Asian Americans Advancing Justice - LA

Building upon the legacy of the Asian Pacific American Legal Center

Mr. Li Avoids Unfair Charges From Unsafe Housing

Mr. Li, a low-income, limited English speaking middle-aged Chinese immigrant, contacted APALC after his landlord filed a lawsuit alleging Mr. Li needed to move out immediately and owed $1,650 in back rent.
Mr. Li had been given only a three-day notice to pay rent or move out before he was sued.

After interviewing Mr. Li, APALC housing attorneys discovered that Mr. Li resided in a single family home, where the owner had rented individual rooms to several tenants, including Mr. Li.  The conversion of the house included faulty structural changes to the interior of the house that created a hazardous living situation for all the tenants.  In addition, Mr. Li alleged that he had recently been assaulted by the owner's relative, which occurred in front of the owner.  He was head butted by the owner’s relative, resulting in his losing his two front teeth.  Mr. Li understandably felt that he shouldn't have to pay for a room in a house that was unsafe, especially after being assaulted.  He wanted nothing more than to move off the property. 

APALC provided Mr. Li with the necessary information to sue the owner and his relative for the physical assault.  APALC then contacted the owner's attorney to negotiate a settlement of the eviction action.  The owner's attorney denied that Mr. Li was attacked or failed to acknowledge defects in the house.  After much negotiation, APALC’s housing attorneys were able to obtain almost two months for Mr. Li to vacate the room and convinced the owner's attorney to waive all unpaid rent .  In the end, APALC was able to save Mr. Li $2,425.00, and following Mr. Li's move out, had the case successfully dismissed.

Area of Work: 


Disaster Relief Assistance for Immigrants (DRAI)
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Monday - Friday

For more information or to apply to DRAI, please call: 

Chinese (Mandarin/Cantonese)  (213) 241-8872
Khmer  (213) 241-8877
Korean  (213) 241-8873
Tagalog  (213) 241-8874
Thai  (213) 241-8875
Vietnamese  (213) 241-8876
English/Other, Non-Spanish  (213) 241-8880
Spanish/English** (CARECEN)  (213) 315-2659
Spanish/English** (CHIRLA)  (213) 201-8700
 (213) 395-9547

*This list will continue to expand.
** Spanish assistance available through CARECEN & CHIRLA.
***We are experiencing heavier call volume than usual. We highly encourage you to call your native language phone line, the wait time may be shorter. 

Our mission is to advocate for civil rights, provide legal services and education, and build coalitions to positively influence and impact Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders and to create a more equitable and harmonious society.