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Landlord-Tenant

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The trial court did not abuse its discretion in denying plaintiff's motion for an attorney fee award on the ground that neither party had prevailed in the action.  Plaintiff tenant sued his landlord, asked the jury to award him $200,000 but recovered a jury verdict of only $6,450.  In view of plaintiff's recovery of such a small percentage of the… Read More

Reconciling Delta Imports, Inc. v. Municipal Court (1983) 146 Cal.App.3d 1033 and Borsuk v. Appellate Division (2015) 242 Cal.App.4th 607, this decision holds that a defendant in an unlawful detainer action may bring a motion to quash the special 5-day unlawful detainer summons on the ground that the complaint either alleges a claim entirely different from an unlawful detainer claim… Read More

While a landlord can give the tenant more than the 3 days' notice that CCP 1161(2) requires (and must do so if the lease so requires), if the eviction is for non-payment of rent, the notice (for however long a period) must state the amount of the rent due, and the name and address of the person to whom it… Read More

Under San Francisco's rent control ordinance, a “landlord” to evict renters from a unit to make the unit available for a close relative of the landlord.  The ordinance defines "landlord" for this purpose as a natural person.  Here, the property was held in the name of a revocable living trust, not a natural person.  However, the decision holds that the… Read More

Before 2011, one person owned both of two adjoining lots.  Tenants on one of the lots used portions of the adjoining lot for access, parking, and garbage removal, and as a garden.  After 2011, different lenders foreclosed on the two lots, separating their ownership.  Plaintiff bought one of the lots and sued to keep the tenants of the other lot… Read More

The Fair Housing Amendments Act (42 U.S.C. § 3604(f)(3)(B) prohibits discrimination in the form of “a refusal to make reasonable accommodations in rules, policies, practices, or services, when such accommodations may be necessary to afford [a disabled] person an equal opportunity to use and enjoy a dwelling.  Here, a disabled person was a month-to-month tenant.  The landlord offered him a… Read More

A person who buys the property from the former landlord may sue a defaulted tenant for unlawful detainer based on a notice to quit which the former landlord served on the tenant before selling the property to the buyer/plaintiff.  Furthermore, the notice to quit is not defective for failing to name the person to whom the property is to be… Read More

Plaintiff, the tenant in a commercial building, was injured when his head struck a low beam at the entrance to an upstairs door and as a result he fell down the stairs.  This decision affirms a summary judgment for the landlord based on an exculpatory clause in the lease which absolved the landlord of liability for personal injuries suffered as… Read More

A commercial lease provided that tenant-paid renovations or fixtures became the landlord's property on termination of the lease.  Here, the lessee was a beauty salon which had installed a water heater and sinks in a built-in counter.  This decision holds the heater and sinks were fixtures even though they could easily be removed.  If the personalty attached to the realty… Read More

Under Civil Code 1950.7(c), a commercial landlord can use a tenant's security deposit to pay the tenant's defaults in payment of rent, repair damage to the premises or to clean the premises after the tenant's move-out--but only if the lease provides that the landlord can use the deposit for those purposes.  Here, the lease authorized use of the security deposit… Read More

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