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New tool helps California tenants report issues with their rental units

The Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment developed the online tenant tool to help tenants document repair requests

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — A Sacramento community organization has launched a new documentation tool for tenants to document and report issues with their rental units. 

The Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment (ACCE) says the new Tenant Self-Check Tool is designed to help combat the rise of retaliatory evictions or landlord harassment as a result of maintenance requests.

"We tried to make it as easy as possible for people to use," said organizer Monica Madrid.

Madrid was demonstrating the tool at the apartment of Hirly Morgado, who has lived in a South Sacramento unit since September 2020 with her husband and three children.

Morgado said the home has been infested with cockroaches since the day they moved in. Her husband woke up to a cockroach bite days ago.

At a time when ACCE says tenants are vulnerable to retaliatory evictions, the new tool gives them an easy way to document issues, sending a copy directly to code enforcement and ACCE for follow-up.

Tenants complete a checklist, upload photos, and send the form by email.

"We need to be taking a look at how we can help protect people that are vulnerable," said Caity Maple, who is running for city council in Sacramento's newly drawn district five. 

"That’s the power of technology like this in these groups, is they come in and they help you know what your rights are and fight back if something is happening to you," Maple said.

While the Morgados have raised the cockroach infestation with apartment management, they say there hasn't been any action. They hope this new reporting tool will help them convince management to take action. 

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