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Old 02-23-2010, 12:06 PM
 
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Regarding things like how many days the tenant needs to give notice before moving out, how much deposit a landlord can keep and how much in late fines a landlord can collect, can the lease supersede the CA state law?

For example, is it law for a lease that is now month to month to have the tennant be required to give a 30 day notice or can the landlord write in whatever they want, such as 60 days? Another example, can a landlord say that if something is damaged, like old carpet, that the tenant has to pay the full cost of new carpet? Or does the landlord always have to go by a law that says they can only charge for the life left on the carpet if it is damaged? Basically I am asking, in California, do tenants have certain rights that can not be signed away?
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Old 02-23-2010, 12:54 PM
 
Location: Boise, ID
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Usually, the landlord can make the rules less restrictive on the tenant than local law, but not more restrictive.

To use one of your examples, the LL could say that total liability on carpet damage is limited to 10% of the carpet replacement value, but could not say that a tenant has to pay 100% of carpet replacement value for any damage.

Notice is a little bit more vague. From what I understand, many landlords have successfully written in a 60 day notice clause.

Mostly, it depends on what the law actually says. Many local rental laws in my area say something like "... unless your lease says differently". Or "If not addressed in the lease, the law is ...." In that case, your lease would take precedence.
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Old 02-23-2010, 12:57 PM
 
Location: Vermont
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There are probably provisions of California law that prohibit a tenant from waiving some of the protections of state law. I encourage you to contact your local tenants' union or tenants' advocacy organization to get details.
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Old 02-23-2010, 02:03 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jackmccullough View Post
There are probably provisions of California law that prohibit a tenant from waiving some of the protections of state law. I encourage you to contact your local tenants' union or tenants' advocacy organization to get details.
Exactly.

You cannot sign away your rights as a tenant, even if the landlord has provisions in the agreement which you've signed and cannot be expected to know about. CA is one of the most aggressive states in protecting tenant's rights, too ... there's lots of resources you can use to work on your behalf.
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Old 02-23-2010, 02:40 PM
 
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For the things you listed, it doesn't matter what is in the lease, CA law will prevail.
You are in luck, California has documented this all very well Landlord/Tenant Book Index - California Department of Consumer Affairs
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Old 02-23-2010, 11:31 PM
 
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Thanks for the answers. That's what I thought, but you never know. I signed a weird lease that I shouldn't have. I had an idea at the time that the landlord wouldn't get away with some things. If the landlord is stupid enough to try to enforce some things, I think it will look very bad on his part and he'd have a hard time convicing the judge of anything in a grey area. I'd rather avoid all that, but since there are already known illegal things in the lease, then I need to know I'm not doing anything wrong on my part.
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Old 02-24-2010, 12:07 AM
 
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One word of caution...

Residential Rentals are totally different from Commercial.

Commercial is business to business and consumer laws don't apply...

California has an entire body charged with Consumer Protection and it is under the Department of Consumer Affairs...

Also, local jurisdictions may impose additional requirements in addition to areas with Rent Control...

As a general rule... Standard Rental Agreements furnished through the Board of Realtors or Rental Housing Associations can be relied upon as long as the version used is current...

Beware of hand written or self-prepared agreements... much has changed over the last few years...

Ultimately, any conflict unresolved will be decided by a Judge... the idea is for each party to know what is expected within the law and if agreement is reached... the contract is signed.
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Old 12-17-2015, 07:26 AM
 
Location: 90805
4 posts, read 7,094 times
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Thumbs up Oh Yeah!

I was given a "Pay or Quit" notice when late with rent, 8 months into a year lease - So I packed-up and gave them the keys. Decided to take the quit option they had given me, and never heard another word about it. They figured they would get a jump on evicting anyone late with the notice, but didn't think anyone would just bail out (@ a trailer park)

Just posting for general info...
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Old 12-17-2015, 08:48 AM
 
Location: Phoenix, AZ > Raleigh, NC
17,910 posts, read 23,851,479 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dbughuntr View Post
I was given a "Pay or Quit" notice when late with rent, 8 months into a year lease - So I packed-up and gave them the keys. Decided to take the quit option they had given me, and never heard another word about it. They figured they would get a jump on evicting anyone late with the notice, but didn't think anyone would just bail out (@ a trailer park)

Just posting for general info...
And you're PROUD of this?
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Old 12-17-2015, 09:16 AM
 
Location: Riverside Ca
22,155 posts, read 28,133,828 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FelixTheCat View Post
Regarding things like how many days the tenant needs to give notice before moving out, how much deposit a landlord can keep and how much in late fines a landlord can collect, can the lease supersede the CA state law?

For example, is it law for a lease that is now month to month to have the tennant be required to give a 30 day notice or can the landlord write in whatever they want, such as 60 days? Another example, can a landlord say that if something is damaged, like old carpet, that the tenant has to pay the full cost of new carpet? Or does the landlord always have to go by a law that says they can only charge for the life left on the carpet if it is damaged? Basically I am asking, in California, do tenants have certain rights that can not be signed away?


No. You don't have to give up your rights. Just because he wrote it in the lease doesn't make it binding if state law says different.
The notice.
If you are there over a 12 month period he has to give you 60 day notice. YOU only have to give 30 day notice to terminate. Under 12 month period he only has to give 30 days also. He's hedging his bets by making you give 60 day he can hold out for tenant he wants or can make your life miserable or both.
The carpet
You are charged for the damage based on the life. If you think of the carpet as a living organism that has a lifespan of 10 years. After 10 years it's dead. Every year it is there it dies a bit. Say the carpet was brand new when you moved in but you managed to damage it to the point it needs replacement. You killed the carpet are 100% liable for the life since it was used up by you.
Now if the carpet has been in the rental for say 8 years and you lived there for one and damaged it beyond repair you are liable for the life left on the carpet. About 10%. Because it "died" for the past 9 years.

Your LL can't just keep your deposit (even though some try to) because they feel like it. What you need to do is have pics of move in date condition and move out condition along with your copy of the walk through paperwork.
After you surrender the property your LL has to return the deposit, or give you a accounting of damages and charges within 21 days. If he doesn't you can go to court and get your full deposit back and damages.

I strongly suggest you read the state rent law book. It's online and can be downloaded as a pdf. Your LL must abide by those laws too. I know he's going to try to browbeat you into submission because you signed "the lease" but if it's not enforceable he can't do anything about it.
Good luck.

Quote:
Originally Posted by FelixTheCat View Post
Thanks for the answers. That's what I thought, but you never know. I signed a weird lease that I shouldn't have. I had an idea at the time that the landlord wouldn't get away with some things. If the landlord is stupid enough to try to enforce some things, I think it will look very bad on his part and he'd have a hard time convicing the judge of anything in a grey area. I'd rather avoid all that, but since there are already known illegal things in the lease, then I need to know I'm not doing anything wrong on my part.
There is no gray area. It's either enforceable or its not. A judge is going to refer to the law not what a LL pulled out of his butt as rules. Now if we were living in medieval England with landowners and serfs it might be different. But we're not.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dbughuntr View Post
I was given a "Pay or Quit" notice when late with rent, 8 months into a year lease - So I packed-up and gave them the keys. Decided to take the quit option they had given me, and never heard another word about it. They figured they would get a jump on evicting anyone late with the notice, but didn't think anyone would just bail out (@ a trailer park)

Just posting for general info...
They were probably just happy you left. You do know that you can still be taken to court right? The LL still has your deposit and can keep it for nonpayment and can still go after you for damages. Quitting doesn't mean you don't have to pay.

Last edited by Electrician4you; 12-17-2015 at 09:55 AM..
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