Question: I have an ongoing unlawful detainer against one of my tenants, but he is continuing to create a disturbance at the property. Is there any way that the unlawful detainer can be expedited? Answer: Unfortunately, no. However, a restraining order may be available in extreme cases. If the tenant is engaging in a serious or criminal disturbance, call the police.
Question: I had to go through an eviction to regain possession of one of my rentals. I also received a judgment for the rent, court costs and my attorneys’ fees. How can I collect this judgment? Do I have to go back to court? Answer: The law provides for a variety of ways to collect the judgment. Wage garnishments, bank levys, attachment of personal property and judgment debtor examinations are formal ways to collect monetary judgments. Of those listed, a bank levy is the most effective way to collect a judgment. Receiving accurate information on the rental application allows optimal… Read More
Question: The lease for one of my tenants expires at the end of this month. He told me to take the month’s rent out of his security deposit because he would leave the apartment clean and in good repair. He told me since it is his deposit, he has the right to deduct rent out of the deposit. What should I do? Answer: California law requires the owner or manager to account for the use of the deposit no later than 21 days from the date the tenant vacated the unit. Since the tenant has failed to pay rent, a… Read More
Question: I have a tenant who is on a long-term lease. Recently, however, the tenant brought in a roommate and has been out of town for over 30 days. I am concerned that the roommate intends on staying and that my original tenant may have moved out for good. What are my legal options? Answer: If you have a clause in your lease which prohibits the assignment or sublet of your lease agreement, you do not have to consent to the roommate. You could ask the roommate to fill out an application to rent and thereby identify who the roommate… Read More
Question: After a lease expires and it is month-to-month, how much notice must a tenant give me in order to legally terminate the lease? He says one week. Is this true? Answer: In California, 30-days written notice is required to terminate a month-to-month tenancy and can be served by either party at any time during the tenancy. If all of the occupants have been in possession for one year or longer, the landlord must serve a 60-day notice.
Question: Do I have to pay a tenant interest on his security deposit? Answer: There are no state laws requiring that interest be paid on the tenant’s security deposit. However, some rent control ordinances and/or other local ordinances do require interest to be paid. Question: Our tenants have just informed us via telephone that their rent check will bounce, they don’t plan to cover it, and they intend to vacate the premises by the end of this month. They want us to use the majority of their security deposit as last month’s rent. If we don’t give a three-day notice… Read More
To help rental housing professionals prepare for the new year, the California Apartment Association has updated all its rental forms and instruction sheets. The association also has published a pair of new forms for members to use in 2019. CAA’s Compliance Committee made these changes based on new laws, member requests and questions submitted through CAA’s Landlord Helpline. All new and revised forms are accessible through our rental forms page. Here is a list of the forms with major revisions, as well as the newly published forms: Forms 2.0/2.1: Rental/Lease Agreement (Updated): This form was revised to allow third-party rent… Read More
Question: I have a maintenance worker who was terminated and was given seven days to vacate his apartment. He has not left, and I would like to know if I need to send him through the eviction process or if there is anything else I can do to get him out. Ted Kimball Kimball, Tirey & St. John LLP Answer: You need to send him through the eviction process. If he was purely an employee, and not paying rent, you can immediately file the unlawful detainer action.
Question: I had a tenant move out several months ago. I returned $600 of his $1,000 deposit. He disputes all but $50 of the deductions and has threatened to sue me. He also has not cashed the refund check. How long does he have to sue me? Ted Kimball Kimball, Tirey & St. John LLP Answer: In California, the statute of limitations determines the time that you must bring suit to legally enforce a claim. For written agreements, it is four years from the time of the breach. For oral agreements, the statute of limitations is two years from the time of the… Read More