Landlords in California Should NOT Accent Rent After the 3 Day Notice Expires! Civil Code 1945.

 

California landlords must not accept rent after the 3 day notice to pay rent or quit expires. Landlords often approach me after having served their own 3 day notice to pay rent or quit. Not only does the notice often have errors, but the landlord then goes on to tell me that the tenant paid partial rent during or after the 3 day notice expired, an the landlord accepted that rent. This is a big mistake.

Unless a landlord does not wish to proceed and file an unlawful detainer (eviction) case against their tenant, the landlord should never accept rent after the 3 day notice to pay rent or quit expires. The tenant has an affirmative defense to a residential eviction case that is based on non-payment of rent if the landlord accepts rent after the three day notice period expires. The acceptance of rent after the 3 day notice period expires effectively waives the tenant’s breach and creates a new tenancy.

Civil Code 1945 states:

If a lessee of real property remains in possession thereof after the expiration of the hiring, and the lessor accepts rent from him, the parties are presumed to have renewed the hiring on the same terms and for the same time, not exceeding one month when the rent is payable monthly, nor in any case one year.

Furthermore, the form “Answer” that tenants use to fight an eviction case states as an affirmative defense:

Plaintiff accepted rent from defendant to cover a period of time after the date the notice to quit expired.

In short, landlords should NOT accept rent from a tenant after the 3 day notice to pay rent or quit expires. To do so creates several problems for the landlord and the landlord is likely to lose the eviction case and have to start over again from the beginning.

Read David Piotrowski’s “Landlord Best Practices and Eviction Overview” book. If you need help with an eviction in Southern California, contact us today. Also, be sure to check out our Yelp reviews!

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Civil Code 1962: Furnishing a Copy of the Rental Agreement to Your Tenant

 

California Civil Code 1962 states that a landlord must provide a copy of the rental agreement or lease to the tenant within 15 days of its execution by the tenant. Once each calendar year thereafter, upon request by the tenant, the owner or the owner’s agent shall provide an additional copy to the tenant within 15 days. If the owner or owner’s agent does not possess the rental agreement or lease or a copy of it, Civil Code 1962 instead requires the owner or owner’s agent to furnish the tenant with a written statement stating the following:

The name, telephone number, and usual street address at which personal service may be effected, where and how rent payments are to be made, and the form or forms in which rent payments are to be made.

Civil Code 1962 also specifies that if the rental agreement is an oral agreement (not recommended!), the owner or owner’s agent shall furnish the tenant, within 15 days of the agreement, a written statement containing the above information.

Civil Code 1962 requires this information to be kept current and the tenant must be notified when there is a change in ownership. A new owner may not initiate eviction proceedings against a tenant based on non-payment of rent without first complying with these rules.

Need help evicting a tenant? Contact the Law Office of David Piotrowski for assistance.

Click here for more eviction blog posts.

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Compelling Reasons to Repeal Rent Control in Los Angeles

 

The purpose of this article will be to briefly outline why rent control is bad for Los Angeles residents and provide compelling reasons why rent control in Los Angeles should be repealed.

I have previously discussed rent control in Los Angeles, including posting the rent control law (pdf), permissible grounds for eviction under LA rent control (because you cannot evict a rent-controlled tenant without a valid, enumerated reason), Los Angeles rent control exemptions (which outlines the type of properties that are exempt from the rent control laws), eviction prerequisites to Los Angeles rent control, and many more rent control articles.

Without further ado, here are several compelling reasons why rent control in Los Angeles ought to be repealed.

  • Investors and property owners don’t want to invest in Los Angeles properties because their investment return is severely limited. Rent control only allows rents to be increased by a certain amount each year, which is sometimes grossly disproportionate to market values. Why would an investor want to purchase a rent controlled property where his return is severally limited? While the city of Los Angeles continues to gain more tenants, there are less rentals available for rent because owners don’t want to be restricted by rent control laws.
  • Because owners are restricted on revenues and rent that they can charge, the amount of funds that owners can use for such things as maintenance and repairs is limited. Landlords who otherwise would spend on improvements and upgrades are forced not to do so or face losing money because they are forced to keep rents low. This also lowers the value of the buildings and makes the property less attractive to buyers.
  • Lower property values attributed to Los Angeles rent control laws means lower tax revenue for the government.
  • Rent control is meant to take power away from landlords and owners. For example, a landlord cannot evict a tenant who is on a month-to-month agreement, unless the tenant falls into one of several “just-cause” reasons for eviction, many of which requires the landlord to pay the tenant several thousand dollars to move. Under rent control laws, if a landlord wants to move into his property, or simply doesn’t wish to rent the unit anymore, he must first pay the tenant several thousand dollars (which could be higher than $19,000.00). In some cases, if a landlord wants to move into the property himself, but the tenant is elderly or disabled and has lived in the property for more than 10 years, the tenant is essentially “protected” and cannot be evicted at all. A side effect is that this makes the value of the property decrease and makes it increasingly difficult to buy or sell. Why would a prospective buyer want to purchase a property that has a tenant in it at a very low rent and who cannot be evicted?
  • Instead of letting free markets decide on what the rent will be, in many cases, rent control dictates how much rent a landlord can charge a tenant and by how much the rent can be raised. In a free market economy, supply and demand is supposed to make this decision. Not government regulation.
  • Extensive rent control laws must be managed and governed. By its very nature, this means more government intervention and bureaucracy. The rental units must be registered. There needs to be a body to keep track of rental units, respond to complaints and alleged violations, manage tenant relocations, and more. The money for such a large bureaucratic government agency comes from funds collected from landlords/owners and tax dollars paid by residents of Los Angeles.

