was supposed to go to management company at that point. Both of those checks were not forwarded to the management co., nor were they cashed, nor were they returned to me.
    All my checks have my name and phone numbers on it, yet neither the building owners/management company thought it was necessary to contact me.

    My apartment was then declared ABANDONED, and ALL my belongings were removed to a separate storage unit. Some of my belongings are now missing as a result of that removal.
    I am now trying to seek compensation/reimbursement for the lost items (totaling $2300).
    I like to know who I should approach for compensation - the apt building owners or the management company? (it was the company's employees who moved my things afterall....but they were working as agents and hired by the bldg owners)

    Which party should I sue in small claims court if it comes to that?

    as per Calif law, Civil code 1980, it basically says that
    if a landlord has information which indicates that an investigation would provide more facts about the identity of the property owner, and if the cost of the investigation would be reasonable in view of the probable value of the property, then the landlord should make the investigation. If an investigation should have been made but wasn't, then the landlord is held to a higher standard - the reasonableness of the landlord's actions would be judged as if the landlord had conducted an investigation and had known the facts which the investigation would have revealed.

    anyone have any opinion on this? it would be much appreciated!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Behind a Desk

    Default Re: Dispute with Landlord Over Missing Personal Belongings

    If it were me, I'd sue 'em all, and let them point their fingers at each other.

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