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tenant agrees to stay extra month then gives 2 week notice


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#1 jensu2

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Posted 14 December 2012 - 04:10 PM

My daughter rents out her house in Southern California as completely furnished for either short term or long term (1 yr or longer) stays. The previous tenant moved out Oct. 15th. We had approved a new tenant for Nov but then found out she wasn't ready to move in til December 1st. So, we rented it for one month (November) to a couple and they agreed to the lease terms via email and text message. I read online that email/texts are legally acceptable. Question: Is this true?

She took a deposit that was 1/6th the amount of the rent; the tenant sent it through PayPal and she emailed them a receipt.

Then, the new tenant who was to move in on Dec. 1st couldn't move in til January 1st, so my daughter and I asked the current tenants via text message and email around Nov 15th if they wanted to stay an additional month. They answered yes in a text message.

On November 30th via text message, the current tenants then stated they were moving out on Dec 15th.

My daughter told them that she needed 30 days notice as they had been informed of the reason they were given the option to stay and they agreed on staying for the month of December.

Question 2: because the original lease agreement was just for the month of November and a new lease agreement for Dec wasn't sent to them, are they still bound by the November lease agreement and if so, do we have to reimburse them their deposit? These tenants only gave her 1/2 the rent due for December and they were late 4 days. Her lease agreement states that if they are more than 2 days late there is a fee.

On top of that she gave them 24 hours notice to show the property and they sent very nasty emails, wouldn't leave while she was showing the house and locked themselves in the master bedroom so we were unable to show that room. The place smelled terrible and we saw a marijuana clip on the side table in the livingroom. The lease agreement states there is to be no smoking or drug use in the house at all.

Then they emailed me stating that they would not allow any more showings and we would have to wait until after they left. This tenants' emails have been very rude and frankly, I am a bit scared by his verbal voracity. Most likely he has taken his drugs out of the house but I would like to have a drug sniffing dog inspect the house at the walk through just to be sure. I will have to have the couch, chairs and bed professionally cleaned and the walls washed as the rental is listed and offered as "non-smoking". Question 3: How do I prove that they smoked pot in the house?

#2 pg1067

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Posted 17 December 2012 - 07:48 AM

My daughter rents out her house. . . . We had approved a new tenant. . . .


We? If this is your daughter's house, what is the nature of your involvement (beyond approving prospective tenants, apparently)? And why are you involved in this way?


So, we rented it for one month (November) to a couple and they agreed to the lease terms via email and text message. I read online that email/texts are legally acceptable. Question: Is this true?


I don't know what you mean by "legally acceptable." E-mails and text messages are common and generally accepted methods of communication.


Then, the new tenant who was to move in on Dec. 1st couldn't move in til January 1st, so my daughter and I asked the current tenants via text message and email around Nov 15th if they wanted to stay an additional month. They answered yes in a text message.


I can't tell how many different sets of tenants you're talking about here. You've got someone who moved out in October, the "current tenants," a couple who agreed to rent for the month of November only, the "new tenant" whom you and your daughter approved. Any more? In any event, your rather random manner of referring to all of these folks as "the [something] tenant" makes it impossible to tell who's who.


Question 2: because the original lease agreement was just for the month of November and a new lease agreement for Dec wasn't sent to them, are they still bound by the November lease agreement and if so, do we have to reimburse them their deposit?


You/your daughter must reimburse the tenant's deposit, less appropriate deductions for cleaning, repairs, and/or unpaid rent, within 21 days after the tenant vacates the premises. See Civil Code Section 1950.5(g)(1).


On top of that she gave them 24 hours notice to show the property and they sent very nasty emails, wouldn't leave while she was showing the house and locked themselves in the master bedroom so we were unable to show that room. The place smelled terrible and we saw a marijuana clip on the side table in the livingroom. The lease agreement states there is to be no smoking or drug use in the house at all.


The landlord may enter the premises for the purpose of showing it to a prospective tenant upon giving reasonable notice. The tenant is not obligated to vacate or clean the premises. See Civil Code Section 1954.


Then they emailed me stating that they would not allow any more showings and we would have to wait until after they left.


First of all, if there is a tenant lined up to take possession in January, why the need to show the premises? Second, why the need to do it during the holiday season while you still have a tenant and the place potentially doesn't look good? Third, feel free to refer the tenant to Civil Code Section 1954.


Question 3: How do I prove that they smoked pot in the house?


Well...you said that you observed marijuana paraphernalia and that "[t]he place smelled terrible." I don't know what exactly the latter statement means, and I obviously have no ability to know what other evidence might exist.

#3 Guest_FindLaw_Amir_*

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Posted 17 December 2012 - 11:24 AM

You may want to visit the Real Estate Law Center and read Landlord-Tenant Law as a good resource to learn more about this subject matter. You may also wish to read the California Tenants: A Guide to Residential Tenants’ and Landlords’ Rights and Responsibilities.




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