Renting and abandoned apt under fake name, locked out, want to ge

12 Replies

So due to some personal reasons I had to use a fake name to rent a nice house in California. I’m a single father with a difficult past.

The landlord was kind of easy going and didn’t care, just wanted my money and admitted to being new to renting a house out (which is beautiful btw and my little daughter loves it) — I found it on Facebook marketplace and signed the lease under a false name. At the last minute, landlord asks to do a background check which stalled for months and I claimed that it was because of identity theft issues. He never brought it up again and I always paid rent on time from October up until April, when I had some money problems. Thankfully I was protected by the moratorium so he couldn’t evict me for non-payment, so I was able to live rent free and didn’t have to pay utilities.

I’m a struggling single father trying to provide the best for my 6 year old daughter. Her mother is an addict and due to our differences we have gotten into several physical altercations which have landed us both in prison a few times, so I would like to not disclose that. I’ve been struggling to find work due to my past and have resorted to odd jobs and trying to make ends meet. The house was the highlight of mine and my daughter’s lives - it’s beautiful and in a safe and quiet neighborhood.

I had to leave for a month to settle some personal matters with my family out of state. The moratorium ended, and now my landlord is asking me to vacate the house. I haven’t paid rent since April, and since I have been using a false identity I cannot apply for COVID Relief. The landlord is threatening to evict me for non-payment, but I haven’t been in the house in over a month. Apparently there was a notice posted on my door by a lawyer and I have to pay back all the rent.

All my personal belongings are still at the house but my friend went by and said they were all on the curb. I went back tonight and the locks were changed.

What are my options? Can I sue? Legally he can’t evict me because there was only a 30 day notice (which started and ended while I was out of state), and the formal eviction notice hasn’t been posted or mentioned. What are my rights? I want to fight for this and have a place to live - technically in California I would qualify for squatting rights, right? Can I still live and keep my belongings on the property?

When I showed up on the property the landlord’s daughter cussed me out and told me to leave or she’ll call the cops for trespassing. Somehow she found out my real name and my criminal record. I couldn’t deal with it while my daughter is in the car hearing her use foul language so I left. We are sleeping in the parking lot now.

You falsified a lease , gave a fake name and didnt pay rent . Move on . Your problems are not the landlords problems . Giving a fake name is a crime , called fraud . 

When you had problems paying rent in April, you should have reached out and applied for money which would have helped you cover the rent.  There is no way you can sue, but you can ask to have access to your items to remove them and the landlord can be present while you do so to ensure you don't damage the apartment (I'm not saying you would, but that will be of a concern to them).

You can try talking to them, but from their perspective, you've lived there for 7 months without paying any rent or utilities and why would they allow you to stay?  I'm asking honestly.  Unless you can come up with a payment plan and pay them back in addition to the current month's rent, they are unlikely to let you stay.

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Ok I tried asking to do a payment plan but the landlord is stubborn and said no and wants me out. I even said my nephew will come live with me, and landlord says he wants no one on the lease anymore. He has no right to kick me out during a pandemic when I have no money. I’m a single father and I am just trying to do my best for my daughter. 

He threw my stuff to the curb and it rained a few nights, even all my electronics are damaged and destroyed. Can I contact the police for him damaging my items and asking him to cover the cost? 

@Shaun Gonzalez

Not to mention you basically abandoned the property for a month, fake name, non payment, etc etc.

Move on, fresh start. Good luck to you, but next time be upfront and honest, and use your real name.

"He has no right to kick me out during a pandemic when I have no money"

Don't want to sound harsh, dude, but this attitude is probably why your life has turned out the way it has. Go find some help from a local charity until you can get a job and rent another place. Can you get any family help? Don't give up, but don't expect other people to treat their business like a charity......this guy may be on the verge of financial ruin himself because you have screwed him over. Try thinking through his filters....

Good for you for being a good Dad though, I admire that....

Find a job...apply for section 8....move in with a friend or relative and split the housing and food cost...

Go drive a wrecker truck not all are so choosy regarding your past. Its socially distant..

You should solve this problem tonight by staying with a friend vs sleeping in a car with a child.

Man up and find somebody you know to take you in until you get this fixed.

If the Police spot you doing that, they may take the child to CPS, and possibly you.

Good Luck!

Sorry to hear about your situation. I hope you get back on your feet, are able to find work in order to provide for yourself and your family, and find a place to rent within your budget. Check out Honest Jobs, a website that has job openings with companies who will hire people with criminal convictions. A job in the trades may be a good option as labor is in extremely high demand. You may be able to find good paying work with a painting crew, landscaper, builder, solar installer, apprentice as an electrician or plumber, handyman, home inspection company, etc. All of these jobs would set you up with a great background to become a successful landlord/investor yourself some day if you choose. Starting your own business would be a good solution as well, if no one will hire you, although most businesses require some seed capital to get started.   

Regarding your lease and any tenant's rights that you may have: the lease would probably be deemed void because you signed it with a fake name, which is fraudulent misrepresentation. A lease created illegally is not a legal contract. So you'll be unlikely to find any legal recourse through the courts, and in fact you may end up having charges brought against you (most likely "obtaining a good or service using a false name"). The district attorney could also go find a real person with the name you used and charge identity theft. You should speak to an attorney. 

From the landlord's perspective, they're facing great financial hardship from you having not paid rent for 7 months. They have bills to pay on the property like taxes, insurance, mortgage, utilities, maintenance and repairs, and replacing components of the home (cap ex). They've been paying for you to live there. It's completely understandable that they're upset and want to get you out of there any way possible. They could probably win a judgement against you to collect delinquent rent or even sue for damages. If there is nothing to collect, they could garnish your future wages, send you to collections, or even try to bring criminal charges against you by reporting you. The only thing for you to do here is apologize for the harm that you've caused and set up a payment plan or whatever you can do to make it right and pay them back. 

I hope it works out for you and that things turn around. No one is perfect and we all make mistakes. We all have to accept our situation and take responsibility for our actions instead of blaming others. Let go of the past and focus on rebuilding your life in the present.

Good luck! 

@Shaun Gonzalez I'm sorry about your situation - it sounds awful.  Food and shelter are the first order of priority.

I volunteer at a homeless shelter here in Maine.  In addition to food and a place to sleep, we have Housing Navigators to assist with finding a place to live and Case Managers who will connect you with different social services, including Section 8 and school for your daughter.  I suspect one in your area will  have the same.

Once you get stabilized there, gainful employment is next.  There is a massive labor shortage which will help. 

Be completely honest with your potential employers.  Disclose your criminal history upfront so you don't have to live with it hanging over your head - and then work your behind off for one who will hire you.  Prove your worth to them and the past will fade away. 

What employers want most are workers who show up on time, don't cause trouble, work hard (and sober!).  Be that guy.

Finally, get yourself and your daughter to church.  Find a faith community that welcomes you - and I'd bet that all will.  You'll find comfort for your soul and make personal connections with people who really care.  Please don't think you have to be perfect to attend.  You don't.  Just like every other church, mine is full of sinners.

Just remember, every saint has a past.  Every sinner has a future.

Best of luck to you.

By renting under a fake name you committed fraud. Thats beyond a simple landlord/tenant dispute.  That is up to 3 years in prison in California.