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

In an unpublished case, Durack v. Wang, B276086,  on September 27, 2017 the Court stated that Civil Code 1717 does NOT apply in an action based upon CC&R’s so attorney’s fees can be awarded against a party who voluntarily dismissed an action!  In this case Plaintiffs  brought an action against their condominium homeowners association and several individual defendants and settled as to all defendants but one, then voluntarily dismissed their action against the hold-out defendant.   Continue Reading Attorney’s fees Awarded on a Voluntarily Dismissed Case based on CC&R’s — Civil Code 5975(c)


The Courts may exclude  evidence as a sanction as part of its  inherent power to exclude evidence to cure violation of invasion of privacy and harassment (see Continental Ins. Co. v. Superior Court (1995) 32 Cal.App.4th 94, 107-108)  This is based upon the concept that litigation abuse shall not be tolerated.  This case was about unethical ex parte communications with a current employee of a represented party (Rule 2-100). Continue Reading Evidence Exclusion as punishment for invasion of privacy, ethical violations or pretty much anything

respa-3California law allows commission splits and finders fees to be paid, but under the Federal Real Estate Settlement procedures Act (RESPA) they may not be legal.  If your seller or buyer wants you to split the broker’s commission with them, that may not be legal unless the seller/buyer is also a real estate licensee.    A finder can only introduce the parties, a finder cannot be involved in showing the property or advising or negotiating any terms.  (See also 78 Ops Cal Atty Gen 71)

Now if you are dealing with a single family house or up to 4 units, RESPA kicks in if a federally insured mortgage is involved (and usually they are).  RESPA prohibits all consideration if is in exchange for referral relating to the real estate settlement.  Now you need to look at what is a real estate settlement which is basically anything that leads to an escrow closing with a federally insured loan.  (12 USC 2607(a),  12 USC 2603(3))  RESPA 100% bars finder’s fees, but between brokers, referral fees are allowed.

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.)

I love Federal Court Judges.  Attached are actual court orders including an order striking “dreck”, and an Oklahoma District Court Judge lamenting that to attorneys acted as “schmucks” and the Court stated “This case makes me lament the demise of dueling.”   (Note the Court misspelled the word dueling, but I wouldn’t mention that to the Judge!  Click here: Yiddish in the Law for Web