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Questions and Answers

Your Questions About Apartment Rental Agreement California

January 24, 2013

Jenny asks…

If I live in an apartment and I rent out the second bedroom, can I evict them for not paying the rent?

I live in a 2 bedroom apartment. I have a lease and I decided to rent out the room to help me out. She has been paying late every month, and this month she still has not paid. she is about 16 days late already. We did not do a formal rental agreement, she was a referral ( I know, stupid right). The lease is under my name. I live in the state of California. Can i just give her a typed 3 day notice to pay or quit? I don’t want my landlord to know because he does not know i rented out the other room. i have actually told her several times to move out and that i don’t want her there anymore. She actually keeps coming back. I don’t want to just throw her stuff out and change the locks. What can i do to get rid of her. She actually said that she will not move out because the city permits her. I have done a lot of research and I’m really confused. Should I call the Sherrif? Help!

Administrator answers:

I hate to be the bearer of bad news but in many states mine included if someone stays with you longer than 2 weeks it’s considered hers and your residence and it may be harder to get her out of there.I would call the sheriff office and see what your options may be.If she won’t go you could make her life so miserable she will want to move out asap.I hope that because she didn’t pay rent ‘ she should be out .If i don’t pay my rent by the 5th i have a pay in 3 days or vacate’ and it should be like this for everyone.

William asks…

Can my landlord raise my rent if it doesn’t state the possibility of an increase in the lease (California)?

I moved in my apartment in January 2007 and signed a rental agreement for $845 per month. In 2008, my rent was raised to $900. A notice was taped to my door that said the increase would go live in 30 days and I would have to either pay or move out. No mention of potential/possible rent increase was stated in the rental agreement that I signed in 2007. I have been paying the $900 for 2 years now, but I want to know if my landlord can legally increase my rent if possible increases were not mentioned in the lease? If not, how can I go about getting my money back?

Administrator answers:

Yes, as long as you were given 30 days to decline and move out instead.

Rent increases are not a part of the lease.

Charles asks…

Flase name and social security number?

We rent apartments in California and don’t do a credit check or a background check. We got a tip in wich this tenant is using a false social security which belongs to the brother of him and we want to invict them for that reason. What can we do if we dont do this for all the tenants? Also this person put a restraining order on my mother in which her name is different on the restraining or than on the one in the rental agreement can we file a lawsuit for false naming?

Administrator answers:

You are best to speak with the Landlord Tenant Lawyer in your area of California. I doubt that you will be able to file a lawsuit for using false naming. Now if it was your name this would be another situation. The person who name and information he is using, than they can sue him. As far as evicting him, I am not sure. Because since you don’t do background checks or credit checks than he probably didn’t use the information to obtain a false credit check and background check that granted him the apartment. As I stated before it is best to speak it a lawyer in your area. If you want free advice you can contact your state regarding landlord and tenants laws.

Sandy asks…

Question about unauthorized tenants?

State of California: What can a tenant do if they believe that a fellow tenant has unauthorized individuals living in their apartment long-term?

On my rental agreement/contact, which I believe would be the same for other other tenants in my 4-plex, is that all persons living in the unit need to be listed on the rental agreement. My downstairs neighbor will be having their adult grandson moving in with them. The part that makes this a little more interesting, is that it’s the guys apartment who has been living there with his longtime girlfriend, and it’s the girlfriends grandson that is moving in. The grandson is in no way related to the individual who’s name is listed on the rental agreement.

(I have proof that the woman’s name is not on the rental agreement.)

The unauthorized tenant(s) adds more vehicles (and use of laundry facilities) in an already crowded environment… which is why it really bothers me.

Administrator answers:

Your only course of action is to talk to the landlord. You can tell him that these people are moving in, but I’d suggest that you address the actual problems such as not having sufficient parking and laundry facilities.

Even if the landlord was not told about the additional tenants, it is very unlikely he’ll start evicting people because of that. For a landlord, this is a sticky situation. More tenants do use more water and cause more damage, but this is not something that warrants starting World War III over. It can get resolved by simply adding them on the lease with or without a small rent increase and an additional deposit. You need to judge that against antagonizing your neighbors for being a tatter tale. It might be better to talk to them about parking and laundry and reach some sort of agreement of how to share them more efficiently.

If you don’t like the arrangement, you can consider moving to a better place.

Susan asks…

How much notice does a tenant have to leave?

From what I understand, I think a landlord has to give 60 days notice for a tenant to move out. I am in California.

How much notice does a tenant have to leave, 30 days or also 60 days? The rental agreement says 30 days either side, but from what I know, which isn’t much, I have heard it has to be 60 days notice if the tenant has lived there over a year. Does anyone know if it’s the same the other way around with the tenant having to leave 60 days notice also?

Administrator answers:

Well, the best advice is what does your lease agreement state. I have lived in a couple states and it has changed from landlord to landlord..
Most recently it was after one year, all I needed was a 30 day notice. If I had to move out before the year agreement was over then it was 60 day notice, and I had to pay for advertising, and rent for any months that the apartment is vacant up to the end of the original lease.

