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Questions Answered by John T. Kontrabecki
1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for California on
Q: These people are stealing my home, and furnishings, from me! What can I do?

I recently purchased a, fully furnished, mobile home, in the Roadrunner Mobile Home Park, and turned in my application for space rental, along with a money order for their, required, background check. While waiting for their decision, they went in to my home, and removed all furnishings, barred me... Read more »

John T. Kontrabecki
John T. Kontrabecki answered on Feb 4, 2020

Did you get a bill of sale when you purchased the mobile home so you can prove title?

If so, I would go to the local police station and report a breaking and entering and grand theft complaint. This is not a civil dispute at this point, it is a criminal matter. I would also go to the local...
Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for California on
Q: Can a landlord make changes to my new lease and not tell me about these changes until the second i am about to sign it?

For the last 13 years my lease has been the same regarding rules. I have to renew my lease again but on this lease my landlord has made changes but i was not told about these changes until the very second i was about to sign the lease renewal. Knowing about these changes could have prompted me to... Read more »

John T. Kontrabecki
John T. Kontrabecki answered on Sep 29, 2019

Yes, but your landlord's actions demonstrate either a lack of professionalism or bad faith. I suggest you tell the landlord you need time to consider the changes to the lease and hold over on your current lease. Then study the changes and see if they are fair and reasonable, given your... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law and Real Estate Law for California on
Q: Can I bar entry to my roommate’s boyfriend and friends ?

My roommate is being evicted. We think that she might try to cause some trouble, i.e stealing our things, and stuff like that. Her boyfriend recently physically threatened our other roommate and so she is not comfortable with him around. I don’t want her to try and bring him and his friends... Read more »

John T. Kontrabecki
John T. Kontrabecki answered on Jun 18, 2018

As a matter of real estate law, you have correctly assessed the situation. Your roommate has a legal right to enter the premises. He boy friend does not. If they do enter without permission they will commit a civil trespass. They may also commit a criminal trespass, especially if you tell them... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for California on
Q: I own my home and rented out extra rooms to some friends many years have passed now. I want them to move out to renovate

I gave them 60 day notice to leave and now they say i need to evection process. Under lodgers I only need to give written notice right? How do i enforce them to leave?

John T. Kontrabecki
John T. Kontrabecki answered on May 30, 2018

Correct. Nice friends.

1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for California on
Q: My lease ends on/is paid through 6/30/18. Landlord is telling me to leave early so he can clean. What are my rights

Rent is paid through 6/30/18. He doesn't want to prorate for the days that he needs to clean. He says that this is within the language below.

TENANT'S OBLIGATIONS UPON VACATING PREMISES. Upon termination of agreement, Tenant shall: (i) give Landlord all copies of all keys or opening... Read more »

John T. Kontrabecki
John T. Kontrabecki answered on May 29, 2018

Your landlord is incorrect. The obligation to clean the premises is your obligation not to hire landlords. if your landlord wishes for you to vacate so he may assume the cleaning obligation then you need to amend the lease to reflect this. Otherwise you can remain on the premises through the last... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for California on
Q: what in California is required to get out of a lease of an apartment. with five months remaining on it?
John T. Kontrabecki
John T. Kontrabecki answered on May 23, 2018

Either a valid legal reason or an agreement for early termination with the landlord. Check your lease to see if the landlord has breached any of the provisions. If so, you may have a basis for termination. If not, then you will need to negotiate your way out of the lease. The first thing to... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Real Estate Law for Missouri on
Q: My mom and 4 sisters inherited land in MO. years ago. All sisters have passed away and now we cousins want to sell. How?

Property is in Missouri ! I see theyblisted my question in Ca.

None of the heirs included property in their will. The property is still in their names (5) and great aunt's (all deceased). I am paying prop. taxes. There are 14 cousins. How do we go about selling this property to a... Read more »

John T. Kontrabecki
John T. Kontrabecki answered on May 19, 2018

First you need to hire a lawyer in Missouri. Most likely, the attorney will have to file a declaratory judgment action seeking an order from the court establishing the identities of the proper title holders today.

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1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for California on
Q: Married couple renting 10 yrs.Divorcing.Husb staying with a roommate. How handle security depo with wife?

Will run credit check on new roommate and get new rental agreement. How handle security deposits to wife and new tenant, since property not vacant to do proper inspection for return of deposit to wife and husband?

John T. Kontrabecki
John T. Kontrabecki answered on May 17, 2018

I assume the lease is in the name of both the husband and the wife. You need to enter into a new lease agreement where you require as a condition to renting the payment of a new security deposit. You then need a letter of instruction signed by both the husband and the wife as to how to return the... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for California on
Q: Tenant agrees to pay the first One Hundred Fifty Dollars ($150) repairs?

Just got the new lease to sign for a rental we want to rent... but I don't like the amendment to the lease sated above .Tenant agrees to pay the first One Hundred Fifty Dollars ($150) of any structural, plumbing, electrical, or

appliance repairs that may arise as a matter of course, during... Read more »

John T. Kontrabecki
John T. Kontrabecki answered on May 15, 2018

Neither do I. It is not commercially common and I suggest you strike the language. Perhaps a compromise would be repair and deduct from rent. Tenant agrees to pay the first $150 of any structural, plumbing, electrical etc. and tenant may deduct any payments made from the next month's rent.

