Calif Landlords - Please Help - Posted by Barb from Calif

Posted by chris on May 27, 2000 at 17:56:58:

Calif Landlords - Please Help - Posted by Barb from Calif

Posted by Barb from Calif on May 27, 2000 at 14:44:27:

I am looking for info on any rights I might have as a renter. Here is my story:

In May 1997 I leased a home in CA. We signed a six month lease with option to buy. The lease we signed was a standard Form issued by the Calif Assoc of Realtors. The lease has long expired. Terms of the lease indicated that this would go month to month once the lease expired under the terms of the lease - it has been this way for 2 1/2 years (I know shame on me).

Over the years things have gone wrong with the house which really angered the landlady when I told her about them - some she fixed some she did not. Leaking roof, faulty pool equipment (heater does not work, pool leaks two inches a day, etc).

A couple of years later I became engaged and offered to purchase the home from the Landlady. I told her that I wanted to have an inspection done to document the things wrong and then make an offer - she wants to carry the paper. She was upset about the inspection, but we did it with our own expense - termite inspection, pool cert, roof cert, etc. Termite damage was found to the extent that it must be tented. The roof needed repairs, the pool needs repairs, etc.

We sent the termite inspection report to her and made her an offer contingent on the termite repairs. Instead of answering the offer she sent a letter raising the rent on the first of June and indicated she might sell the home but since my marital status has changed she wants a new lease but if she does sell the house she wants 20% down, although to this day she has not given us a sell price.

Bear in mind, our payments have never been late in the entire three years.

So instead we decided to start looking for another home, where we could get finaincing - we want to go Cal Vet. We found a home entered escrow, and called her, aplogized that we could not meet her terms and asked if 60 days would suffice as notice to give her time to find another renter or sell, etc. She agreed and we told her we would send the notice.

Here’s the crux of the story:

She called a couple of days ago and told us we she wanted us to sign a lock box agreement because she had listed the home. We want to help her out but do not like the thought of the lock box because we have a dog that enters the home during the day through a pet door and would prefer to not have the hassle of making sure the home is perfect around the clock. We have a seven year old and leave for work around 6:30 each morning. We did say we would agree to prior notice and would figure out how to handle the dog.

Next day (Thursday night) we come home, a for sale sign is in the yard. A realtor calls us that night says he does want to get in the middle of it but if we did not agree to help him enter the home she would give us a 30 day notice. We told him our concerns and then he said 24 hour notice (we would do it on shorter notice) would suffcie and we would not need a lock box. We also asked him if he knew we had given her 60 day notice and he acknowledged that she had.

Today a delivery person comes up and gives us an envelope containing a letter from the realtor, a letter from the landlady, and a lock box agreement stating that we must sign the agreement or she was giving us 30 day notice. If we signed the agreement she would extend the notice 30 days for a total of 60 days.

Previous to this I sent a certified letter giving her 60 day notice with a check in the amount of the new rent price - an additional $200 dollars. She has not received it yet but we did send it prior to the receipt of the letter from her and we did not sign anything, (do not know if that matters).

Do I have to move out in 30 days? If I just stay and send her a check for the amount at the beginning of July will I have credit implications? I have a 720+ credit rating and do not want to jeopadize that, but this really bugs me!
What does the law say?

Re: Calif Landlords - Please Help - Posted by t jent

Posted by t jent on May 30, 2000 at 23:00:04:

Because she agreed - even orally - to allow you 60 days instead of the 30 days provided in the contract, you are entitled to stay that long , and without the lockbox, since that was not a condition at the time she gave the extension HOWEVER: it is almost certain she will deny agreeing to this. Since it is not in writing, whereas the original lease contract is, you will have much trouble proving this modification in the contract. If I were you, I’d just bite the bullet, let her put on the lock-box, and set my sights on finding my own house with those 60 days. She’s just a cranky old lady.

Re: Calif Landlords - Please Help - Posted by Mark (SDCA)

Posted by Mark (SDCA) on May 30, 2000 at 11:18:53:

Not a lawyer but… Yes, she IS within her rights to give you a 30 day notice. You do NOT have to co-operate with her showing the house. You have rights to the property. She has rights to enter the property on an emergency basis. As for entering to show the house, that certainly does NOT count as an emergency. I am not sure about Cali law as it relates to entering a rental on a non-emergecny basis WITH notice. She certainly cannot do so with no notice.
As for the July rent… It depends on what she does with it. If she accepts it, then you are in the clear. If she refuses it then she can start eviction procedings based on the 30 day notice she gave you.

Hope this helps,