City of Los Angeles: Technically, short term rentals are currently illegal in Los Angeles. ( (Chen vs. Kraft (2016) LA is slow moving but in April 2018 the City Counsel committee approved a measure to allow short term rentals but CAP the number of days that a primary residence can be rented out to 120 days a year. A “qualified host” category may also be included to allow more rental days. Neighbors (or the City) must approve if you want more than 120 days a year of short term rentals.

I love city reports such as this that cost tens of thousands of dollars (or more) to prepare:

Santa Monica: In 2015 Santa Monica passed a law requiring the “host” to also stay in the rental unit. Air BNB sued Santa Monica and in March 2018 the US Federal District Court denied Air BNB’s request for an injunction against the City indicating the City will win. It seems Air BNB has made over $31 million since 2015 in fees from Santa Monica short term rentals!
West Hollywood: In March 2018 West Hollywood banned renters from hosting short term rentals and the homeowners must be on site for at least 4 hours a day.
Pasadena: In January 2018 Pasadena enacted an ordinance to ALLOW short term rentals for 90 days a year and unlimited rentals so long as the host is on the premises. Air BNB must pay a tax and register with Pasadena.
Hermosa Beach, Redondo Beach: No short term rentals are allowed.

In denying a motion to quash an unlawful detainer summons, the trial court may not restrict a defendant’s responsive pleading to an answer. Van Butenschoen v. Flaker; Superior Court of California, County of Los Angeles – filed Oct. 16, 2017 Cite as 2017 S.O.S. 5258 Full text click here

This makes complete sense because the statute says that after denial of a motion to quash the defendant my respond as per law, including filing a demurrer.

The general “extension rule” of CCP 12a which does apply to 3 Day Notices, does NOT apply to exercise of lease options.  In a commercial lease,  the civil procedure rule extending period to perform any lawfully required act past holidays, including Saturday, to next non-holiday did not apply to lease between commercial tenants and landlords, so the tenants’ attempt to exercise lease option was untimely, although last day to exercise option fell on Saturday and tenants attempted to exercise option the following Monday. Continue Reading Code of Civil Procedure § 12a does NOT extend time to exercise a lease option (Gans v. Smull (2003) 111 Cal.App.4th 985

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

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.)

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