The mom of a student recorded the confrontation in May, although demanding a refund from the landlords.
SAN DIEGO — A warning for San Diego State University college students who are desperate to rent tricky-to-uncover, off-campus housing: Make sure you tour the home ahead of signing a deal or placing down a deposit.
CBS 8 received cell phone video of a confrontation in May perhaps, involving a Higher education Space landlord and an SDSU university student.
The pupil, Josh Montalto, was demanding income back following finding he experienced rented an unpermitted garage unit in January, found in the 4100 block of Campanile Push.
In an interview with CBS 8, Montalto, 24, admitted he was naïve when he set down a deposit for the device at the landlord’s office two blocks south of the SDSU campus. He signed a six-thirty day period lease, at $1,200 for each thirty day period, devoid of looking at the house to start with.
After going in, Montalto claimed the issues commenced.
“The house was a dump. I will convey to you that it was a dump,” stated Montalto.
For starters, Montalto reported, the swimming pool pump was broken for months. And, he claimed, the property had a roach infestation.
“There was a ton. We had a lot more than 50 cockroaches. I can remember much more than 50,” he reported.
Montalto also remembered a sewage backup and electric power outages when it rained.
The complications had been confirmed by Montalto’s roommate, Nika Tsitelashvili, a foreign trade college student who states he also set down a deposit on the house, sight unseen.
“At one particular position, I was not going to signal a lease simply because this area was not seeking habitable for me. It was quite unfair. But they threatened us to not give our deposit again,” explained Tsitelashvili.
A pair months just after going in, Montalto mentioned, he started off coughing. He claimed the coughing got greater when left the home to travel out of point out, and resumed when he returned.
“So tricky to breathe. You have to hold coughing. And it was not enjoyable. It really is just about every two or 3 minutes. You hear this cough regularly at evening and you are not able to rest. That is how undesirable it was,” Montalto claimed.
A handful of months later, a San Diego metropolis inspector visited the property and advised Montalto that the garage unit was not permitted as a rental dwelling device.
In simple fact, the landlord experienced been specified observe in January to “immediately cease utilizing the garage as habitable area,” according to the San Diego code enforcement civil detect received by CBS 8.
Which is when Montalto’s mom, Connie Lafuente, stepped in.
“Right away, I was involved. I spoke with him and I mentioned what do you feel we need to do? And he mentioned, ‘Mom, no surprise I am emotion ill. I believe I need to go out,’” Lafuente explained.
The mom used her cell phone to secretly file the confrontation in May with the landlord, Waleed “Bill” Salameh, and his spouse, Lana Kamouh.
“The city inspector said to my son, you ought to not be in this area because it really is not permitted,” Lafuente mentioned in the course of the videotaped dialogue.
“We’ve now invested $30,000 to use for a permit,” Salameh responded, proclaiming the garage unit was near to currently being permitted by the city.
“So, your home, basically, is just about legit at this stage,” Salameh claimed.
“But it really is not legit, right now,” Lafuente countered.
In the course of the 10-minute confrontation, Salameh denied duty for any of Montalto’s health and fitness complications. He also claimed Montalto experienced weakened the plumbing at the assets by placing child wipes down the rest room, which Montalto denied.
When Salameh and his spouse discovered they had been getting videotaped, the pair threatened legal motion.
“We are going to sue you,” Kamouh said at the conclusion of the video.
“We’re not terrified of them. We are attempting to expose them so they can prevent and they can be responsible landlords, so they can present a safe place for all students,” Lafuente mentioned.
CBS 8 spoke on the phone with Kamouh and asked for an on-camera interview. Kamouh claimed she would talk to her spouse about it, but the couple did not react to CBS 8’s ask for.
In a letter to Monalto, the landlord even more alleged that Montalto threw a fraternity bash at the home, resulting in damages and cleanup charges, so Monalto’s deposit would not be refunded.
Montalto denied having a fraternity party at the residence. His request for a lease refund also was denied.
Enjoy: Cell phone video clip of landlord confrontation with SDSU college student:
CBS 8 achieved out to SDSU, which provides pupils a manual for off-campus housing. The university responded with the following assertion:
“When the university does not have jurisdiction in handling off-campus housing matters involving residents and landlords, San Diego Condition College delivers a large-array of scholar assist providers and dedicated workers to help in addressing concerns with specific learners when they report an issue. These help solutions involve the Financial Crisis Reaction Group (ECRT), which can present assistance for any pupil who is facing or suffering from housing insecurity. Additionally, SDSU’s Related Learners contracts with an outside the house authorized expert services company to offer free of charge lawful and financial expert services to enrolled learners.”
The Town of San Diego provides a search portal wherever past and current code enforcement scenarios can be accessed by road handle locale.