ALERT! NEW LAWS REGARDING LANDLORD/TENANT ISSUES
60 Notice to Terminate Tenancy:
Effective January 1, 2003, if you have been a tenant in CA for one
year or more your landlord must provide you with a 60 days notice to
terminate your tenancy. The 30 day rule still applies to tenants who
occupy the residence for less than one year.
PET LAW-MOBILE HOME
In California, a mobile home park
may not refuse permission to a tenant to have "at least one pet
within the park, subject to reasonable rules and regulations of the
park". Also, a condominium or
"common interest development" project may not refuse an owner
the right to have "at least one pet within the development, subject
to the reasonable rules and regulations of the association.." These
new rules only apply, however, to leases or common interest documents
(e.g. C.C.& R.'s) executed, modified or amended after 1/1/01).
LANDLORD/TENANT LAW-SECURITY DEPOSITS
Landlords routinely require a Security Deposit to be posted
as a condition of the rental agreement. In California, for residential
tenancies, a Landlord may charge up to two times the monthly rent for
unfurnished (three times for furnished) rental units.
The deposit is held until the Tenant moves out. The money is then
supposed to be refunded within 21 days of moving out, less deductions
for rent owing and charges for cleaning or repairing damages caused by
excessive wear and tear. The deposit generally transfers
to successive owners. A non-refundable deposit is not allowed. Thus, it
is refundable no matter what the contract says.
In some jurisdictions, the Landlord must pay interest on the deposit.
Here, a Landlord may mix the money with his own and use it as he/she
pleases. When the money does not have to be held in a separate account,
Landlords sometimes find it difficult to freely refund the Tenant's
money when required to do so, especially if they have already spent it!
Thus, while many Landlords do handle these funds responsibly, there are
many that do not and play some games including the following:
1. Keep the money. The Landlord simply decides to keep the money without
cause to do so. This is based on the
theory that most Tenants will not bother to take legal action
to chase after the money.
2. Let's renovate. The Landlord wishes to improve the rental unit at the
Tenant's expense. Items that need
simple repair are replaced or improved and the Tenant is charged
the full cost.
3. I forgot. The Landlord forgets all the pre-existing problems that
existed upon move-in and now blames
them on the departing tenant.
4. I made up the numbers. The Landlord did not actually incur charges
but feels that he could incur them,
someday. So he makes up charges like $100 for general cleaning, $150 for
carpet cleaning, $100 for trash removal etc. It adds up fast. You get
Tenants should act to protect their deposit money. One popular method is
to use the deposit for your last months rent. Unfortunately, this is not
legal without the Landlords consent. There are several things Tenants
can do to protect their deposits.
Just call Mr. Radoff's office for assistance
before you sign that lease (800) 595-2948.