Residential Landords

For residential landlords and tenants, leasing issues include understanding California requirements for setting the correct amount of security deposit.  In California, the security deposit for an unfurnished dwelling unit is limited to two months rent, but a landlord can require a security deposit of up to three months rent for a furnished apartment or home.  Victoria works with landlords to make sure that they use best practices, including the use of a move-in checklist to identify any pre-existing wear and tear or defects in the rental premises before the tenant moves in, and a move-out closing statement following an inspection, so that there is a clear record of any damage caused by the tenant greater than normal wear and tear on the unit.  Victoria also assists landlords to make sure they understand that California law requires that the landlord maintain and repair the premises i.e., warrant the habitability of the premises, which includes the requirement that the landlord put the rental unit into a condition fit for human occupation and repair all subsequent problems that make the premises “untenantable” except those caused by the tenant’s lack of ordinary care.  There are a number of items in the premises that the landlord must make sure are in good working order including, generally, plumbing, electricity, heat, railings, and deadbolt locks.

 

If the landlord/tenant relationship breaks down, Victoria represents landlords and tenants in negotiating the return of the premises to the landlord, as well as in unlawful detainer, i.e., eviction proceedings.  Many times it is possible to negotiate an orderly agreement for the tenant to return the property, which can have the benefit of saving both time and money.  In other cases, an eviction action may be necessary, in which case it is mandatory that the landlord comply with strict statutory requirements regarding the service of the Notice to Quit, the filing and prosecution of the unlawful detainer action, and the legal disposition of any personal property left by the tenant within the premises.  Victoria can consult with landlords and tenants on each of these issues.