July KTS Legal Questions Part 2

6. Question:
Can I keep a security deposit if the tenant moves out and does not give me a written thirty-day
notice?

Answer:

Not automatically. You can deduct from the security deposit unpaid rent from the time of the
move out until thirty days are up, or until the premises are relet, whichever happens first,
provided you use due diligence to relet the premises.

7. Question:
I took a $300.00 deposit from a tenant to hold an apartment pending a credit check. The credit
check came in and I declined the application. How long do I have to return the money?

Answer:

There is no statutory requirement regarding “holding deposits.” If the agreement did not state a
time frame, the court would impose a reasonable period of time considering the tenant’s need
for the money to rent another premise, so the sooner it is returned, the better.

8. Question:
One of our clients owns an apartment building that we manage. He wants to rent some storage
rooms on the property. If he does rent the rooms, would the unlawful detainer process have to
be followed if the renter did not pay the rent? Or, do these units have the same rules as storage
companies?

Answer:

They would have to go through eviction procedures unless they are licensed as mini warehouse
storage units.

9. Question:
One of our tenant’s dogs is constantly barking and growling at anyone who passes by their
apartment. It has scared many of the other residents and they have complained numerous
times. I have explained that the lease allows pets. What can I do?

Answer:

If the dog is disturbing other residents and is not being properly restrained, it probably is a
violation of your lease if it contains a clause requiring tenants to refrain from unreasonable
annoyances or disturbances. If this is the case, you could enforce the lease through a notice to
perform or quit. It is also useful to have pet rules that spell out acceptable and unacceptable
behaviors.

10. Question:
I am evicting a tenant and gave her a thirty-day day notice. When I handed her the notice she
didn’t read it, she just dropped it on the ground, so I read it to her. I then gave it back to her but
she wouldn’t take it, so I dropped it on the ground. Is this considered a legal notice?

Answer:

So long as she was notified that you were giving her a legal notice and you didn’t take it back,
most judges would consider this adequate personal service. If she doesn’t vacate in thirty days,
an unlawful detainer (eviction) action may be filed in court.

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