Legal Q&A: Tenant’s children damaged wall in home


Question: Must three-day notices to pay rent or quit be served to all delinquent tenants at the same time? We manage a large apartment community and sometimes have a multiple of notices to serve.

Answer: California law does not require that you serve three-day notices to all delinquent residents at the same time. It is a good idea to do so, however, in order to avoid the appearance of favoritism or discriminatory conduct.

Question: Our tenants have a one-year lease. They gave me a 30-day notice of intent to vacate two months short of the one-year lease expiration. What should I do?c

Answer: You should let them know in writing that a 30-day notice has no legal effect on their obligations under the lease and they remain liable for the rent until the lease expires or the date you are able to relet the premises, (once they vacate you have to use due diligence to relet), whichever comes first.

Ted Kimball Kimball, Tirey & St. John LLP

Ted Kimball
Kimball, Tirey & St. John LLP

Question: Our tenant’s children put a 6-inch hole in a plaster wall of the house they are renting. The tenant readily admitted that the children “might have been punching the wall a little.” What are our legal options?

Answer: You can serve a three-day notice to perform conditions and covenants or quit to require the tenant to pay for the repairs to the wall. If they do not comply with the notice, you should prevail in an eviction.

Kimball, Tirey & St. John LLP is a full service real estate law firm representing residential and commercial property owners and managers. This article is for general information purposes only. Laws may have changed since this article was published. Before acting, be sure to receive legal advice from our office. If you have questions, please contact your local KTS office. For contact information, please visit our website: For past Legal Alerts, Questions & Answers, and Legal Articles, please consult the resource library section of our website.

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