It can be challenging being a renter or owner in Los Angeles, so Time Out Los Angeles interviewed Rental Girl founder Elizabeth McDonald to answer some of your burning questions!
Q: The handyman my landlord hires does shoddy work. Can I demand a better repair person?
A: Bad news: As a renter, you’re stuck with your landlord’s opinion—and his pocketbook. Your only recourse is to move out, unless the repairs pose a hazard, in which case you can file a complaint with HCIDLA.
—Steve, Topanga, CA
Q: If I’m charging for classes or dinners that I host in my apartment, do I have to let my landlord know?
A: All standard rental agreements in L.A. have a clause about not running a business out of a rental property. This clause originates from the City of Los Angeles, which regulates what we can or cannot do on a property in the way of zoning and land use. If the property is zoned for residential use, then you are restricted to using the rental for living only. Worst-case scenario: The city ends up penalizing the homeowner (your landlord), who then evicts you. Yikes!
—Kelley, Culver City, CA
Q: I’ve been fixing up my place for years, but now I’m moving. Is there a way to get my money back?
A: Nope—sorry, George. Not only that, but the landlord can demand you return the unit to its original condition or send you the bill if he has to do it himself. Always get written permission before making any improvements or repairs.
—George, Echo Park, CA
Are you asking the same questions or do you have more? We would love to hear them! Read the full Time Out LA article here: Three of your burning questions about renting in L.A. answered!