If a landlord engages in harassment of a tenant in a manner that would cause a reasonable tenant to vacate their dwelling unit, s/he may be committing a misdemeanor violation of the Ordinance.
Such behavior includes but is not limited to:
- reduction of housing services or maintenance or delay in repairs determined by the Department or the Commission that would cause a reasonable tenant to vacate;
- abusing the right of access as set forth in state law;
- being verbally abusive or trying to provoke a tenant to violence intentionally or threatening a tenant with physical harm;
- enticing a tenant to vacate a unit through intentional misrepresentation or concealment of fact or by misrepresenting that a tenant is required to vacate a unit;
- engaging in activity prohibited by Federal, State and local laws concerning discrimination or harassment;
- threatening or endeavoring to evict a tenant without a substantial basis for having cause to do so (view legal causes);
- refusing to acknowledge or accept receipt of rent payments in accordance with the lease or the usual practice.
Often, such behavior results from landlord/tenant misunderstandings and disputes that the City's Mediator can help resolve. To speak to the mediator about help in settling disputes, please contact the Legal Services Division at (323) 848-6481.
If the dispute cannot be settled, the Legal Services Division will investigate and determine whether the landlord's behavior creates a violation of the harassment code. If the investigation finds that the evidence supports the case, the division will refer the case to the City Prosecutor for further action. For further information about tenant harassment contact an Information Coordinator at (323) 848-6450.