A Southern California family said their landlord had used the order to stay at home to circumvent a tenant state law that put them on the hook for hundreds of dollars.
When Marina Panteleyeva's landlord at Irvine Company increased her family's rent, she made the difficult decision to move.
"It was of course not easy for the children to move and change schools," said Panteleyeva.
Panteleyeva asked the Irvine Company to "move out," a tenant right under the laws of the State of California. The landlord can point out damage and give the tenant the opportunity to repair it. However, the Irvine Company canceled the passage, citing the stay -at-home order.
Panteleyeva took pictures of the apartment after her family moved out and expected to get her $ 700 bail back.
"We have the photos. We have sent them to you. You should be satisfied with the condition of the apartment – that there is no damage," said Panteleyeva.
But Irvine Company disagreed. It sent Panteleyeva a repair bill for $ 1,500, along with pictures of her carpet saying it needed to be replaced.
Panteleyeva tried to see the damage her landlord claimed. She denied the bill but didn't get anywhere.
Panteleyeva believed that the Irvine Company had no right to incriminate her because she had given up her right to be inspected.
"If we are not here, you logically refused to have the move-out control in our presence, which is our legal right. Then all arguments after that should be null and void," said Panteleyeva.
Tenant rights lawyer Elena Popp believes a judge would join Panteleyeva because the bottom line is that the Irvine Company has broken the law.
"Security deposits are the most common reason for a conflict between a landlord and a tenant," said Popp.
"I think the inspection could have been done safely. The way you do an inspection safely – both sides rise and mask, they stay 6 to 9 feet apart, the person visiting them doesn't touch anything," said Popp. "It's a safe interaction. And there's no reason that shouldn't have happened."
But Irvine Company doesn't seem to agree. No comment has been made on this story. Instead, she asked the California Apartment Association, a landlord trading group, to report.
According to the CAA, the Irvine Company's modified pull-out control "complies with applicable laws". However, the Irvine Company has dropped all Panteleyeva's fees – less a cleaning fee it considers appropriate.
Panteleyeva gave advice to other tenants who are moving out during this difficult time: put your foot down.
"Request the move-out control. No matter what," said Panteleyeva.
A landlord has 21 days to pay back your deposit or to charge you for any damage.