Nancy asks…

How long does property management legally have to return a holding deposit after they have declined you (CA)?

It has been almost one entire month since we were officially declined an apartment rental and the property that declined us is taking their sweet time returning our holding deposit. Is there a legal time frame they have to return it to us? A google search says ” must be returned within a reasonable amount of time” Reasonable to me is perhaps a week; enough time to cut me a refund check, after all it could be in my bank gaining interest, or helping to pay a deposit elsewhere.

Administrator answers:

Unlike “security” deposits there does not appear to be a deadline when your holding deposit should be returned. However common sense should prevail and a month is certainly long enough to have waited for the return of your money.

I was curious to know whether or not you signed Holding Deposit Application which would state when the landlord would return your deposit should be be declined. Here is an example:

“Denial of Application by Owner/Agent–Deposit Refund. If Applicant’s application is not approved within three (3) business days from the
date of this agreement Owner/Agent will refund to Applicant the entire deposit amount within _____ business days from the date Applicant
was notified that the application was not approved (subject to Applicant’s check clearing the bank).”

Regardless of whether or not you filled out something similar, rest assured that according to California state residential tenancy law the landlord is legally obligated to give you a full refund since he declined you.

I agree that a week or two at the most is “reasonable”. I would take this to the next level by contacting the landlord and find out what the delay is. Give him a specific deadline and if you have not received your money then you will be forced to take legal action. This may get him off his behind.

Robert asks…

How to break a rental lease in California. I need help urgently?

I got a very good job opportunity and need to move out. My lease still have 10 months left. Since apartment company doesn’t have any early exit options, they ask me to pay full 10 months’ rent or until new person takes residence. I am willing to give new person extra free month’s rent so that my apartment can be rented out easier than others. But apartment manager doesn’t allow me to post Ads with cheaper price. What other options do I have? What else can I do? Please help me.

Administrator answers:

Consider subleasing the apartment. Most likely your lease requires you to get permission from the landlord, but under California law a landlord cannot arbitrarily withhold their permission to do a sublease. Your subleasee must meet the apartment management companies minimum qualifications and the management must approve in writing. If they do arbitrarily disapprove a qualified sublease you would have grounds to break your lease.

Under a sublease, you rent the premises to a third party. The subleasee pays you the rent and you pay the landlord. Under such an agreement, you can legally rent the premises for whatever rent you want…either higher or lower than what you are paying.

Mary asks…

Does an apartment tenant have to notify their landlord if they have a gun in the home?

In California, is this part of any gun law(s) or rental law(s)? I ask because my neighbor downstairs had his gun go off while he was cleaning it and the bullet went through his wall, acorss the sidewalk, and into another neighbors apartment. Now I wonder if the manager knows who else has a gun around here.

Administrator answers:


Unless it’s in the rental agreement, then I would think not. I’ve rented before, and that was never in a rental agreement.

Now – your neighbor is dangerous. No one in their right mind cleans a gun while it’s loaded. I was in the military, and I am an ex-cop, and I’ve never cleaned a loaded gun (stupid), and I never had an accidental discharge. That was with 24+ years of weapons use.


Linda asks…

What does it take to get someone to take over my apartment lease?

Here is my problem. Me and my GF got an apartment in Ventura, but its costing us a lot more than we thought and we dont have the play money we want, and we want to move back to Bakersfield, but i wasent sure what i needed to do to get someone to take over the lease.

Administrator answers:

If you are a tenant who wants to move out permanently, one option is to “assign” your lease to a new tenant who is acceptable to the landlord. Use a “Consent to Assignment of Residential Lease” to turn over the remainder of your lease to someone else. Unless the landlord agrees otherwise, you’ll still be responsible for rent payments if the new occupant fails to pay. Having a second source of payment is one reason savvy landlords agree to an assignment.

There are generally two ways that a tenant/lessee can transfer his interest in the Lease Agreement to a third party: sublease and assignment. In both cases, the original tenant grants a third party the right to possess and use the leased property, enjoying the same rights under the Lease Agreement that the original tenant did. In both cases, however, the landlord may have to give consent before the transfer can be carried out.

A sublease grants a third party the same rights to occupy and use the leased property that were enjoyed by the original lessee. However, the original lessee remains ultimately accountable to the landlord under the original terms of the lease. The original lessee is no longer entitled to use the premises, but is liable for failure to pay rental payments, damage to the premises, or other default conditions.

An assignment is a complete transfer of the Lease Agreement to a third party. Once an assignment is made, the original lessee is absolved of all responsibility under the lease, and the third party becomes directly accountable to the landlord under the terms of the Lease Agreement.

In many cases, Lease Agreements will require the original tenant to obtain a Landlord Consent to Sublease or a Landlord Consent to Assignment before any such transfer can be made. In the absence of any provision in the lease requiring landlord consent to a sublease or assignment, state law will govern. California landlord consent to sublease is not mandatory by law nor is landlord consent to assignment. The reason for this difference is that under a sublease, the original parties (landlord and original lessee) continue to be held accountable under the lease agreement. When an assignment is made, this is not the case.

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