Wear and Tear and Security Deposits Under California Law

July 6, 2018

Many landlords and tenants struggle with how to define “ordinary or normal wear and tear” with respect to security deposits. Most disputes over security deposits come down to what constitutes normal wear and tear. When a tenant moves out of a unit, the landlord may deduct from a tenant’s security deposit to repair damage to […] Read More

Smoking in an Apartment Building

June 18, 2018

Can landlords prohibit tenants from smoking cigarettes? Yes. Landlords have the right to prohibit smoking of cigarettes or other tobacco products in and around a rental property as long as it is written into the lease agreement. CAL. CIV. CODE § 1947.5. Many leases ban smoking of any kind, including cigarettes, e-cigarettes, and marijuana. E-cigarettes […] Read More

Oakland Buyout Ordinance

June 13, 2018

What units are covered by the Oakland Buyout Ordinance? The Oakland Buyout Ordinance applies to all residential rental units in Oakland, except publicly owned or operated rentals. What is my landlord required to do before approaching me about a buyout? The Oakland Buyout Ordinance requires landlords to provide each tenant in a rental unit with […] Read More

Building Rapport: Mediator Jane Struck

June 1, 2018

The following was taken from JAMS mediators: Early in her career as an insurance defense lawyer, Jeane Struck found she could be a zealous advocate for her clients while remaining on good terms with opposing counsel. Now a mediator at JAMS special- izing in insurance and liability cases, Struck said she still sees many of […] Read More

Estoppel Certificates

What is a Tenant Estoppel Certificate (Estoppel Agreement)? When a landlord places a rental property up for sale, the realtor and landlord will request a tenant to complete and sign an estoppel certificate. An estoppel certificate is used to inform a potential buyer of commercial or residential rental property of the rights of existing tenants. Read More

Mountain View Rent Control and Tenant Relocation Assistance Program

May 29, 2018

The City of Mountain View has a rent increase limitation ordinance (“Mountain View Rent Control”), which caps the annual amount a landlord can increase rent, and a just cause for eviction ordinance (“Mountain View Eviction Control”), which protects tenants from eviction absent one of the enumerated just causes for eviction. Mountain View, Cal., City Code, […] Read More

Landlord Harassment

November 5, 2017

California state law and local ordinances protect tenants against landlord harassment. Landlords cannot harass tenants out of their homes. It might be the landlord’s property, but it is the tenant’s home. Some landlords have a tough time understanding this. Proving Harassment Landlord harassment claims can sometimes be difficult to prove. It is important for tenants […] Read More

Landlord Nuisance

November 3, 2017

Nuisance Defined In a landlord-tenant context, a nuisance is the obstruction of the free use of rental property so as to interfere with the comfortable enjoyment of life. CIVIL CODE § 3479. This has been routinely applied to property owners who fail to maintain residential rental units. Stoiber v. Honeychuck, 101 Cal. App. 3d 903, […] Read More

Landlord Caused Injuries

October 24, 2017

When can a landlord be held liable for a tenant’s personal injury? A tenant can recover for personal injuries caused by a landlord’s or property manager’s negligent care of property. To prove a claim for negligence, a tenant must show that (1) the landlord owed a duty to maintain the property; (2) the landlord negligently […] Read More

Failure to Prevent Crime

October 23, 2017

Liability of Landlord for Failure to Prevent Crime A landlord can be held liable for the criminal conduct of third parties, including other tenants. CACI 1005. Criminal conduct includes assault, battery, theft, burglary, arson, rape, murder, vandalism, and property damage. To prove a claim for landlord liability for the negligent or intentional criminal conduct of […] Read More