Unlawful Detainer Cases Get Priority in California Courts – CCP 1179a

 

CCP 1179a (aka California Code of Civil Procedure section 1179a) gives priority to eviction cases (formally known as a court case called an “Unlawful Detainer”) because of the importance of allowing property owners to regain possession of their property in a summary fashion.

CCP 1179a reads:

In all proceedings brought to recover the possession of real property pursuant to the provisions of this chapter all courts, wherein such actions are or may hereafter be pending, shall give such actions precedence over all other civil actions therein, except actions to which special precedence is given by law, in the matter of the setting the same for hearing or trial, and in hearing the same, to the end that all such actions shall be quickly heard and determined.

Because unlawful detainer cases receive priority under CCP 1179a, the time to take certain steps are much more abbreviated compared to other non-priority cases. For example, the time to respond to a summons/complaint in a non-priority case is 30 days, while the time to respond to an unlawful detainer case is only 5 days if the tenant is served personally. Additionally, unlawful detainer cases are limited in nature to possession of the property and related issues such as past-due rent. Other disputes would need to be raised in a separate lawsuit and would not receive priority.

Because of the summary nature of unlawful detainer eviction cases under CCP 1179a, the courts are supposed to schedule a trial in an unlawful detainer case not more than 20 days after the request for trial setting is filed (CCP 1170.5(a)). In reality, though, especially in many Los Angeles county courts, the court will schedule a trial for longer than 20 days after the trial settling request is submitted due to backlogs. (For example, just recently, it took the Lancaster court over 30 days for the trial date from the time the trial request was submitted.)

The Law Office of David Piotrowski can assist landlords with unlawful detainer eviction cases. We work hard to make your case proceed as quickly as possible.

Be sure to check out our reviews! We look forward to serving you. We offer a free consultation on most cases.

Posted in Code of Civil Procedure 1179a | Tagged , , , | Comments Off on Unlawful Detainer Cases Get Priority in California Courts – CCP 1179a

California Bed Bug Addendum to Rental Agreement (AB 551, CC 1954.603)

 

Bed bug addendum, Civil Code 1954.603AB 551 changed California law and imposed additional requirements on landlords to disclose more information on bed bugs when renting property to tenants. The new laws become effective on July 1, 2017 for new tenants, and will become effective on January 1, 2018 for existing tenants.

While the new law requires more than just providing the tenant with a bed bug notice, this blog post is limited to the bed bug notice only as required under the new California Civil Code 1954.603.

For new tenants, the landlord must make the disclosures required by Civil Code 1954.603 beginning on July 1, 2017. For existing tenants, landlords must make the disclosure by January 1, 2018.

Here’s what the new Civil Code 1954.603 says:

1954.603.

On and after July 1, 2017, prior to creating a new tenancy for a dwelling unit, a landlord shall provide a written notice to the prospective tenant as provided in this section. This notice shall be provided to all other tenants by January 1, 2018. The notice shall be in at least 10-point type and shall include, but is not limited to, the following:

(a) General information about bed bug identification, behavior and biology, the importance of cooperation for prevention and treatment, and the importance of and for prompt written reporting of suspected infestations to the landlord. The information shall be in substantially the following form:

Information about Bed Bugs

Bed bug Appearance: Bed bugs have six legs. Adult bed bugs have flat bodies about 1/4 of an inch in length. Their color can vary from red and brown to copper colored. Young bed bugs are very small. Their bodies are about 1/16of an inch in length. They have almost no color. When a bed bug feeds, its body swells, may lengthen, and becomes bright red, sometimes making it appear to be a different insect. Bed bugs do not fly. They can either crawl or be carried from place to place on objects, people, or animals. Bed bugs can be hard to find and identify because they are tiny and try to stay hidden.

Life Cycle and Reproduction: An average bed bug lives for about 10 months. Female bed bugs lay one to five eggs per day. Bed bugs grow to full adulthood in about 21 days. Bed bugs can survive for months without feeding

Bed bug Bites: Because bed bugs usually feed at night, most people are bitten in their sleep and do not realize they were bitten. A person’s reaction to insect bites is an immune response and so varies from person to person. Sometimes the red welts caused by the bites will not be noticed until many days after a person was bitten, if at all

Common signs and symptoms of a possible bed bug infestation:

  •  Small red to reddish brown fecal spots on mattresses, box springs, bed frames, mattresses, linens, upholstery, or walls.
  • Molted bed bug skins, white, sticky eggs, or empty eggshells.
  • Very heavily infested areas may have a characteristically sweet odor.
  • Red, itchy bite marks, especially on the legs, arms, and other body parts exposed while sleeping. However, some people do not show bed bug lesions on their bodies even though bed bugs may have fed on them.

For more information, see the Internet Web sites of the United States Environmental Protection Agency and the National Pest Management Association.

(b) The procedure to report suspected infestations to the landlord.

The California Residential Lease provided by our firm has the bed bug language incorporated into it already. We also have a bed bug addendum available for purchase for $50. Contact us to order.

The Law Office of David Piotrowski can assist landlords with drafting rental agreements. We also represent landlords with eviction cases in California.

Be sure to check out our reviews! We look forward to serving you. We offer a free consultation on most cases.

Posted in Evictions | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on California Bed Bug Addendum to Rental Agreement (AB 551, CC 1954.603)

Tenant Rental Application Screening Fees in California

 

Landlords often charge a tenant rental application screening fee. These tenant rental application screening fees are legal when handled properly in California.

California Civil Code 1950.6(a) states, in relevant part, “when a landlord or his or her agent receives a request to rent a residential property from an applicant, the landlord or his or her agent may charge that applicant an application screening fee to cover the costs of obtaining information about the applicant.”

