Team 10: Man claims apartment management didn't disclose possible hazards

Says he refuses to sign asbestos, lead addendums
Posted at 3:43 PM, Jul 26, 2016
and last updated 2016-07-26 20:24:27-04

SAN DIEGO - A man is fighting to get his money back and a lease torn up after he said the apartment he signed a lease for contained asbestos and lead paint.

David Pendola dreamed about taking evening walks on the beach. Early this month, he acted on those dreams, signing a lease at a 500-unit apartment complex in Pacific Beach.

He only lived there for one night.

Pendola called Team 10, claiming that after he signed the lease and paid his deposit and rent, he got a big surprise.

"After I gave them my money orders and the signed lease, they gave me an addendum, stating the property had asbestos and wanting me to waive my right that if I was to get sick in the future that I couldn’t hold them liable for asbestos. They also gave me another addendum stating that the building had lead paint," Pendola told Team 10.

Pendola showed Team 10 the lease, including the asbestos and lead paint addendums, which he dated but did not sign.

"I explained to the manager that I have severe lung trouble and I have severe allergies, and medically, I cannot live in a building with asbestos or lead paint, and she refused to give the money back," said Pendola.

Pendola claimed the manager also told him she would send him monthly invoices for the remainder of the lease.

Team 10 called the management office of the Bay Pointe Apartments and the woman whose name was on the lease answered. She first told us we needed to speak to a manager. The call was disconnected. When we called back, she said, "We have no comment."

Two days later, Team 10 went to the complex to get answers. This time, Team 10 was told Pendola would get a full refund, although apartment management claims they did nothing wrong.

Another manager with direct knowledge of the issue called Team 10 to say "no errors were made on our part."

Jacqueline Bishop stated the lead paint and asbestos disclosures are all part of the same lease packet.

"He (Pendola) didn't read through it," she added.

Bishop admitted the leasing agent didn't notice Pendola didn't sign the disclosure forms.

California's Tenant and Landlord Rights Handbook says landlords must disclose the presence of lead-based paint in older buildings before the lease is finalized. It is recommended that they also disclose asbestos, although that is not required.

The disclosure does not mean that hazardous chemicals exist, but that there is the possibility they could exist on the premises.

Before you sign a lease, it's a good idea to read the Tenant and Landlord Bill of Rights.