Tobener Ravenscroft

Landlord Articles

Landlord Caused Injuries

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 cared for the property; and (3) the landlord’s negligence caused the tenant’s personal injury. A landlord has a duty to maintain his property in a… Read More »

Breaking a Lease

Tenants break or void long-term leases for two reasons. In the most common scenario, a tenant seeks to break a lease for personal reasons; for example, to move to another state. In a second scenario, the tenant must void the lease because the landlord has breached obligations under the lease by refusing to repair, failing to control neighboring tenants, or harassing tenants until they move.

New 2017 Tenant Laws

2017 ushered in a host of state and local laws that affect your legals rights as a tenant: New State Tenant Laws The California legislature enacted several laws protecting tenants, including creating new laws related to bed bugs, regulating condominium pesticide treatment notices and procedures, and augmenting rules pertaining to public accessibility of court records in unlawful detainer proceedings. AB-551 – “Bed Bug Law” (Effective 1/1/17) This law establishes a landlord’s duty to ensure prompt treatment and control of bed bugs.… Read More »

Forcing Your Landlord to Repair

What are a landlord’s responsibilities regarding repairs? A landlord must make a rental unit habitable both prior to and during a lease. The landlord is legally required to make all necessary repairs to ensure habitability. The case of Green v. Superior Court held that all residential rental agreements contain an implied warranty of habitability. [1] A landlord is responsible for repairing all serious defects that affect a rental unit’s habitability.[2] In addition the landlord is responsible for any significant failures… Read More »

Mountain View Tenant Relocation Assistance Program

Does the City of Mountain View require landlords to provide relocation assistance? Tenants living in buildings with four or more units who are displaced by demolition, remodel, redevelopment, condominium conversion, or change of use are entitled to relocation.[1] Who is eligible for relocation assistance in the City of Mountain View? A residential household is eligible for relocation assistance if the household’s annual income does not exceed 80% of the median average household income for Santa Clara County, adjusted for household… Read More »

Support Animals

It is unlawful for a landlord to unreasonably deny a disabled tenant a support, emotional support, or service animal or attempt to evict or refuse to rent to a disabled tenant with a support or service animal. A landlord is also prohibited from requiring pet rent or pet deposits for support or service animals. Under the Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA), the Unruh Civil Rights Act, and the Federal Fair Housing Act, a landlord who denies a disabled tenant… 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.

Commercial Leases

Basic Business Operations – Ensure you can operate your business profitably from the premises. Look for advantages and trapdoors in leases: Permitted Uses: This clause enumerates how you are allowed to use the rented space. By implication, it makes activities outside the scope of this clause out-of-bounds. Negotiate for broad language or a method that allows you to make the necessary changes to maximize profitability. Conversely, carefully evaluate any language in the lease pertaining to restricted uses, or prohibitions on… Read More »

Unlawful Rent Increase

Under the Rent Ordinance, a tenant’s rent can only be increased annually by sixty percent of the Bay Area cost of living adjustment. San Francisco Rent Ordinance § 37.3(a)(1). Any rent increases that does not conform to this requirement is void. San Francisco Rent Ordinance § 37.3(b)(5). A tenant is permitted to recover rent overpayments that resulted from illegal rent increases for the previous three years of the tenancy. San Francisco Rent Ordinance § 37.8(e)(7). When calculating the amount of… Read More »

Housing Discrimination

Housing Discrimination Claims Under California law, landlords, master tenants, realtors and property managers are prohibited from discriminating against tenants on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, marital status, national origin, ancestry, familial status, age, medical condition, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, source of income or disability.  Gov’t Code § 12927(a) and Civil Code § 51(b.  Cal. Gov’t Code § 12927; Cal. Civ. Code § 51 et seq.  This is not an exhaustive list. The following types of discrimination are… Read More »

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