For more rent control, eviction, and other articles for Los Angeles landlords, keep reading this blog. Read David Piotrowski’s “Landlord Best Practices and Eviction Overview” book. If you need help with an eviction in Los Angeles, contact us today.

*Ideas from this article were obtained from this CAR handbook.

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Collecting on a Money Judgment in an Unlawful Detainer (Eviction) in California

 

OK. You’ve won your eviction case in court and you recovered possession of your rental property through a Writ of Possession. You also obtained a money judgment worth several thousand dollars against your ex-tenant, but the ex-tenant hasn’t been forthcoming in paying what is owed to you. You want to collect on this money judgment in your unlawful detainer (eviction) case! If this or something similar sounds like your situation, read on…

Normally, landlords will seek possession of the property first and foremost. After receiving possession, landlords may decide to attempt collecting on the money judgment. Collecting on a money judgment in an unlawful detainer (eviction) in California can be laborious and cumbersome, with many rules and pitfalls for the landlord.

Collecting on a money judgment in an unlawful detainer (eviction) in California involves many steps that we can assist you with. Depending on the facts of your case, we may elect to file and record an abstract of judgment. We may decide to do a bank levy. A bank levy notifies the ex-tenant’s bank to freeze the bank account and to pay the money in the account to you to satisfy the debt. We may also decide to garnish the ex-tenant’s wages. This means we would go to the ex-tenants employer and direct the employer to pay a portion of the ex-tenants wages to you to satisfy the judgment. An abstract of judgment, bank levy, and wage garnishment are just three of the possible collections methods we utilize to help you collect on your unlawful detainer (eviction) money judgment.

If you have received a money judgment against your ex-tenant and you want to attempt to collect on that money judgment, contact us. We offer a free consultation. In many instances, we don’t get paid unless we are able to collect money from your ex-tenant.

Read David Piotrowski’s “Landlord Best Practices and Eviction Overview” book. If you need help with an eviction in Southern California, contact us today. Also, be sure to check out our Yelp reviews!

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Request for Admission in California Unlawful Detainer

 

Requests for admission in California unlawful detainer cases are useful tools for landlords wishing to narrow down the case and to help prepare for the eviction unlawful detainer trial. A request for admission in a California unlawful detainer asks the other party (in this case, the tenant), to admit the genuineness of specified documents or of certain facts. For example, a landlord can ask the tenant to admit that the tenant received the termination notice. The landlord can also ask the tenant to admit to subleasing. In the former example, a tenant who admits receiving the 3 day notice may alleviate the need to have the process server testify at trial. In the latter example, if the eviction is based on illegal subleasing, and the tenant admits to the illegal subleasing, it makes the landlord’s case that much easier.

Notwithstanding the merits of requests for admission in California unlawful detainer cases, oftentimes landlords will choose not to serve requests for admissions on the tenant because of the cost and time involved.

If a landlord sends a tenant a request for admission in California and the tenant fails to answer the request for admission, the landlord can request a court order to have the unanswered questions deemed admitted. The court needs to grant the motion unless a response is giving before the hearing on the motion. Furthermore, a monetary sanction must be imposed on the tenant if they fail to serve a timely response, unless the tenant acted with substantial justification or proves to the court that they had a good reason for not serving the response on time.

In addition, if the tenant denies a request for admission and the landlord later proves the genuiness of the document or the truth of the matter, the landlord can ask the court for an award of reasonable expenses incurred in making the proof, including attorney fees.

Read David Piotrowski’s “Landlord Best Practices and Eviction Overview” book. If you need help with an eviction in Southern California, contact us today. Also, be sure to check out our Yelp reviews!

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