Internships Are Very Important
One of the most important aspects of joining the workforce is getting an internship. Internships are a great way to get experience in any given field and might lead to a job down the line. The only issue is, there’s sometimes not a lot of location choices. As a result, someone could get an internship halfway across the country from where they live. This can make housing a huge issue, as it’s difficult to find a living arrangement in a place where one doesn’t actually live. One Redditor named ‘Blaine’ knew this struggle well, as he was moving to California for an internship.
Blaine believed he found the perfect place to live and was excited to begin his new adventure. But, as he soon would learn, looks can be deceiving.
Moving Out To California
After securing an internship at a technology company out in California, Blaine was excited to get a taste of what it would be like working in his desired field. Although he was ecstatic to move to the west coast, there was one issue; he didn’t have a place to stay. Luckily, one of his friends knew of an open room Blaine could rent.
On paper, the room looked fantastic. There were “spacious common areas, multiple huge TVs, full amenities, [a] community center [with a] pool, [and it was a] short drive to multiple places of interest. [All] for $650 [a] month, utilities included.”
Within minutes of reading the description, Blaine knew it was the perfect place for him. So, he contacted the landlord, ‘Alex,’ to confirm details about the rental space and discuss moving in. After a quick conversation about the room, Alex agreed to lease Blaine the room. So, Blaine packed up his belongings and headed out to California, ready to start his new adventure.
However, when he got to his new humble abode, Blaine immediately noticed a few things were off.
“The common areas were all dusty, [and} none of the three large TVs worked properly,” Blaine recalled of his first encounter with his living area. “[If] we wanted access to the [community] center and pool, we’d need to pay the $80 [a month] membership fee, and all of the ‘short drives’ time estimates were exaggerated unless you were speeding at [two times] the speed limit.”
Considering the relatively low rent price, Blaine tried to ignore these issues. After all, some things are just too good to be true. However, as Blaine would soon learn, these issues were the first of many red flags in the months to come.
Alex Makes A Few Changes
Given the chance, anyone would do what they can to earn a little extra money. Alex was no different. Tacking on an extra $20 a month for paper towels and toilet paper, Alex removed the thermostat from the apartment since he believed his tenants were using it too much as they entered the summer months. These conditions proved to be undesirable, but hey, who cares? It was saving Alex some major bucks. Upset over these random and incredibly inconvenient changes, Blaine and the rest of his housemates banded together one day to confront Alex over his money-leeching ways. Thankfully, Alex saw the errors of his ways and redacted all of these modifications.
Alex could not have cared less about this, simply stating, “It’s legal for me to do it and I don’t care since I don’t have to live here.”
Blaine was furious over Alex’s words and attitude, but as it turns out, he was correct. Since Alex himself was not living in the household, he was under no legal obligation to provide air conditioning in the state of California.
However, Blaine was not going to take this lying down. It was in the middle of the hottest time of the year, and he was tired of sweating like a pig when he was trying to relax in his own home. So, he took matters into his own hands and purchased an air conditioning unit for himself. Finally, Blaine would get some much-needed relief from the sweltering summer heat.
But, of course, Blaine can’t have nice things. After discovering the contraband, Alex descended upon him to tell him to get rid of it. Unfortunately for him, Blaine had the perfect reply.
Getting Ready To Leave
“It’s legal for me to do it and I don’t care since I don’t have to pay for electricity,” Blaine said innocently.
While this debacle was going on, Blaine and Alex had a couple of other minor disagreements that ultimately led to Alex offering to let Blaine break his lease and move out. Unbeknownst to Alex, Blaine was taking him up on his offer.
Tired of dealing with Alex’s entitled attitude, Blaine quietly began discussing the situation with the other tenants. To his delight, the other residents were fed up with what had been going on. Alex had been taking advantage of them for far too long, and they were no longer willing to put up with it. With some minor encouragement, Blaine convinced two more occupants to move out with him. All three of them submitted a ‘Notice of Intent to Vacate’ to Alex at the same time, which enraged him. Now, he had to fill three rooms instead of just one.
Not that Blaine gave a hoot, of course. He found a place much closer to his internship’s office, and although it was about $100 more than what he was currently paying, it was worth it. At this point, Blaine would have paid $1,000 more to get out of this situation.
Wanting to still be a fair occupant, Blaine messaged Alex about the required pre-moveout inspection. Alex was clearly not feeling the same way, as he basically told Blaine to get bent. This was definitely illegal, but there was nothing Blaine could do about it.
