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We have finished redesigning Landlord's Legal Line

 We have made it easier to find the information that is important to you. We have also added membership options.  With the new forms that will be propagated this year by the California Judicial Council and new Local rules, I am sure you will find us a valuable addition to your Property Management team.  Check us out here.  We look forward to serving you.


SERVICE MEMBERS CIVIL RELIEF ACT

In December 2003, the federal government enacted the Service members Civil Relief Act, which supersedes the previous Soldiers' and Sailors' Civil Relief Act of 1940.  The new law applies to all military Service members and their dependents, whether they entered military service before or after signing a lease agreement.  The law allows Service members to terminate a lease agreement on giving 30 days' written notice, along  with a copy of orders showing that they are going to be deployed for a period of over 90 days or have received a permanent change of duty station.  The Servicemembers are then liable for rental payments under the following formula.   Take the date the notice is given by the Servicemember; go to the next rental due date; add 30 days.
 


JANUARY 1, 2015

     On January 1, the Judicial Council publishes its new forms, and we all must wait until that day to find out what the have done to our Judicial Council forms.   Therefore, if you intend to file any document on January 2, you should check to see if the form is still good.  We attempt to have our forms up and running by the 5th of the month, depending on how many are changed. 

    If you are filing within that 5 day period, and if you are a Member of Legal Line, give us a call, and we will let you know if there are any changes in the forms you intend to use.  If you are one of our Members who have downloaded forms to your computer, then it is imperative that you check to see if the downloaded forms are still good.  You can do that by checking the date on the bottom left hand side of the form.

 


DOMESTIC VIOLENCE

     Under California Code of Civil Procedure Section 1161.3(a), a landlord may not terminate a tenancy of fail to renew a tenancy on the basis of an act or acts against a tenant or a tenant's household member that constitute domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking, if both of the following apply;

     1. The tenant has obtained in the last 180 days either of the following:

  •  A court order in the form of (a) a temporary restraining order or injunction prohibiting harassment (b) an order restraining domestic violence under Family Codes adn Penal Code,  or (c) an ex parte restraining or protective order during proceedings to declare a child a dependant chald of juvenile court under the Welfare Code.

  • A police report sating that a tenant has filed a report alleging that the tenant or a household member is a victim of domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking; and

  2. The person who is restrained from contact with the protected tenant under a court order or is named in a police report is not a tenant of the same dwelling unit as the protected tenant or the household member.

    However, a landlord may terminate a tenancy or decline to renew a tenancy after the tenant has availed himself or herself of the protections afforded above if either of the following violations have occurred and the landlord has given the tenant at least 3 days' notice to correct the violation.

  1. The tenant allows the person against whom the protection order has been issued or who was named in the police report of the act or acts of domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking to visit the property; or

  2. The landlord reasonably believes that the presence ofthe person against whom the protection order has been issued or who was named in the police report of the act or acts poses a physical threat to other tenants, guests, invitees, or to any tenant's right to quiet possession of their rental unit.


30 & 60 Day Notices

Thirty Day Notice Terminating Tenancy

This method of termination is available to periodic tenancies, generally month to month tenancies.  Prior to January 1, 2003, for example, a 30-day notice was required for both commercial and residential tenancies when the landlord terminated a month-to-month tenancy without stating a reason (unless a shorter period was specified in the lease).  Between January 1, 2003 and January 1, 2006, landlord were required by Civil Code Section 1946.1 to give a 60 day notice to residential tenants to terminate a period tenancy,  however, that section was re-enacted with minor changes, so currently and for an indefinite period landlords are required, in most situations, to give a 60-day notice to residential tenants to terminate a month-to-month or other periodic tenancy, unless any tenant has resided in the unit for less than 1 year or the unit is up for sale. 

  The 60-day requirement  does not affect commercial tenancies.  Nor does it impede the authority of local public entities to regulate the basis for an eviction of a residential tenancy.  In jurisdictions without local controls on evictions, no reason needs to be stated in the 30-day or 60-day notice terminating a month-to-month tenancy.  In jurisdictions with such controls, the landlord typically must state the reason in the notice for the eviction, in the language mandated by the local regulation, and must provide such additional information to the tenant with the notice as is set forth in the local regulations.   (It is imperative that you check to see if your property is located in a rent control district, and if it is, to ascertain the local requirements.)

Lastly on the subject, I have received numerouse questions regarding the service of these notices.  The main question, is "Do I need to serve a 30 or a 60 day notice after my 3 day notice to pay rent or quit, and the answer is an emphatic NO. You can serve them together, i.e. they are not mutually exclusive.  That is to say you can serve a 3 day pay or quit and a 30 day notice terminating a month to month tenancy at the same time, telling the tenant in essence, "You must pay your rent, but even if you do, I want you out in 30 days."  

If you just serve the 3 day pay or quit and the tenant fails to pay or leave the premises you do not need to serve further notice, you can proceed with your eviction.


SALE OF RESIDENTIAL UNIT

 When a landlord wishes to terminate a periodic tenancy to sell a residential unit, Civil Code Section 1946.1(d) requires the use of a 30 day notice if the tenant has resided on the property for more than a year, if all of the following apply at the time of the landlord gives the notice:

  • The dwelling or unit is alienable, separate from the title to any other dwelling unit (i.e., a single-family home on a single lot or a condominium);

  • The owner has contracted to sell the unit to a bona fide purchaser for value and has opened escrow meeting certain conditions to facilitate the sale;

  • The purchaser is a natural person (i.e., not a corporation, a partnership or other entity)

  • The notice is given no more than 120 days after escrow is established;

  • No other notice has previously been given to the tenant; and

  • The purchase in good faith intends to reside in the property for at least 1 year after termination of the tenancy.

Obviously, if the tenant has been on the property for less than a year the 30-day notice is allowed without the above-mentioned conditions.  If the conditions as stated don't exist, then the 60-day notice is required.

It's important to remember, if the tenancy is not a periodic tenancy, i.e. it is a lease for a specific period of time, the above does not apply.  The new owner takes the property subject to the terms and conditions of the lease.  If there is time left on the lease then the new owner can not take possession until the end of the lease.  At that time the tenant can be removed, (via court action) without any notice whatsoever.