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Questions and Answers

Your Questions About Apartment Rental Agreement California

June 25, 2012

William asks…

Does Prorated rent need to be in a month to month rental agreement in California?

Moving into a new apartment, I paid a full months rent on Friday, May 28th and was told by the Manager “if you want to move in this weekend feel free. A couple of days early wont hurt anything. The unit is empty.” One month later (after numerous issues with the manager who lives in the unit above me) the manager asks me to pay for the last two days of June(29th and 30th). Nowhere in the rental agreement does it specify I need to pay those days, only that rent is due on the first and late after the 5th. So, My question is “do I owe those days or not?” Every rental agreement I’ve ever had that included prorated days had the amount per day x the number of days owed written on the agreement. I would not have a problem paying for those days if it was clearly stated on the agreement and if I didn’t feel like he changed his mind do to the neighborly issues that started three days after move in. Please Help. I feel I am in the right here but would like a second opinion. Thank you.
Eric B.
San Diego, Ca. 92115

Administrator answers:

You only paid partial rent for June? This is confusing.

You owe for all of June and 3 days of May. Divide rent by 30, then multiply by 3, that is what you would owe for May. The calculation is always 30, no matter how many days the specific month has.

Laura asks…

Am I violating my rental agreement/overnight guest policy? (CALIFORNIA)?

I’ve been renting a studio apartment in this particular building since March 2011. I received 2 (one that i vehemently contest) noise complaints within my first month of tenancy. The problem was identified and corrected and haven’t had any problems since. Both of these noise complaints, however, were not even confirmed to have been me (ie no one came to my door to confirm the noise was coming from here, they just assumed and called and the building manager didn’t confirm either).

My significant other lives in the UK (I’m in California by the way, that might help) so visits are a bit longer than the ’3 consecutive night’ clause my rental agreement stipulates. I am required to give written notification of an extended stay visitor, which I did. I was denied the request and the two previous noise complaints (from 10 months ago, no complaints since then!) were cited as reason.

He (my significant other) is going to be visiting me next week and will need to stay with me for 10 nights, 2 of which will be spent away as we are taking a short road trip. I’m hoping to get away with having him stay 3 nights, we crash elsewhere the 4th night, come back the 5th night and stay 2 nights, etc etc.. so never having him stay more than 3 CONSECUTIVE nights.. kind of a loophole. The rental agreement clearly states CONSECUTIVE repeatedly so I’m thinking I’m in the clear but wanted some advice.

The building manager is pretty confrontational and when we discussed this last time, she actually mentioned it might be best for me to move out at the end of my lease instead of “trying to renew”. She cited the noise complaints I received to have been “caused by him (significant other) when he was here last time” so i feel like she’ll be watching us closely as she now knows the dates he’ll be in town. To be honest, I feel like I’m being targeted for some reason and mistreated.

Would she have any right to evict me for simply being sassy and finding a loophole?

Administrator answers:

Ok if your gonna do the 3 night thing make shure have good proof and lots of it if the try to evict u for loophole u will have proof to win but get out as soon as u can sounds like a real good place to live lol good luck

Sharon asks…

Can a new owner change the terms on my rental agreement?

I’ve lived in my apartment for over four years with a utilities paid rental agreement. The original owner sold the apartments and to this day we’ve had 3 different owners. my recent landlord came to my house trying to pawn off the electricity bill on me after a years accumulation, I told her we don’t pay electricity or gas. Can she make me pay the bill and start making me pay for the gas and the electricity even tho i still have the rental agreement from the original owner?
I live in venice, california

Administrator answers:

If you are month to month she can. Of you have a yearly lease she has to wait until it expires and then make the changes she desires.

Mandy asks…

what if i do not have a lease or rental agreement, am I required to give 30 days notice if I want to move?

I do not have a lease or rental agreement with the management company that takes care of the apartment I am currently in. If I want to leave am I required by California state law to give 30 days notice?
Where can I go to see the written law about it?

Administrator answers:

In short, you have to give notice no less than the time between rent payments being due. Most of the time that’s 30 days, but if for some reason you pay every 15 days then that would be all the notice you’d need to give.

You do have an agreement with the management company. It either moved from a lease to a month to month agreement upon expiration of the lease or you have a verbal agreement from when you moved in.

