LA and Adjacent Communities Lis if in rent controlWhile most rental properties in California are NOT under rent control, many cities have rent control ordinances that state two or more dwelling units, including condos, on a lot if built before a certain date are under rent control.  For example, Los Angeles’s cut off date for rent control is October 1, 1978, Santa Monica is April 10, 1979, West Hollywood is July 1, 1979 (houses are included if the same tenant has there since January 1, 1996).  Check here if in Los Angeles http://zimas.lacity.org/

Condos if in a rent control jurisdiction have limited “controls”.  Meaning, no “price controls” as to the rental  amount, but “eviction controls” still apply.  (CC §1954.50, et seq.)  Yes,  you can remove the tenant for cause, e.g. non payment of rent, unauthorized pet or occupant no problem, just start the eviction.  Yes, you can serve a 30 day notice if the rent increase is less than 10% or a 60 day notice if more than 10% .  (See Civil Code §827)  (Be careful, the 10% is a cumulative number and if you mailed the notice to change terms of tenancy  you need to add 5 days for mailing so the notice is effective 35/65 days after mailing.)

Note: the issues differ when the tenancy is terminated for no cause, e.g. a 30/60 day notice per CC §1946.1).

foreclosure_evictionA buyer purchasing after a foreclosure sale, can serve a notice to quit to a tenant/former owner before recording the deed, e.g. before title is “perfected”.  Citing Code of Civil Procedure § 1161a and U.S. Financial, L.P. v. McLitus (2016) 6 Cal.App.5th Supp. 1, the Court of Appeal affirmed, stating: “Here we reject the occupant’s claim that the notice to quit is premature, and hold that Code of Civil Procedure section 1161a does not require that title be recorded before the notice to quit is served.” (Dr. Leevil, LLC v. Westlake Health Care Center (Cal. App. 2nd Dist., Div. 6,  2017) 9 Cal.App.5th 450.) http://www.courts.ca.gov/opinions/documents/B266931.DOC

no DogsMost landlords will have a tenant requesting a “service” or “companion” animal and show a vague note from a doctor supporting this request.  This is an area where the unwary landlord can be bitten pretty hard, but here is an idea which may work, even if it may be almost impossible to get the DA or Police to file an action.  Cite Penal Code §365.7 to the tenant and say if he is misrepresenting that his dog is a Licensed or qualified service animal, then you will bring an action against him citing this statute. Continue Reading Fighting Phony Service Animal Requests (Penal Code §365.7)

Don't pick fight with landlordIt’s been a while, but today I heard of a renegade landlord doing self help, so here is my warning to landlords who are fed up with their tenant.  Stop, call a lawyer or the police before taking the laws into your own hands or risk liability and a large lawsuit.  (See Code of Civil Procedure §789.3)  More below… Continue Reading Illegal Evictions and Other Landlord No No’s (Criminal and Civil Liability) (CCP §789.3)

marijuana_legal_gavel_620x350Medical and probably soon recreational marijuana is going to be a hot box for landlords and tenants.  Medical marijuana is also NOT a basis nor does it create “civil rights” for residential tenants to smoke in their apartments!!  Health and Safety Code §11362.5 (Compassionate Use Act of 1996 “CUA”) allows medical marijuana to be purchased, possessed and used. There are many levels and issues, but here is a sampler.  This is one confusing, vague, and evolving area of law and how it impacts employers and landlords.  Make sure to check current law both state, national and local (city), as all laws apply. Continue Reading Marijuana Laws and Landlord-Tenant Rights

terminate-tenant-lease-end-contractIf a tenant or member of the household was a victim of an act of domestic violence, sexual assault, stalking, elder abuse or human trafficking,  the tenant can terminate the tenancy with 14 days written notice to the landlord. Continue Reading Tenant can terminate tenancy with 14 days notice if victim of domestic, sexual or elder abuse (Civil Code §1946.7

Got-Mold-Removal-MiamiA landlord is not obligated to repair mold problems until:   1) until he or she has notice of it or 2) if the tenant fails to keep the property clean and sanitary and thereby substantially contributes to the existence of the mold.  Also, for a building, or portion thereof, to be declared substandard by virtue of mold, it must be visible mold growth, as determined by a health officer or a code enforcement officer, which endangers the health of the occupants. If the presence of mold is minor and found on surfaces that can accumulate moisture as part of their proper and intended use would not constitute a substandard condition. Continue Reading Mold is now the Tenant’s (initial problem)! (Civil Code §1941.7, Health and Safety Code §§17920, 17920.3)

criminal shooting anotherThis is crazy.

The HUD secretary Julián Castro, is expected to announce guidance interpreting of how the fair housing law applies to policies that exclude people with criminal records. The rules will say that landlords must distinguish between arrests and convictions and cannot use an arrest to ban applicants. In the case of applicants with convictions, property owners must prove that the exclusion is justified and consider factors like the nature and severity of the crime in assessing prospective tenants before excluding someone. Continue Reading Blanket bans on renting to criminals ILLEGAL!!