Ariana's Extremely Petty Eviction Defense Fund

Here is my story:

Money is tight, so I decided to get a roommate for the summer to off-set rent costs. I found a guy who, five years ago, lived in another unit with my landlord's sister. "Great," I thought, "my landlord is already familiar with him, I'm familiar with the guy, it's perfect."

I had the guy pay me and prepared for his arrival. The day after he moved in, I told my landlord I had found a roommate to help out financially to help with rent costs, since I was behind for this month. When he found out who the roommate was, he replied "I can't approve that guy. Can you find someone who isn't my sister's ex?" 
They broke up five years ago.

20 minutes after receiving this email, my landlord marched over with an eviction notice and banged on my door. I asked what the problem was, if my new roommate was dangerous or something. He said no, he was "a bad tenant and a bummer." He did not say specifically anything that would actually legally indicate why he was a bad tenant. It was clear he simply didn't like him. He said it was grounds for termination that I had gotten a roommate without his approval, and I had to pay rent by Monday or I would get evicted. This all happened within an hour.

I have lived at this residence for 6 years. I know I'm an excellent tenant. I've had to pay a late rent fee once the entire time I've lived here, which was resolved without a problem. My landlord has actually always been pretty reasonable. There haven't been any other issues at all. I thought I was being responsible by getting a roommate so that I didn't fall into a pattern of lateness, and I figured I was making his life easier by getting someone he knew. So this eviction appears to be sparked entirely by my landlord's territorial feelings about his sister's ex. 

The roommate was of course surprised, completely humiliated, and angry. He didn't want to stay in the room, and left that night. I now owe *him* $2000 because he paid for the room already, which I used to pay rent LAST month, thinking things would just roll over. I also have to pay my landlord $2000 for rent by Monday or quit. 

It's a really bad, petty situation. I thought I was making a responsible choice that would be easy on everyone involved. It's just an insane and discriminatory reason to just make two people homeless.

I really do not want to be evicted. I love my home and I feel like I'm taking a very real L for reasons that don't seem logical at all. But legally I do need to pay my rent. I now feel thrown off for next month as well, since I want to prioritize paying back the roommate, who wasn't expecting this either.

I would so appreciate anything you might have to offer, and I hope I never have to do this again. Thanks for listening and for your support.

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Ariana Lenarsky 
Los Angeles, CA
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