July KTS Legal Questions Part 1

Kimball,Tirey&St.JohnLLP

Landlord/Tenant Questions & Answers

Ted Kimball, Esq.
July, 2012

1. Question:
What is the code section pertaining to the tenant’s obligation to pay rent subsequent to a 30-day
notice?

Answer:

California Civil Code 1946 requires the tenant or landlord to serve a thirty-day notice to
terminate the tenancy. The rent is owed until the lease terminates.

2. Question:
Several prospective tenants have inquired about renting an apartment for a month or two. The
high turnovers could be detrimental to the units and will create a lot of work for us in terms of
doing paperwork and cleaning. Are there any rules that require a tenant to rent a minimum
amount of time?

Answer:

There are no laws requiring you to rent month-to-month or a minimum or maximum amount of
time. Many landlords require six-month or one-year leases.

3. Question:
When the sheriff locks out a tenant, what happens to the personal property? Who is
responsible for moving it?

Answer:

If the sheriff performed the lock-out, you are required to hold any personal property in a
reasonably safe place for fifteen days. You can charge reasonable storage costs, from the date
of the lock-out, as a condition of returning the property to the owner. If no one claims the
property, it must be sold through a public auction if valued at more than $300.00. If less than
$300.00, it can be disposed of in any other way.

4. Question:
Our insurance company is requiring a mold addendum be signed by the tenants. What do we
do if the tenants will not sign?

Answer:

If they are on month-to-month agreement you can serve a thirty-day notice to change the terms
of the tenancy. If it is a fixed term lease, you can make the addendum a part of the renewed
lease. The insurance carrier should understand and work with you.

5. Question:
A tenant reported a broken refrigerator at Monday, 10 a.m.. We replaced the refrigerator on
Wednesday, at 6 p.m., in the same week. Now, the tenants want us to pay for the spoiled food.
Should we?

Answer:

You would only be liable if the tenant could prove you were negligent in maintaining, purchasing
or repairing the refrigerator. Landlords are not guarantors or insurers of the tenant’s personal
property.

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