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The relationships between landlords and tenants can involve a host of complex issues. It’s a contractual relationship, usually formalized with a written rental agreement or “lease.”
Like all relationships, sometimes things go sour.
Perlmutter & Pourshalimi have extensive experience in resolving commercial and residential landlord-tenant disputes in Los Angeles and throughout Southern California.
These have included:
A well-crafted lease with clear terms can often make resolving disagreements easier and faster. There are many situations in which an attorney can help guide you to an efficient and cost-effective solution. Sometimes, litigation may not be necessary. A few strongly-worded notices from your lawyer can be a powerful motivator.
Under URLTA, landlords are generally required to:
In some cases, the rental agreement may include provisions for the renter to perform certain maintenance and repairs. Additional provisions are indicated in California law, such as the extermination of pests.
If the landlord fails to comply, tenants may be able to withhold rent, so long as the intention is sent by certified mail at least a week in advance. The tenant will still have to pay the rent, but it will be diverted pending a judge’s determination on the case.
The law requires that tenants:
With the exception of failure to pay rent, landlords must notify a resident of any shortcoming and provide one week to correct a problem. If the problem is not correct, the eviction process may begin. In cases of non-payment of rent, the landlord can give written notice allowing for three days to pay rent or vacate the property. Once notified of an eviction, the tenant has five days to respond. If no response is given, the landlord will be granted default judgment.
A landlord is not allowed to force a tenant out by shutting off utilities, denying access to a property by changing the locks, removing personal property from the residence (unless it’s through a lawful eviction) or removing outside doors, locks, roof, walls or windows. If a landlord does this, a tenant can file a lawsuit for actual and consequential damages, or the amount of three months’ rent – whichever is greater – plus attorney’s fees.
Because California landlord-tenant law is complex, it is important to have an experienced attorney who will competently and aggressively fight to protect your rights. At Perlmutter & Pourshalimi, our staff is dedicated to do just that. Call us today at (310) 295-2236, or fill out the form below to discuss your options with an experienced attorney. Consultations are free and confidential.