Residence Type: 
20 or more units
Landlord Type: 
Government/Public Housing

In March of 2009 I rented an apartment at VintageWood in Fresno, California. I paid my monthly rent. I then graduated from the local University and began applying for work. I found two places of employment…on for three weeks and the other a distance from my apartment. I began to work at the second job and was gone from the apartment for 5 days at a time. My roommate was a young adult who was of age. He had friends who came to visit when I was out of town. I visited on my days off. It did not take long for my home to become a crash pad for every vagrant unemployed young adult my roommate knew. Soon my visits home were haunted by sleeping people scattered everywhere. I asked persons to leave however they merely ignored me. The complex manager told me they would do nothing, because some of the crashers had been there for over 30 days. So I was paying rent and no one was helping me, except my room mate. A few repairs were needed such as the worms and leaks under the kitchen sink…and the black mold in the bathroom, and the toilet that leaked constantly, and the broken sliding glass door…I asked the manager to repair these items however they were ignored. A maintenance person did enter, un announced and looked into my room occupied by a sleeping family member. This caused concern. I explained to the apartment manager I was moving vacating the apartment because I was living elsewhere. I gave the apartment manager a written notice and told everyone in the apartment they had to leave, as I was not living there and no longer could afford the rent. They ignored me for a month…and I was told they got an eviction notice…I never saw it. I do not know what name was on the eviction notice. I do know none of the repairs were ever made. I was not given a security deposit refund. And they refused to accept my vacate notice. Even though I gave them one a couple of months earlier. And as I understood, no one made any effort to pay to rent after I vacated by notification. I did see a document asking for $5,000 to be paid to an attorney on behalf of the apartment. I never did receive a notice to appear in court in a manner whereas I was able to respond. Thereafter everyone using the apartment vacated. Approximately 4 years later, after I was working…apparently the only person held responsible for the entire situation…found my wages attached and 100 a week being with held. I filled out a writ of opposition and wrote my statement and appeared at the designated date and time. However the attorney for the other party took me into a little private room and began to intimidate and coerce me into believing I had to comply with everything he was telling me. I wanted to wait for the judge. The attorney was insistent and pulled out a one week pay statement for one week in one current year that reflected an extraordinary amount of income…it was a gross for one busy work week…but not a reflection of a normal work week…and said he was showing it to the judge. He was trying to frighten me unfairly and he did. It was a very coercive tactic. Which did what he wanted, it forced me to agree to pay an amount I was not prepared to pay which put me at an even greater financial hardship because than previously. The attorney claimed an agreement had been reached by him and me in the little room and that was that…so the judge never heard my side, and figured we had made a final agreement. I was coerced into agreeing to something I did not want. I wanted a fair hearing by the judge. I did not get it. Instead I was intimidated by a slick collection lawyer. I feel unfairness from the complex, and the attorney, leaving me with duress and more financial hardship. I do not think any of my situation was handled in a fair renters rights manner. And the complex and the attorney took advantage of the situation.

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