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Archive for June, 2008

Hi everyone –

It has been a while since we have said hi to our small group of friends, but at this moment we are able to, and there are a few things The Bird and The Mom want to share.

As you all know, we were living in a nice little house that was being terribly neglected by the landlady, plus there was a water leak that was costing us hundreds of dollars on our DWP Bill.

Tomas had told the landlady about it within the first year that we lived there, and she completely ignored him. This upset the Bob, as he was having to eat cheap dry cat food so that we could do our best to pay the rent and the bills.

“YEAH! IT’S WRONG!” Screams The Bird.

Well, Bobby, we were living on Top Ramen, so we feel your pain.

When the writers strike happened, we were finding it hard to make ends meet, as she had raised the rent twice in two years, claiming “Market Value” while she made not one single repair to the house, never came by to check on the condition of the house, and, as I said above, ignored us when we brought a rather large issue to her attention. We made all of the small repairs around the house and did not charge her, we planted good, drought resistant grass and did not charge her, we planted a beautiful ficus in the back yard where there had only been dirt, and did not charge her, and our thanks was getting the rent raised 27% in two years.

As you may remember down on the “Kidney Stones” post, she served us with a three day or quit, and we took the time to counter her, citing all of the problems with the house and why we were struggling with the rent due to this enormous water bill on top of a large rent increase.

We went to court, and tried to hammer out a fair deal with the Farashes (Judy and Marty, the land owners) but we were still ignored when discussing the conditions of the house.

Before the court date, they arranged a scheduled walk-through of the premises, and when we tried to explain the problems with the swamp cooler and the heating system, again, we were not listened to.

We finally threw our hands up in court, and agreed to be out in two weeks and two days.

That is why it has been so quiet for a bit. We are long gone, setting up a whole new camp in a whole new place.

BUT – we have one last funny incident to report concerning Judy Davis Farash, and one really nice issue also.

We had our mail forwarded to a friend, and when we went to pick it up, there was a certified letter from Judy Davis Farash stating that we were not getting our security deposit back. Of course, we did not expect it back, as we owed rent, but we left the house in as perfect condition as possible – Super clean, every room mopped, dusted, vacuumed – we were cleaning until past one a.m. on our last night before we left. We expected that our deposit would be deducted from the amount she felt we owed her.

(Of course, when Tomas told her that due to her refusal to address the giant water leak, we were paying so much money to the DWP that, had she handled the water issue, that money would have gone to her, and we feel we owe her nothing. That is when the battle began).

The carpet was not new when we moved in, she had simply had it cleaned. An older woman with a dog had lived there for three years before with the same carpet.

As the swamp coolers began getting worse and worse, a bad smell was rising from the carpet, especially in the hallway. We pulled up the carpet in the hallway, and it was so old that the foam padding was literally turning to dust in our hands. The hardwood underneath was in fair condition, except by the studio bedroom – the floor felt as if it were rotting through. It shifted and creaked rather ominously every time we walked on it, and we both got into the habit of hopping into the bathroom or the studio. No one felt like going through the floor!

Also, when we had moved in, the sliding glass screen door that was in Tomas’s studio was completely broken – within the first few weeks of living there, we went up to Home Depot and bought a new one for about $40, and installed it ourselves.

It got chewed and clawed at the bottom by our cats, but hey! It was our screen, we paid for it, and did not charge her. When we left, we left her original broken screen and the one we bought.

Well, this certified letter stated that we owed her $180 for a new screen, and $2,383.00 for new carpet. Could. You. Just. Die.

Coincidentally, we had to drive back into LA to go to our storage space one last time, and we debated going by the house to see if she had simply slapped a coat of paint on it, cleaned the carpet, and stuck the “For Rent” sign on the lawn. Lord knows, we had left it clean enough that she could have gotten away with doing it. There was one small burn mark on the carpet in one of the bedrooms that was my fault, and it was easily fixable if one did not want to replace the carpet, even though a landlord is supposed to, by law, put in new carpet every three to five years, and also by law, after two years, a tenant is not responsible for what kind of shape a carpet is in.

As it turns out, there were workers everywhere around the house replacing, you got it, the heating system, the swamp coolers with actual Air Conditioning, re-doing all of the electrical – everything we had said that was going wrong in the house. We looked around, chatted with the electricians, and there were workers all over the house, sitting and standing on the very carpet that she was charging us to replace. Luckily, we had a camera on us, so we snapped a few photos. Quite a few photos, as a matter of fact. Photos that can be posted at any time as may be needed.

But hey – as I have written in many posts, there is a greed factor going on with her that is a little intense if you are the unlucky soul to be in her  path.

And a small update – Judy Davis Farash has the house listed for rent with Jill Fischer Properties, it is the second to the last house under “featured properties”, and it boasts a renovation, and all rooms with new hardwood floors!  Why are we being charged for new carpet when the owner decided to put in new hardwood floors?  The pictures are right there, just look for 7002 Forbes Ave, Lake Balboa.

(Update: The photos are no longer up at Jill Fischer, but can be found on the “Hardwood Floors” post.)

The good news is: the last time we were in L.A. about a week later, we drove by again, and the house was freshly painted a very sweet Robin’s Egg Blue, with white trim, and it looked great.

Knowing that the innards of the house had been fixed, and now the outside was being done, made us feel good. With the exception of the area, it is a nice little house, and it has needed some serious attention from its owner for years, and finally was getting it.

Whether it was being brought back to life because of our rebuttal, or because we had notified city officials, or maybe she just realized it was long overdue, it does not matter. It does not matter that we had to leave, it was the best thing that could have happened to us concerning that house – after the first year, we were miserable living there.

What matters is that Judy Davis Farash and Martin Farash are finally taking responsibility and taking care of their house – it is a good house, and despite everything, we have some very nice memories living there, and now it can continue to be a nice house for someone else.  The main drawback is the Farash’s are not nice people, and I pity anyone who has her for a landlady.  When we lived there, the amount of mail that came for other people was astonishing.  I have never rented a house that had the amount of turnover as 7002 Forbes has had.

I hope the Farash’s learn to appreciate when they have good tenants, and realize that they need to pay attention to their property, appreciate when the people who live there treat it well,  and in the future make the necessary repairs and upkeep when it is called to their attention, and do not let it fall into disrepair again. It is expensive, letting it go to seed to the point it was when we lived there. It was a lawsuit waiting to happen.

I also hope that Judy Farash realizes that the people who rent her house are not responsible to notify her of every single issue in the house and are not required to make all of the calls and arrangements when repairs are needed, unless they are the managers and/or caretakers of the property – it is her responsibility to be pro-active in the care of her own property, not just sit back and do nothing except willy-nilly raise the rent whenever she feels like it.

To wrap it up, we are happy for the house, and we hope the Farash’s get tenants who treat the house as well as we did, not that they deserve it, but the house does.

This ends our chapter at Forbes, and while we begin our new adventures, Judy Davis Farash has a house that just might really be “Market Value”.  Although, she did not seem to realize that the market was tanking, and as I update this post, seven months later, the house is sitting, unrented.

Not our problem.

Gypsy Bob is putting on his bandanna, cawing at his outside peeps, and asking us where are we going? What are we doing? WASSUP??!!

It’s a surprise, Bob.

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