This article was posted on Wednesday, Apr 01, 2020

Eviction of Former Owner

Not all eviction cases involve tenants. In some cases, an unlawful detainer can involve the eviction of the former owner. This can come up in two situations. In one scenario the former owner has sold the house and refuses to vacate. There is also the situation where the premises have been sold at a foreclosure sale and the previous owner again refuses to vacate. Under Civil Code Section 1161a a 3 Day Notice to Quit is served on this person and thereafter an unlawful detainer would be filed. 

Family Member Move-In

If your property is not subject to Statewide Rent Control (AB1482) you still have the right to terminate a tenancy on the basis that you need the unit for a close family relative. The relative can be you or your spouse, your children, grandchildren, parents and grandparents. You would need to serve a 60 day notice to quit on the tenant and pay relocation funds. The relocation is equal to one month rent. This can be paid to the tenant directly or the landlord can credit the last month rent, as opposed to a direct payment.

Charging a Pet Deposit

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A landlord should never charge a pet deposit. All deposits are considered to be a security deposit and cannot exceed two months’ rent. It is permissible, however, to charge additional rent or a higher security deposit to applicants that wish to have a pet. That is not the case in where the animal is a service or emotional support animal. In that instance, you would not be able to increase the security deposit or increase the rent.    

Tenant Offers Additional Rent

If your property is subject to Statewide Rent Control, you cannot accept higher rent then the law allows. This is true even if the tenant offers to pay a higher amount. Accepting illegal rent will create a situation where the tenant could file suit, even years later, for the return of all the additional rent. 

Tenant Responsible for the Entire Lease Term When They Terminate Early

If a tenant signs a fixed term lease, the tenant is responsible until the end of the lease term. The fact that the tenant vacates, either voluntarily or as a result of an eviction, does not end the tenant’s responsibilities under the lease agreement. A landlord is required, however, to mitigate the tenant’s obligation by attempting to lease the premises during this term. Once leased, the former tenant’s obligation will cease. 

Acceptable Ways for Tenants to Pay Rent

A landlord can present a tenant with many options in which to pay rent. The usual way would be a specific address where rent can be paid. There are other options. You can have the tenant send the rent to a post office box, a rent collection box located at the premises, a direct deposit to a bank account or electronic payments to your account. In the case of electronic payments, that cannot be the sole method of payment presented to the tenant. 

Dennis Block, of Dennis P. Block & Associates can be reached for information on landlord/tenant law or evictions at any of the following offices:  Los Angeles: 323.938.2868, Encino: 818.986.3147, Inglewood: 310.673.2996, Long Beach: 310.434.5000, Ventura: 805.653.7264, Pasadena: 626.798.1014, Orange: 714.634.8232, San Diego: 619.481.5423 or by visiting Now, you can also read Dennis Block on Twitter, or text him at (818) 570-1557.  “Landlord Tenant Radio Weekly Podcasts can be heard at any time at or download the app “EVICT123”.