California Landlord-Tenant Attorney
San Diego Esquire provides comprehensive landlord-tenant dispute representation. We understand the complicated legal issues that often impede on landlord’s property rights and tenant’s leasing rights. At San Diego Esquire, we provide affordable legal services to both California landlords and tenants. From providing a tenant with a 30-day notice to responding to an unlawful detainer complaint, we can help you obtain the legal relief you need. Contact us to discuss your specific landlord-tenant legal issue. Read on to learn more about the legal services we provide.
Overview of Landlord-Tenant Laws in California
In California, general obligations of tenants include paying rent on time, maintaining property conditions, and not entering into subleasing agreements without the landlord’s written permission. General obligations of landlords include making sure the rental property is habitable before a tenant moves-in, making necessary repairs due to ordinary wear and tear, and not to engaging in unlawful discrimination towards tenants or turn off a tenant’s water, electric, or gas. Common California landlord-tenant laws include the following as well:
- Required Landlord Disclosures in California
California law requires landlords to disclose the condition of the property the tenant intends to lease. This includes disclosing known mold and lead toxins, whether the gas and electric in the tenant’s rental services other areas, and the presence of any rodents or pests. Failure to disclose such information could result in legal disputes.
- California Security Deposit Limit and Return
Landlords can request tenants pay up to two months’ rent towards the security deposit. Landlords must return a tenant’s deposit within 21-days from the date the tenant moves out. Landlords can deduct cleaning fees from the deposit. The landlord must present the tenant with receipts supporting such deductions.
- Small Claims Landlord-Tenant Lawsuits in California
Tenants can sue landlords in small claims court for the return of their security deposit. The cap on small claims court damages is $10,000.
- Tenant Rental Rights
California provides tenants with many options to leave a unit if their rental is not properly prepared in a timely manner. For example, a tenant can withhold rent, move out without notice, sue the landlord, call state or local health inspectors, or exercise their right to repair and deduct rent if a landlord fails to properly repair the rental unit (ex – toxic mold found in bathroom or termites present in rental damaging property).
- Unlawful Detainer Rules
California state law specifies how a landlord must notify a tenant of his/her intent to terminate the tenancy. For example, landlords are required to provide tenants who have exercised a year-to-year lease term 60-day written notice to vacate the premises. Landlords can provide a 3-day notice to tenants unlawfully subleasing a unit to vacate.
- Tenant Protection Against Retaliation
Landlords cannot retaliate against tenants who complain to local or state authorities regarding unsafe living conditions.
- Local Ordinances Regarding Landlords and Tenants
City and counties pass local ordinances regarding landlord and tenant practices. For example, the City of San Diego has specific notice requirements landlords must follow.
California Landlord Legal Services
San Diego Esquire provides the following legal services to California landlords:
- Eviction Notice
As mentioned above, landlords must follow specific procedures when intending to remove a tenant from a unit. For tenants who have lived in a rental less than a year, the landlord must provide the tenant with a 30-day notice to leave. If the tenant has lived in the unit for more than one year, the landlord must provide the tenant with a 60-day notice. A landlord may provide less notice if a tenant has failed to pay rent.
- Unlawful Detainer Actions
If a tenant fails to leave after the notice period ends, the landlord can file an unlawful detainer lawsuit against the tenant. The unlawful detainer complaint must be served on the tenant. The tenant will be provided an opportunity to respond. The landlord will have to file a petition to set a court date in which the judge will either grant or deny the landlord’s request. If the petition is granted, the tenant will be provided 5 days to leave the unit before the Sheriff changes the locks.
California Tenant Rights Legal Services
We provide the following legal services to California tenants:
- Security Deposits Disputes
California tenants have a right to receive their full security deposit and can seek legal action if the landlord fails to return it in a timely manner. However, if the tenant left the unit in a worse condition than when she moved in, the landlord may deduct cleaning and repair fees from the deposit. For example, if the tenant had a dog that chewed on the cabinets or scratched up a door, the tenant may be liable for repair expenses.
- Eviction Defense
Defending against an unlawful detainer action is in a tenant’s best interest. The last thing a California tenant should want is an eviction on their rental history. Tenants should work with an experienced attorney to file a response to the unlawful detainer complaint.
- Small Claims Actions
If a landlord retaliates against a tenant, or fails to make proper repairs to property leaving it to the tenant to repair, the tenant can sue the landlord in small claims court.
California Landlord and Tenant Legal Document Preparation Services
The above information is for educational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. Contact us if you need help drafting an eviction notice or responding to an unlawful detainer complaint. We provide the following legal document preparation services to California landlords and tenants:
- Unlawful Detainer Lawsuit
The following is included in our unlawful detainer lawsuit legal document preparation service:
- Initial Notice to Tenant
- Summons and Unlawful Detainer Complaint Lawsuit
- Clerk’s Default Judgment for Possession
- Request for Court Trial
- Writ of Execution for Possession of Premises
Our services does not include court filing or court fees. Landlords must file all required documents with the court and have a process server serve the documents on the tenant.
- Eviction Defense
The following is included in our eviction defense legal document preparation service:
- Demurrer Motion
- Motion to Stay
- Motion to Quash Service
- Motion to Strike
- Unlawful Detainer Complaint Response
- Trial Counter Request
- Request for Stay of Eviction
Our services does not include court filing or court fees. Tenants must file all required documents with the court and have a process server serve the documents on the landlord.
Visit our landlord-tenant law legal document preparation page to submit an order today. San Diego Esquire provides legal form document preparation services statewide. We provide court legal representation to landlords and tenants located in San Diego County area on a case-by-case basis.