Housing | Landlord Tenant | CEQA | HOA | Airbnb


  • Action by deaf homeowner alleging that her homeowners’ association (HOA) refused to reasonably accommodate her with an American Sign Language (ASL) interpreter at two board meetings.  Instead HOA told homeowner that she would have to pay for and bring her own interpreter.  Homeowner alleged HOA engaged in disability discrimination under the Fair Housing Amendments Act, Fair Employment and Housing Act, and Unruh Civil Rights Act.  HOA alleged its board had engaged in the interactive process by promising to speak slowly at the meeting, and alleged it was not required to provide an ASL interpreter at its board meetings.  Resolved by mediator’s proposal.


  • Action by landlords alleging that a city violated their constitutional right to contract and imposed excessive fines under a void municipal ordinance banning short-term residential rentals, including AirBNB.  The municipality alleged it properly exercised its powers to enact legislation for the general good of the community.  The city further alleged its citations and fines were appropriate to have the desired deterrent effect.  Resolved through mediation.


  • Appeal by commercial landlord, a medical building, challenging the trial court’s grant of summary judgment in favor of commercial tenant, a physician, alleging breach of lease, holdover tenancy, and failure to pay common area maintenance.  Physician cross-complained alleging that the lease had expired eight years ago, that for 13 years he had timely paid rent as a month-to-month tenant to three prior landlords and the current landlord, that no treble rent was due, and that landlord owed physician attorneys’ fees. Resolved by mediator’s proposal.


  • Petition for writ of mandate by a historic preservation group alleging that a municipality and its planning department violated the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) by approving a high-rise, mixed-use residential project among historic landmarks.  Real party in interest, a developer, alleged the environmental issues raised by petitioners were fully addressed in the administrative process.  Settlement following mediation.

  • Action by former tenants, husband and wife, alleging former landlord and managing agents discriminated against them on the basis of their familial status, race and national origin, retaliated against them for complaining, unfairly evicted them using the 2+1 occupancy standard that was not applied to other tenants, and caused them emotional distress. The landlord and managing agents alleged their policy of no loitering or playing in common areas and enforcement of occupancy standards were applied equally to all tenants irrespective of race, national origin or familial status. Resolved by mediator’s proposal.


  • Action by non-profit organization against landlord alleging disability discrimination in housing, because landlord allegedly did not feel comfortable using voice telecommunications relay service or video relay service in communicating with testers posing as deaf applicants, and because landlord had allegedly provided different information to able-bodied and disabled applicants. Landlord alleged that applicants were given the same information regardless of disability and that hey were not denied housing. Resolved by mediator’s proposal.


  • Action by Section 8 tenant alleging landlord and managing agent engaged in breach of the implied warranty of habitability, negligence, premises liability, negligent and intentional infliction of emotional distress, and race discrimination in housing and public accommodations. Landlord and managing agent alleged tenant failed to timely pay rent. Resolved in mediation.


  • Action by tenant and non-profit organization against landlord and managing agent alleging national origin, familial status, and immigration status discrimination in housing. Landlord alleged the tenant on record had provided a fraudulent Social Security number to obtain the tenancy, members of the household had disturbed other tenants and vandalized the property, and tenant had unlawfully sublet the garage for inhabitation by others. Equitable relief reached in mediation.


  • Action by applicant for tenancy in an apartment complex against landlord, a municipal housing authority and individual defendants, alleging retaliation for having complained in the past about discrimination under California and federal fair housing laws. Housing authority alleged breach of a prior settlement agreement between the parties under which applicant had promised to never again apply for tenancy at the same apartment complex. Resolved by mediator’s proposal.


  • Action by tenants alleging landlord and management company discriminated against families with children under federal and state fair housing and public accommodation laws. The landlord and management company alleged their policy of no loitering or playing in common areas was directed to all tenants, not only families with children. Resolved by mediator’s proposal.


  • Action by tenants alleging landlord discriminated, harassed and retaliated against families with children under federal and state fair housing and public accommodations law, violated their rights of privacy, and engaged in unfair business practices. The landlord alleged its policies were neutral and tenants were evicted for failure to pay rent. Resolved by mediator’s proposal.

  • Action by non-profit organization and prospective tenant alleging landlord discriminated against persons with disabilities under federal and state fair housing and public accommodations laws. The landlord and management company alleged plaintiffs lacked jurisdiction, because the property was constructed for occupancy prior to the applicable period and has not been remodeled. Reached global settlement of this and another pending matter in mediation.


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