UDR (United Dominion Realty) / tenant abuse and illegal activity
Udr, inc. Uses an expired fictitious business name in its leases to avoid tenant litigation ~ and more dirty little secrets udr doesn't want you to know
My name is erin k. Baldwin and I am a tenant at udr’s property, villa venetia apartment homes. For the past 4 months udr has done everything in its power to keep me quiet.
It has tried to evict me twice; towed away my car and then sold it in retaliation; relentlessly harassed me via court room tricks and maneuvers; demonstrated blatant intimidation tactics including obscene emails, lying on the phone, inhibiting my ability to find work and defend this action via shortened time constraints and no transportation; and continues to violate my civil and due process rights using its ongoing and personal relationship with commissioner richard e. Pacheco to remove any shred of evidence that I have that could destroy one of the largest apartment complex owners in the united states, udr (United dominion realty).
I naively thought that if I fought my issues in court and had all my ducks in a row and researched the law and prepared the right pleadings with the right causes of action that I would prevail.
I thought that commissioner richard e. Pacheco would be required to hear the facts on their merits and rule fairly without prejudice.
I thought udr’s leasing staff (Starting with karissa harmon and melissa hurtado) would have to stand by their word.
I thought udr’s attorneys, todd brisco and cynthia poer were regulated by a professional code of conduct.
Boy was I wrong – on all of it. There is no justice to be found in court. The truth is completely irrelevant. Udr is a very objectionable company and by the end of this series of lessons, you'll hear the name udr and shudder.
I’m going to tell you what I have been trying to tell commissioner pacheco since february 2009 and what he has ignored, denied, overruled and made fun of every step of the way.
I’m going to tell you all about udr, its attorneys, its illegal, fraudulent, unconscionable and oppressive contracts, addenda, and rules and regulations.
I’m going to tell you the truth about landlord-tenant law and how our court system works (Or doesn’t work) for tenants.
Because despite what i’ve been through, I still believe in good and I still believe that the truth makes a difference.
I filed the proper paperwork today to request a transfer to another judge. I did everything according to the rules. Come to find out, the person who’s going to decide whether I can get a transfer from commissioner richard e. Pacheco is commissioner richard e. Pacheco. And the guy that gets to decide whether I am entitled to a trial by a jury of my peers is pacheco when he rules on a motion for summary judgment a week from friday. There is something gravely wrong with this picture.
Here is lesson #1. (There are 41 lessons and I hope that this information helps you.)
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Udr, inc. (United dominion realty), a real estate investment trust (Reit) owns, acquires, renovates, develops and manages apartment communities nationwide. They are a publicly-traded maryland corporation (Formed on may 2, 2003), and trades under the ticker nyse:udr. Their 52-week high on their stock was $27 per share, it's now below $10.
Its subsidiaries include two operating partnerships, heritage communities, l. P., and united dominion realty, l. P., both delaware limited partnerships, and its principal place of business is 1745 shea center drive, suite 200, highlands ranch, colorado 80129.
In october of 2004, udr purchased vista del lago llc (Doing business in the state of california as “villa venetia”) located at 2775 mesa verde drive east, costa mesa, ca 92626 from essex property trust, inc., for the aggregate amount of $95, 004, 706.
At the time of purchase, this was the legal name and the dba as stated at the orange county recorder’s office:
Registration number: [protected]
Business name: villa venetia
Business owner: vista del lago llc
File date: 08/20/2001
Expiration date: 08/20/2006
Prior to udr's acquisition of the property, all residential lease agreements were contracted using the name, vista del lago, llc (Doing business as villa venetia). Very good; just as it should be.
Udr purchased the property under its operating partnership, united dominion realty, l. P. (Doing business as “udr villa venetia apartments l. P.”).
As such, after the acquisition, all residential lease agreements should have been contracted using the name udr villa venetia apartments, l. P. (Doing business as villa venetia apartment homes).
Post-acquisition, the legal name and the dba as stated at the orange county recorder’s office was:
Registration number: [protected]
Business name: villa venetia apartment homes
Business owner: udr villa venetia apartments, l. P.
