After the end of a commercial tenant’s lease, the tenant stayed on the premises on a month-to-month rental basis.  Then the tenant stopped paying rent. The landlord served a 3-day notice to quit, and when the tenant didn’t vacate, the landlord filed an unlawful detainer action.  Then the sewer backed up, damaging the tenant’s property.  The tenant sued.  Held,  the month-to-month tenancy was terminated by the tenant’s failure to pay rent coupled with the landlord’s filing of the wrongful detainer action.  Therefore, as of the filing of the wrongful detainer action, the tenant was a tenant at sufferance who had no lawful right to possession of the premises.  Accordingly, the landlord is not liable for damage to the tenant’s property left on the premises when that damage was not caused by the landlord’s intentional act or negligence.

California Court of Appeal, Second Appellate District, Division 4 (Willhite, Acting P.J.); May 24, 2018; 2018 Cal. App. LEXIS 478