Question One: My property is located in a rent control area. I have the front unit available and wanted to know if a lease can be drawn where no rent control rules apply. In other words, the tenant understands and accepts that the property is under rent control, but that either party may cancel the lease with a 30 day notice.
Answer One: Unfortunately, even though both parties agree, rent control still prevails and you could not terminate the tenancy unless there is good cause.
Question Two: My lease contains the following clause regarding parking: “Resident shall use such space only for the parking of an operable vehicle. If the tenant violates this provision, parking privileges may be revoked.” My tenant is parking a vehicle that is missing a wheel. May I enforce this provision and what type of notice should I serve?
Answer Two: You may enforce this lease provision. I would serve the tenant a 30 Day Change of Terms of Tenancy which states that parking privileges have been revoked. If the vehicle remains after this notice expires, this would be grounds for eviction.
Question Three: My tenant is asking if her boyfriend can move into the apartment. I found out that he is actually living there and has brought in a dog which he needs for emotional support. We do not allow pets and I have already received noise complaints from some of the other neighbors. How should I handle this?
Answer Three: Since the boyfriend moved in without your permission, you should serve a 3 Day Notice to Perform or Quit. This will give your tenant three days to have the unauthorized person vacate. You do not need to be concerned with granting a reasonable accommodation for the dog, as your tenant is not the one which has the disability.
Question Four: My tenant moved out and left several items. I texted her and asked if she was planning to come back to take these items. She sent me back a text stating that I could have the items hauled away. Is there anything else I need to do, before I have these items taken away?
Answer Four: Since you have your written tenant’s consent to dispose of the items, you may do so immediately. A text is proper evidence which can be used in any court proceeding.
Question Five: I have a rent controlled unit in San Pedro. When I originally leased the unit, I used a separate parking agreement. I have just raised the rent on the parking space and my tenant is telling me that this is a violation of rent control, as the increase exceeds 3%. Can I legally raise the rent for the parking space in excess of 3%?
Answer Five: Your parking agreement is separate from the apartment lease. A parking agreement is considered a commercial lease and you are free to raise the rent to any level. Assuming the parking agreement is month to month, you may also issue a 30-day notice to quit.
Question Six: I have a building in Los Angeles which is under rent control. One of my tenants is a hoarder. The entire apartment is in a state of clutter and deep dirt. He is presenting a danger to the other tenants due to the condition of the unit. I have given this tenant many warnings, but it just falls on deaf ears. What do you recommend?
Answer Six: Hoarders create a health and safety hazard which can impact the entire building. Most rental agreements contain a clause that the premises must be kept in a neat and sanitary condition. You should serve a Notice to Perform or Quit, giving the tenant three days to clean up the unit. Once the notice expires, you should check the condition of the unit and take pictures. You should then proceed forward with an eviction.
Question Seven: My tenant asks for a receipt each time she pays the rent. I have informed her that her check will constitute her receipt for payment. Am I obligated to give a receipt each month?
Answer Seven: Under California law, a landlord is obligated to give a receipt for each rent payment when a request is made by the tenant.
Question Eight: I have just bought a duplex in the City of Los Angeles. My plan is to demolish it and build an eight unit apartment building. The units are occupied by long term tenants. What are the requirements of having these units vacated?Answer Eight: Under California law you have the right to require these tenants to vacate on the basis that you are permanently removing these units from rental housing use. You would need to apply to Los Angeles Housing + Community Investment Department. Once the application is approved, the tenants are entitled to 120 day notice to vacate. If the tenant is over 62 years of age, the tenant can request a 1 year notice to vacate. In addition, relocation funds would need to be paid which ranges from $7,800 to $19,500. These types of procedures are best handled by a law firm experienced in this area. Investors should be advised that changes are being contemplated which will make this law more onerous.
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 or Orange: 714.634.8232 or by visiting www.evict123.com. Now, you can also read Dennis Block on Twitter, www.twitter.com/dennisblock or text him at (818) 570-1557. Get the NEW App for iPhone or Android phones. Search for “EVICT123“. “Landlord Tenant Radio Weekly Podcasts can be heard at any time at www.EVICT123.com or download the app “EVICT123”.