File date: 11/07/2006
Expiration date: 11/07/2011
However, all residential lease agreements entered into at this apartment complex since 2004 have been contracted using the name "villa venetia," a name that belongs to the previous owner, not udr, and has absolutely nothing to do with udr and specifically does not define their ownership.
The first paragraph of the residential lease agreement has and continues to state:
“this residential lease agreement (Hereinafter “agreement” or “lease”) is entered into between villa venetia (Hereinafter “owner” or “landlord”) and the following individuals, jointly and severally (Hereinafter collectively “residents.)”
There is no mention anywhere on the lease agreement of udr’s legal business name or legal owner's name for this property. And at the bottom of each page a footnote reads, “ca version 2008, ” so its been updated plenty since the 2004 purchase.
Since the acquisition of this apartment complex in october of 2004, udr has fraudulently and intentionally used the fictitious business name of the previous owner, vista del lago, llc, to contract with tenants to obtain and sustain a legal advantage over its tenants.
If a tenant doesn’t have the correct legal name of its landlord on their residential lease agreement, how can they file an action against them? They can’t.
As if that wasn’t bad enough, the fictitious business name, “villa venetia, ” expired on august 20, 2006. (See the previous owner's county recorder's information above.)
The name not only doesn't belong to udr, but it's no longer even a valid legal entity! So, udr is contracting with tenants using a name that doesn’t belong to them, is expired, has nothing to do with their ownership, and is a non-existent legal entity. Very convenient for them.
Udr has had 5 years to change their residential lease agreement to reflect the proper name, so why do you think they don’t?
So they won’t get sued. The only time a tenant finds out the legal name of the apartment complex is if udr sues them! And sure enough, its right smack on the front of the summons. That’s how udr does business.
Wait.. There’s more!
Check out this link to their corporate record again. Note that there is also no address provided for the agent for service of process as required by law.
But udr has no problem including the address for the agent for service of process on its other california dbas:
Udr western residential, inc.
Udr developers, inc.
Let’s just say you’re a tenant at villa venetia apartments, l. P. And you’re actually fortunate enough to figure out the legal name of the apartment complex and you go to the secretary of state website to find the proper place to serve your legal document.
Guess what? You still can’t serve a complaint because udr doesn’t give you the address where to serve it.
Do you know why they do this? Because they want to make it so difficult for a tenant to file suit against them that they just give up. (Until they met me.)
Do you think this is an accident on udr’s part? “woops, we forgot to follow the law?” no way.
And last but not least …
According to california civil code section 1962 (A) (1) (B), udr must include on the face of the residential lease agreement, the name, address and telephone number of:
“an owner of the premises or a person who is authorized to act for and on behalf of the owner for the purpose of service of process and for the purpose of receiving and receipting for all notices and demands.”
The udr residential lease agreement clearly states that the on-site leasing staff is not allowed to take service of process, but it doesn't say who is? Why not? I think by now you know.
So, to sum up, if you live at 2775 mesa verde drive east, costa mesa, california 92626 and your contract states that “villa venetia” is the “landlord/owner, ” then what you have is an invalid contract.
This constitutes a cause of action for fraud (Intentional misrepresentation, concealment and unilateral mistake of fact) as well as the fact that it voids the contract ab initio (Which means from the beginning).
In order for a contract to be valid the parties must be properly defined. “villa venetia” is a non-existent legal entity, therefore it cannot be used to describe “owner/landlord” at this property. Udr had no legal right to use that name.
This set of facts I just described were pointed out to commissioner richard e. Pacheco in four different legal documents on four separate occasions in four different ways and four times in a row, he denied, overruled, chastised and completely ignored them.
At this point I am so angry, that they’re going to have throw me in jail before they’re going to stop me from writing the other 40 lessons of the dirty little secrets udr doesn’t want you to know. By the time i'm finished with them, they won't have a business in orange county.
Stay tuned for lesson #2: how udr’s attorneys, todd brisco and cynthia poer, falsified court documents during these proceedings and got away with it.
Erin k. Baldwin
Tenant advocates of california
(Formerly “tenant advocates of orange county”)
[protected] – call me if I can help.
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