A free tenants’ rights workshop will be held at 6 p.m. on Thursday, November 12 at the Goleta Valley Community Center. Speakers will present talks on topics such as tenants’ rights and landlords’ responsibilities.
The workshop will center on subjects such as fair housing laws, basic tenant and landlord law, rental agreements, responsibility for repairs, notification of eviction, renter’s insurance, and return of security deposits. It is presented by the Legal Aid Foundation and includes presentations by local attorneys.
The event is sponsored by the City of Goleta in conjunction with Isla Vista tenants; Goleta tenants are encouraged to attend as well. Legal Aid attorney Casey Nelson said Isla Vista tenants usually have different concerns.
“Tenants from Isla Vista are usually more concerned with security deposits since they’re moving around so much,” Nelson said. “After students graduate, many of them leave the state and it can be hard to get their security deposits returned to them.” Nelson added that habitability is usually more the concern for Goleta tenants, with regard to access to utilities and issues like mold.
Nelson also indicated that the workshop will focus on what actions tenants can take to enforce their rights. Eviction and inability to pay rent are also usually popular topics, he said.
“A lot of people are getting evicted or are unable to pay their rent because of the state our economy is in right now,” Nelson said. “People are saying, ‘I can’t afford rent - what can I do?’” He says that the workshop will discuss possible solutions to eviction and inability to pay rent.
He encourages tenants to bring questions to discuss, as there will be a question and answer session to wrap up the workshop.
The Goleta Valley Community Center is located at 5679 Hollister Avenue in Goleta. For more information, call the Legal Aid Foundation at (805) 963-6754.
Rebecca Bratburd is an Independent intern.