Landlords’ Duty To Prevent Crime

September 12, 2018

Landlords have a duty to take reasonable measures to protect their tenants from foreseeable crime on their properties. Landlords have a duty to take reasonable steps to protect tenants from the foreseeable criminal acts of another. CAL. CIV. CODE § 1714. Criminal acts can include conduct such as assault, battery, robbery, murder, rape, drug abuse, […] Read More

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

Estoppel Certificates

June 1, 2018

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

Breaking a Lease

October 22, 2017

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 […] Read More

New 2017 Tenant Laws

February 8, 2017

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 […] Read More