Landlord-Tenant Disputes Lawyer in Downey Addressing Issues and Concerns With Rental Properties
Investing in rental property can help you diversify your portfolio, build wealth, and earn a relatively passive income. But it’s not without risk. Any time you entrust another person with your property, you’re taking a chance that they might damage it, not pay rent, or otherwise cause issues. Landlord-tenant disputes are very common across California and the rest of the country, and knowing what to expect and when you hire an attorney can help you be prepared if this happens to you.
If you’re a landlord who is having issues with your tenants, you need to know what your rights are and how you can take action to protect your investment. At Resolve Law Firm, we have the experience required to accurately assess landlord-tenant disputes and help you resolve them as quickly as possible. Call our firm to schedule an appointment to talk to an attorney.
What Are Some Common Landlord-Tenant Disputes?
Landlord-tenant disputes can center around a variety of issues, from the condition of the property to paying rent on time, but there are some situations that are more common than others. Below are some common issues that can arise between landlords and tenants to be aware of:
- An increase in rent: Landlords need to increase rent periodically to keep up with the market, but doing so outside the terms of the contract or as stated in California law could result in legal issues.
- Nonpayment of rent: If a tenant is withholding rent, a landlord may need to take legal action to get their money.
- Eviction: Evictions are governed by strict processes. Disputes over whether an eviction is being done legally should be handled by an attorney.
- Violation of lease terms: A lease is a binding contract, and either party violating the terms of that contract is grounds for a lawsuit.
- Security deposits: Landlords have the right to keep security deposits for certain types of damages.
- Entering the property without properly notifying the tenant: There are specific rules for how much notice a landlord must give a tenant before entering the property, and violating this could result in a legal issue.
- Health or safety concerns with the property: The landlord is responsible for ensuring that any health or safety issues with the property are remedied quickly and correctly. Failing to do so could result in legal trouble.
- Discrimination: Landlords must abide by the provisions in the Fair Housing Act, which includes not discriminating against potential or current renters on any protected grounds.
- Allowing service animals: Landlords cannot deny or discriminate against a tenant because they have a service animal. This may cause confusion if the property is listed as “no pets.”
- Damage to the property from the tenant: If a tenant damages the property or leaves it in poor condition upon moving out, the landlord may be able to seek compensation through the court system.
While some of these issues may be able to be handled without going to court, it’s common for legal action to be required to actually resolve the case in a way that lets both parties move forward.
What Are the Rules for Notifying a Tenant of an Eviction?
California has specific procedures for how evictions must occur. If a landlord violates any of these rules, the eviction could be overturned in court and the landlord could face additional penalties. To evict a tenant, the landlord must first notify the tenant that they intend to start eviction proceedings. This notice must be in writing. In some cases, it must also provide the tenant 3 days to fix the issue, such as nonpayment of rent.
If the tenant refuses to fix the issue or move out according to the eviction notice, the landlord files an unlawful detainer suit. This must be filed in the county where the rental property is — not where the landlord lives if these are different. The tenant will be served with this filing and have the opportunity to respond. A trial date will be set where the judge will make a determination on whether the eviction is legal, and if so, the landlord will be granted the power to have the tenant removed from the property with the help of the sheriff’s office.
Do You Have to Have Cause to Evict Someone?
According to the California Tenant Protection Act of 2019, renters who have lived in a property for at least 12 months can generally only be evicted for “just cause.” This can refer to an issue with the tenant themselves, such as a violation of the lease agreement, or it can be because of an issue with the landlord, such as wanting to sell the property.
Can a Landlord Enter a Property Without Notifying the Tenant?
There are times when a landlord needs to enter an occupied rental property, such as to check the conditions of the property or to perform repairs. However, a landlord must generally provide at least 24 hours written notice of intent to enter the property. This can be a verbal notice in the case of some repairs, but it’s always best to notify in writing. If there is an emergency situation, such as a fire or water line break, the landlord can enter the property without providing any notice. Entering a property without proper notice could open you up to legal issues, such as breach of contract with the lease or fines.
The state of California has strict rules when it comes to how landlords and tenants must act, and it’s important to ensure that you are working within the confines of the law at all times. If you have a landlord-tenant dispute that has escalated to the point of needing to take legal action, call Resolve Law Firm, APC, at 213-583-5547.