A few days later, he was finally free; Blaine had completely moved out of Alex’s house and was honestly living his best life. However, there was one box he still needed to check; the matter of his security deposit.
Despite multiple attempts to get in contact with him, Alex never responded to Blaine’s messages. Completely fed up with his childish and immature behavior, Blaine knew there was only one thing to do.
Taking It To Court
Little did Alex know Blaine had been keeping a record of all messages between the two, as well as any and all laws that had been broken.
“The smoking [weapon] was the statute that requires a pre-moveout inspection and a list of things to fix,” Blaine recalled of the moment he knew Alex was in for it. “[There was also an] itemized list of deductions within 21 days or else [Alex would lose] the right to withhold any of my deposit. In addition, he would be subject to treble damages if he’s found to be acting in bad faith.”
Despite all of the bad blood between them, Blaine gave Alex a heads up that he would be taking him to court. Alex, thinking Blaine was just a stupid college student, didn’t think he would follow through with this plan. He could not have been more wrong. Blaine proceeded with his plan, filing in small claims court for the $650 security deposit. Alex fired back with a counterclaim of $2,000, saying Blaine had flooded his room and broke his microwave.
Blaine’s recording-keeping skills were truly astonishing, as he had plenty of evidence to prove he had done nothing of the sort.
“I [gathered] testimonies from three of the other tenants and I build my case into a 40-page packet of evidence, complete with page numbers, a table of contents, and descriptions for every screenshot and photo. I [made] three copies of everything and submit it to the court and [Alex].”
Blaine was more than prepared for this court battle, but Alex wasn’t feeling the same way. In order to stall the court date as long as possible, Alex delayed the date multiple times under the guise of “doctor’s appointments.” Eventually, the court figured out his plan and denied another request to postpone. At this point, Blaine’s internship had ended, and he had returned to his home state. Alex was feeling high and mighty, feeling like he had won because if Blaine was not in the state, how could he possibly attend the hearing?
Unfortunately, there was one crucial detail Alex was not aware of.
Blaine Was There, But He Wasn’t There
Just because Blaine couldn’t appear in person doesn’t mean he wasn’t able to plead his case. California law has an option for plaintiffs to phone in, which Blaine happily accepted.
After being sworn in via phone call, Blaine proceeded to explain everything that had occurred while he lived in Alex’s building. Alex tried his best to defend himself, but having no evidence to back up his claims, he didn’t present a strong case. After a few clarification questions, the judge announced he would review everything and let them know of his decision.
A few weeks later, Blaine got the answer; Alex was to pay him the $650 and would receive nothing in return. But, this battle was far from over. Alex refused to see he was in the wrong and filed for an appeal, which was scheduled the following May.
Annoyed he had to go back into court with this moron, Blaine came even more prepared than he was before. This time, he ripped Alex a new one,
“[I made] sure to emphasize how often I informed [Alex] of the law, how often [Alex] knowingly broke the law, and how I offered so much leniency and so many opportunities to do the right thing,” Blaine recounted of the second hearing.
Even though he called this hearing, Alex still didn’t have any response! He half-heartedly stammered out a response about Blaine causing water damage but was not able to produce an invoice or receipt when the judge asked. Trying a different tactic, Alex tried saying Blaine broken his microwave. Blaine easily rebuked these claims, providing three witness statements saying he had nothing to do with the broken microwave.
It was obvious to anyone with a brain Alex had been lying about everything, and the judge was done with his shenanigans.
Dismissing them both, the judge announced he would once more mail his decision.
Alex’s Plan Fails Once Again
Finally, the judge’s decision arrived in the mail. Alex was to pay Blaine a whooping $1,800 now instead of the original $650. It seemed as though nothing could get through to this guy’s head, as he filed for a mistrial under the guise of Blaine not being sworn in property, and that he lied in his testimony. Thankfully, this request was quickly denied.
Still thinking he had the upper hand, Alex told Blaine he would only pay him with a payment plan of $20 a month, or he wouldn’t pay him at all. With everything he owed, that would have taken seven and a half years for Blaine to get the full amount. Yeah, that’s not how this was going to work.
After discovering what bank Alex uses, Blaine files for a bank levy in order to get his allotted funds from Alex’s account. After it’s granted, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department ordered the bank to freeze his account. When Alex still didn’t pay Blaine, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department seized the money from his account, with a 10% interest and Sheriff fees included.
All in all, Alex ended up paying Blaine $1,893.91, triple the amount he originally owed.
It’s always great to see someone get what they deserve, especially someone as moronic as Alex.