Legal Questions September Part 2

6. Question:
The tenants living in one of our apartments signed a one-year lease which states that there will
be no pets allowed. They now have two cats in the apartment and are only in the second month
of the lease. We served a 3-day notice to perform covenant or quit. They have chosen to
leave. The rent for the entire month was paid. Are they entitled to the prorated amount of rent
for the unused portion of the month?

Answer:

No, they are liable for the remainder of the lease or up to the time you relet the premises,
whichever occurs first.

7. Question:
My tenants paid an extra deposit for a pet. They gave away the dog after 2 months. Now they
are asking if the pet deposit could be returned.

Answer:

You do not have to account for the use of the deposit until 21 days from the date they return
possession of the premises, so don’t refund any of the deposit.

8. Question:
I rented an apartment to a young man; he signed a one-year lease and paid the deposit and first
month’s rent in full. He moved in today and less than 24 hours later, he is requesting to get out
of his lease because another apartment that he prefers became available. Is there any kind of
buyer’s remorse on signing a lease?

Answer:

Your tenant is obligated to pay rent through the lease term or until the time the premises are
relet, whichever occurs first. There is no buyer’s remorse.

9. Question:
In one of my books on landlord/tenant law, it says I can require the tenant to keep up with all
building and health codes instead of me in exchange for lower rent. Does this mean I would not
be liable for any habitability defects?
Answer:
California law requires that all residential landlords have given an implied warranty of habitability
of the premises that cannot be waived by the tenant. The only exception is if the tenant agrees
to make necessary repairs to render the property habitable in exchange for a rent reduction
during the time of inhabitability.

10. Question:
My tenant claims he paid the rent by mailing us a money order. We never received it and he
says we should have received it. Who would bear the loss if we do not find the missing
payment?

Answer:

Under most leases, it is normally the responsibility of the tenant to ensure the landlord receives
payment. Since it is up to the tenant to choose the method of delivery, he or she bears the risk
that the payment is in fact made. However, some landlords will determine the method of
delivery. In those cases, the landlord may bear the risk that the payment reaches the landlord.

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