1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for California on
Q: Can the landlord charge me for wear on a tubs enamel paint?
John T. Kontrabecki
John T. Kontrabecki answered on May 15, 2018

Most residential leases obligate the tenant to return the premises to landlord at the end of the lease term in the condition in which it was originally leased, subject to normal wear and tear. You need to read the "surrender" clause in your lease to see what condition the premises must be in at... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for California on
Q: Lease charges for lost key cards. I have my key card but they are scratched from 3 yrs of use. They still want to charge

My lease agreement says I am charged for lost key cards but my landlord still wants to charge me because my key card is scratched from 3 years of use. Is this the same thing?

John T. Kontrabecki
John T. Kontrabecki answered on May 15, 2018

You need to read the language in the lease that obligates the tenant for replacement of keycards. This is govern whether replacing a keycard worn out by use is a charged cost.

1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for California on
Q: My landlord made an appointment for an exterminator to spray my unit for roaches and presented me with a paper telling m

She said our lease will be broken and well be kicked out if i dont sign it

John T. Kontrabecki
John T. Kontrabecki answered on May 15, 2018

Your question is incomplete and cannot be answered.

1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for California on
Q: Is it right for a landlord to refuse a possible tenant to rent an apartment because of having more than one child?

I applied to rent an apartment , a 2 bedroom, in Lemoore, CA but was turned down when I was about to give the deposit when the landlady learned that I have 4 kids.

John T. Kontrabecki
John T. Kontrabecki answered on May 15, 2018

Landlords are not allowed to discriminate against Tenants in rental housing based upon race, creed, gender, or national origin. They can decline to rent to someone based upon the number of people who may be living in the unit.

1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for California on
Q: I had a landlord tenant case that went terribly wrong. I paid my rent and the case was filed against me same month.

A breach of contract was at the heart of the case. The judge stated the tenant overpaid and did not owe (on the court reporter record) yet Judge ruled against tenant. I requested a new trial paid attorney fees but was never given the new trial and was forced to move in 4 days. I believe my... Read more »

John T. Kontrabecki
John T. Kontrabecki answered on May 14, 2018

Sounds to me like you were given conveyor belt justice. What has happened in California State Courts is atrocious. The State has cut the budget of the judicial system to the bone at the same time that court case volume keeps increasing. The Judges do not have the time or resources to really... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for California on
Q: I have back HOA dues and my property is in pre-lien and after this Friday it will be liened, what can I do?

I am looking for a real estate collections lawyer that can help me stop the lien process and I want to get an extension of time to pay my back HOA dues.

John T. Kontrabecki
John T. Kontrabecki answered on May 14, 2018

As a practical matter, HOA's do not like to exercise foreclosure rights against owners. It is not neighborly and it is expensive. You need to contact the HOA officers immediately and negotiate a business resolution in the form of a payment plan. It is most likely that they will insist upon going... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for California on
Q: Was just served 30 day notice on a month to month. Only my wife signed it, not my dad & I. Can I get more than 30 days?
John T. Kontrabecki
John T. Kontrabecki answered on May 14, 2018

Who are the parties named in the lease as Tenants? If you are all named, then most likely service on one is service on all.

You need to check your lease to see what it says about lease termination and notice requirements. In California, tenants and landlords can agree to terms that are...
Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning, Real Estate Law, Arbitration / Mediation Law and Probate for California on
Q: Can my brother get 100% of real estate that he owned 50% and dad, that died, owned 50% because I'm adopted?

I was legally adopted by dad. dad lived and died in calif. property is in bartlesville, ok. have living trust, but property was never included in it. dad died 2015. Mom, Brother and I were beneficiaries. before anything was split up, Mom passed in jan. 2018. now it is just my brother and I. Brother... Read more »

John T. Kontrabecki
John T. Kontrabecki answered on May 14, 2018

First of all, you do not say whether there was a will. If there was, then the will determines who gets what. If there was no will and the property was not included in the assets of the inter vivos trust, then the law of intestate succession determines who gets what and this law will govern your... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Construction Law for California on
Q: Contractor hired not on the license, nor an employee of the co. in which he said he’s a partner. Is contract valid?

Hired contractor for full condo remodel. Contractor failed to use Home Improvement Contract. He provided a license number and listed a construction company that he said he owns with another person. CSLB shows contractor’s name is not on the license, and company lists zero employees. Is contract... Read more »

John T. Kontrabecki
John T. Kontrabecki answered on May 11, 2018

The contract is void. A construction agreement entered into with a contractor who is not licensed in the state of California is an illegal contract and therefore void. It may also be fraudulent.

1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for California on
Q: What can I do if my landlord is attempting to amend a signed lease and threatening to stop water service if I do not

Agree to sign it. She is attempting to raise agreed rate of rent as well as use part of the deposit for a home warranty to make repairs that were needed before my family occupied the residence. She will not provide us with a copy of the signed lease or the mailbox key. I have about 85 pictures... Read more »

John T. Kontrabecki
John T. Kontrabecki answered on May 10, 2018

I am going to give you practical advice on this one, not simply legal advice. A landlord-tenant arrangement is a relationship. To be happy in your home, you need to get along with your landlord. It appears from your question that your landlord has taken a confrontational approach with you and is... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law and Landlord - Tenant for California on
Q: LL never gave notice of walk-through inspection and is past 21 days for returning deposit. What are consequences?

I called LL and asked for deposit. He claims that he spent more than the deposit and will send me invoices. I still have not received it. We lived there for about nine years. It has now been 30 days since we vacated.

What are the consequences for not giving notice of right to walk... Read more »

John T. Kontrabecki
John T. Kontrabecki answered on May 9, 2018

Civil Code Sect. 1950.5 requires the landlord to return your deposit along with an itemized statement of any charges deducted from the deposit within 21 days of the tenant vacating the premises. If the funds are not returned, Civil Code Sect. 1950.5 (l) states "The bad faith claim or retention by... Read more »

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