California Civil Code 1946 states:

“…..deemed to be renewed as stated in Section 1945, at the
end of the term implied by law unless one of the parties gives
written notice to the other of his intention to terminate the same,
at least as long before the expiration thereof as the term of the
hiring itself, not exceeding 30 days; provided, however, that as to
tenancies from month to month either of the parties may terminate the
same by giving at least 30 days’ written notice thereof at any time
and the rent shall be due and payable to and including the date of
termination……”

Also, regardless of what is repeated here, in California you do NOT have to give notice on the 1st. 30 days is 30 days. Prorated rent will be due only. This is also in the civil code.

Lisa asks…

what to do when rental apartment move in date is pushed back 3 weeks by the landlord?

so i live in california, last week i signed a 9-months leasing contract to move in in the 20th of the month. today the leasing office called and said i have to wait until the 10th to move in because the current tenant are not ready to move out. the leasing agreement has the manager’s signature on it, what can i do so i can get the apartment as scheduled or some financial compensation?
thank you.

Administrator answers:

First a word of warning… Double check the language on your lease to ensure that the landlord did not have protective language included that gives them flexibility as to when they deliver your apartment. Sometimes this would read something like… “Lease commencement will be the earlier of September 20, 2008 or the date on which the landlord delivers the apartment to the tenant”. Alternatively, they could have a clause to the effect that “landlord shall not be responsible for delays in delivering the apartment for occupancy by the tenant”. You get the idea…

If they did not include such language, you have every right to demand that the landlord carry your temporary housing and storage and additional moving expenses for any temporary residence you have to have while they are getting the other tenant out of your new home. If you are willing to live in a different unit within their complex, you might offer to take the other unit at a discount.

Your first step is to call and have a reasonable conversation with the leasing office. Let them know that your lease guaranteed you occupancy on the 20th and that if there will be a delay, you expect them to cover your expenses for such a delay. See what they offer to do for you. If you don’t like their response, send them a certified letter stating what you require of them as a cure for their breach of the lease. If things get really, really ugly, you might have to end up in small claims court. However, I would not expect it to have to go that far.

Last word of warning… If you do not end up moving in to the apartmenet until the 10th, you need to be sure to get an amendment to your lease (a simple letter agreement signed by both parties should do) restating the commencement and termination dates of your lease. This should include how the partial months rent will be prorated and the dates on which rent is due. That way there is no question at the end of the lease as to whether your lease ends on the 20th or the 10th.

Good luck.

Mark asks…

Can I break a rental lease in California due to criminal activity in the building?

I signed a rental agreement (1 year lease) in California with an owner of a condo unit in a medium sized building. I asked when looking at the apartment if it was a safe building and received a reply of yes. Since moving in, my bike seat was stolen and two cars have been broken into in the “secured” parking garage (and after talking about this with others in the building, car vandalism/break-ins had happened before) plus I have had two solicitors come to my door (in a locked building).

Administrator answers:

Ask yourself what the landlord, owners, or the condo association have done to create this condition?

Prob. Not a whole lot. There may be a bunch of things they COULD have done but were they obligated to do them?

The solicitors likely just tailgate their way into the lobby.. A time honored tradition. So it sounds more like the thefts are a function of people getting on to the grounds (or living there) none of which is the landlords fault if the gates are good and the locks are working.

So.. Talk to the landlord.. Maybe he will let you out.. If not, take a proactive approach and see if there is anything that you and the tenants can do to make the place safer. After all its your stuff that is being ripped off…

Maria asks…

Eviction with no rental agreement?

My mother has been living in an apartment since June 09 and was never given a rental agreement nor did she sign one. Now she is being evicted for not paying but she did pay half the rent. Can she fight this? It is in California.

Administrator answers:

Sounds like you mother is a professional dead beat that conned her way in to a property owned by a stupid landlord. There is no legal requirement in California to have either a written lease under 12 month or even a written rental agreement.

She can always fight an eviction, but exactly what legal grounds would she claim that she should be allowed to stay in a property without paying rent? Paying only half a month rent is not accceptable….it is now the 21th of the month, why hasn’t she paid the second half of the months rent yet?

Carol asks…

Do both adults living in apt. need to sign rental agreement?

I am going to rent an apartment to a young woman with 2 children. Her boyfriend is out of the country right now. He should be returning in about a month. Should a draw up a new rental agreement with both of their names when he returns? He will be a permanent resident at the apartment when he comes back. We reside in California. Thanks

Administrator answers:

Yes. You both need to be in the rental agreement. This is just to ensure that you are both held accountable for the home and if something goes wrong then one of you isnt souly blammed.

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