There are limits to how much a landlord may charge for the tenant rental application screening fee, however. The screening fee “shall not be greater than the actual out-of-pocket costs of gathering information concerning the applicant, including, but not limited to, the cost of using a tenant screening service or a consumer credit reporting service, and the reasonable value of time spent by the landlord or his or her agent in obtaining information on the applicant.” Civil Code 1950.6(b).

Unless the tenant agrees in writing, “a landlord or his or her agent may not charge an applicant an application screening fee when he or she knows or should have known that no rental unit is available at that time or will be available within a reasonable period of time.” Civil Code 1950.6(c).

Furthermore, the landlord or his or her agent shall provide, personally, or by mail, the applicant with a receipt for the fee paid by the applicant, which receipt shall itemize the out-of-pocket expenses and time spent by the landlord or his or her agent to obtain and process the information about the applicant. If the landlord or his or her agent does not perform a personal reference check or does not obtain a consumer credit report, the landlord or his or her agent shall return any amount of the screening fee that is not used for the purposes authorized by this section to the applicant. If an application screening fee has been paid by the applicant and if requested by the applicant, the landlord or his or her agent shall provide a copy of the consumer credit report to the applicant who is the subject of that report. Civil Code 1950.6 (d)(e)(f).

The tenant application screening fee is not part of the security deposit.

As of 2017, the maximum amount that a landlord may charge for a tenant application screening fee is $47.72. But the amount charged to the tenant must comply with the above provisions. The amount changes yearly, so be sure to check current maximums.

The Law Office of David Piotrowski can assist landlords with drafting rental agreements. We also represent landlords with eviction cases in California. Contact us today.

Be sure to check out our reviews! We look forward to serving you. We offer a free consultation on most cases.

Posted in Evictions | Tagged , , , , , | Comments Off on Tenant Rental Application Screening Fees in California

Los Angeles Eviction Attorney for Landlords

 

We only represent landlords with eviction cases!

Looking for a Los Angeles eviction (unlawful detainer) lawyer who represents landlords exclusively? You’ve come to the right place. The Law Office of David Piotrowski only represents landlords with Los Angeles unlawful detainer eviction cases.

There are way too many tenant attorneys in Los Angeles fighting against the landlord. The laws (especially Los Angeles rent control laws) are already heavily biased against the landlord. The landlord needs an attorney that represents their interests and seeks to evict their “bad” tenants. That is where we step in. We are not afraid to fight against the big “non-profit” and low cost tenant firms in Los Angeles. We have successfully fought against these big tenant firms in both non-jury and jury trials and have routinely won. Aggressive tenant firms will often demand jury trials. We know the games they play. We will fight back on behalf of the landlord. If the tenant won’t agree to settle the case ahead of trial, we will take the case all the way through the jury trial if needed.

We represent landlords only throughout Los Angeles county in all of the Los Angeles unlawful detainer courts. We also represent only landlords in Ventura county, Santa Barbara county, and Orange County.

Look no further for a landlord attorney. Contact us today!

The Law Office of David Piotrowski can assist landlords with drafting and serving an unlawful detainer eviction action on a tenant. If you need help with an eviction in California, contact us today. We represent landlords only with eviction cases.

Be sure to check out our reviews! We look forward to serving you. We offer a free consultation on most cases.

Posted in Evictions, Los Angeles Rent Control | Tagged , , , , , , | Comments Off on Los Angeles Eviction Attorney for Landlords

Waiver and Estoppel as a California Tenant Defense to an Eviction Case

 

One of the defenses that California tenants often raise when a landlord files an unlawful detainer (eviction) case is known as “waiver” and “estoppel.” The difference between waiver and estoppel is not entirely clear. In the court case of DRG/Beverly Hills, Ltd. v Chopstix Dim Sum Cafe & Takeout III, Ltd. (1994) 30 CA4th 54, the court said waiver by one party does not require an act by the other party, whereby estoppel requires that the other party rely on the conduct and become injured because of it.

One example of a landlord waiving his rights is when he accepts rent from a tenant after the landlord knows that the tenant is violating a term of the rental agreement. For example, if there is a no-smoking clause in the lease, and the landlord knows the tenant is smoking, but takes no action to stop it, and at the same time, keeps accepting monthly rent from the tenant, an argument can be made by the tenant that the landlord waived his right to enforce the no smoking clause in the rental agreement. Another example of landlord waiver is when the landlord accepts rent after expiration of the 3 day notice to pay or quit. Therefore, it is very important for the landlord to take immediate documentable steps to enforce his or her rights as soon as the landlord becomes aware of a breach.

A best practice for landlords in order to avoid a tenant from winning the case because of waiver or estoppel would be to keep good written records and if a landlord notices that the tenant is not doing what they are supposed to be doing with respect to the rental property, take action immediately. The landlord should not “sit on his hands and do nothing.” By doing nothing, the landlord is giving the tenant a better chance of winning an eviction case based on waiver or estoppel if a landlord later tries to evict a tenant due to the same issue.

The Law Office of David Piotrowski can assist landlords with drafting and serving an unlawful detainer eviction action on a tenant. If you need help with an eviction in California, contact us today. We represent landlords only with eviction cases.

Be sure to check out our reviews! We look forward to serving you. We offer a free consultation on most cases.

Posted in Code of Civil Procedure 1161(2), Code of Civil Procedure 1161(3), Code of Civil Procedure 1161(4), Evictions | Tagged , , , , , , | Comments Off on Waiver and Estoppel as a California Tenant Defense to an Eviction Case