Ask Finney: Mechanics lien, heater issues, California redemption value

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- 7 On Your Side's Consumer Expert Michael Finney answers your consumer questions.

Question 1:

Shaneel asks: I hired a flooring company to install wood, but did not do the job as I expected. Now, they're planning to file a mechanics lien on my house. What's the best course of action?

Answer 1:

Were your expectations in a written contract? Was the work to usual standards? If the floors show poor workmanship, then you should take photos and document the issues, then report the flooring company to the Contractors State License Board. Move fast. All of this is best taken care of before a mechanics lien is filed. In case you are unfamiliar, a mechanics lien keeps a house from being sold or refinanced until the lien holder, in which case is the flooring company, is paid.

Here is a link to more information on a Mechanics Lien.

Question 2:

Roger asks: I have been living in my apartment for six years and my heater does not provide much heat as it used to. The landlord has not repaired or replaced it yet.

Answer 2:

You need to tell your landlord that it is state law they need to keep your rental unit safe and livable. A heater is a basic necessity, and should be working properly.
Now let's talk about the reality. If you are in a rent controlled unit or just paying below market rate, and the heater works, be careful with your request. Good luck, Roger.

Question 3:

Rick from San Francisco asks: How do I get back those coin values from the bottles and cans I purchase?

Answer 3:

It's known as the California Redemption Value, and you can get money back by visiting a recycling center. There are more than 1,500 of them, so there is one near you. Most containers other than milk, wine, and distilled spirits qualify. You get ten cents for containers 24 ounces and larger. A nickel for smaller bottles and cans.
To make it easy for you, here is a link to Cal Recycle's website.
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