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Questions Answered by Gerald Barry Dorfman
2 Answers | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for California on
Q: My landlord sits on the property during the weekdays to monitor and harass tenants

He comes without appointment and demands I get off phone to talk to him

Gerald Barry Dorfman
Gerald Barry Dorfman
answered on Sep 17, 2023

If your landlord is entering the property you rent, he must comply with the requirements of Civil code section 1954. That section specifies the purposes for which a landlord may enter the property and the written notice requirements that must be met. Whether in compliance with that section or... View More

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1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for California on
Q: We are the owners of a residential apartment building in San Mateo County and a tenant has told us verbally they have a

mold issue. I have sent them a few text messages trying to schedule an inspection but they will not respond. Is sending them a certified letter stating I need to do an inspection the next best step?

Gerald Barry Dorfman
Gerald Barry Dorfman
answered on Sep 15, 2023

No. You need to follow the "Notice of Entry" procedures found in California Civil Code section 1954. With a matter of this importance, you really should consult with a landlord tenant attorney and have them give you the form of the notice and instructions on how to serve the notice.... View More

3 Answers | Asked in Personal Injury and Medical Malpractice for California on
Q: Do I have a malpractice case?

Plaquenil damaged my retinas and my rheumatologist was supposed to warn me about these side effects and he did not give me any warnings I was supposed to get regular eye exam by a ophthalmologist. Now I’m losing my sight from this drug. It was the ophthalmologist that told me to stop taking this... View More

Gerald Barry Dorfman
Gerald Barry Dorfman
answered on Sep 8, 2023

You may indeed have a malpractice case. The time limits to bring such a case are shorter than for regular personal injury cases. Start contacting medical malpractice attorneys now. Almost all offer free case evaluations. It would be helpful for you to have all your related medical records... View More

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2 Answers | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for California on
Q: In California are you responsible for replacing carpet that is 20+ years old in a home you only lived in for 8 years?
Gerald Barry Dorfman
Gerald Barry Dorfman
answered on Sep 8, 2023

A tenant is not responsible for reasonable wear and tear. A tenant is responsible for damages they caused. Generally, 20+ year old carpet would be worn enough for most landlords to replace, but there could be exceptions.

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2 Answers | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for California on
Q: If we paid our rental couple days in advance. I paid with cash. Two days later they fired the manager and someone else

Else took over. They said we haven't paid our rent. We show him receipts and he still says he didn't get it so we owe it. Is that legal and if not what penal code supports it

Gerald Barry Dorfman
Gerald Barry Dorfman
answered on Sep 8, 2023

If you paid the rent to the owner's agent, it is now the owner's problem if the agent stole it. Unfortunately, if you get a 3 day notice, you will have to get prepared to fight an eviction. You should probably try to find a tenant's attorney now, because eviction proceedings move... View More

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2 Answers | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for California on
Q: Early lease termination requirements in CA

My tenant signed an year lease for the period 07/01/2023-06/30/2024 but gave me a lease termination notice on 07/23/2023 without moving in . They want to terminate the lease on 07/31/2023.

They are expecting their security deposit back.

Is there a law in California that mandates a... View More

Gerald Barry Dorfman
Gerald Barry Dorfman
answered on Jul 24, 2023

Assuming they are not terminating for valid cause, and your lease does not cover the topic, there is no provision for canceling a lease. Even in a month to month tenancy, 30 days notice is required for termination. They could be on the hook, theoretically, for the entire term of the lease.... View More

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2 Answers | Asked in Civil Litigation, Foreclosure and Real Estate Law for California on
Q: Hi I am trying to sell home before it forecloses. I was informed by title company I has a judgement from 2007. Califor

I disputed it but it remains on title report. It’s been 30 days and nothing has happened and I’m told I still owe something I know nothing about

Gerald Barry Dorfman
Gerald Barry Dorfman
answered on Jul 22, 2023

If the title company won't give you a copy of the Abstract of Judgement, you will have to go to the County Recorder's office and get a copy. If you look at it and still don't know what it is about, then you will have to review the case file at the courthouse. If it truly is some... View More

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3 Answers | Asked in Probate and Estate Planning for California on
Q: I am listed on a trust. The house in trust was sold without my knowledge for 375k. Trustor offed me 75k after the fact.

Looking up probate attorneys, I'm not finding many that fight against an obvious breach of fiduciary duty. Is there a specialized area that I need to search?

Gerald Barry Dorfman
Gerald Barry Dorfman
answered on Jul 14, 2023

There is a subset of probate/trust attorneys that take on litigated matters. If the probate attorneys you are contacting do not litigate, many will be able to refer you to someone who does. Whether an attorney will take your matter on a contingency basis is another story. Many more will be... View More

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4 Answers | Asked in Car Accidents, Personal Injury and Products Liability for California on
Q: Failed airbag deployment in an accident, should it matter who is at fault? Shouldn't airbags deploy as designed?

2020 VW Tiguan, rear ended another pickup truck. The truck unexpectedly stopped when they were cut off by another vehicle. VW rear

ended the pickup (VW driver at fault... according to police report). VW front end was smashed, driver severely injured... no airbags deployed.

VW... View More

Gerald Barry Dorfman
Gerald Barry Dorfman
answered on Jun 22, 2023

Of course airbags should operate correctly without taking into account who is at fault for the collision. The important factors in your situation, in addition to having an expert determine that the airbag(s) should have deployed, include which injuries would likely have been prevented or lessened... View More

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4 Answers | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for California on
Q: Can a landlord in California do annual inspections on a rental apartment?

I’ve lived here 10 years and they are new property owners. I never had annual inspections before

Gerald Barry Dorfman
Gerald Barry Dorfman
answered on May 26, 2023

Civil Code section 1954 covers the landlord's right to enter a dwelling unit. It does NOT provide for general "inspections". Any provision in a lease or rental agreement purporting to have a tenant waive their rights under section 1954 is void [Civil Code section 1953(a)]. You should... View More

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3 Answers | Asked in Civil Litigation and Personal Injury for California on
Q: Any recourse for a tree trimmer that entered my yard, cut a tree, scared my wife, left gate open while rushing away?

My neighbor hired a tree trimmer to cut down a tree in their yard. Tree trimmers walked around to our side gate, opened our gate, entered our yard, cut down one of our palm trees 20 feet away from the fence line, inside of our yard, left the tree laying in our backyard, broke a sprinkler when it... View More

Gerald Barry Dorfman
Gerald Barry Dorfman
answered on May 16, 2023

You may be able to recover up to three times the value of the tree plus attorney fees, and property damage for the sprinkler and fence, as well as damages for trespass. You are more likely to be satisfied with the result if you have a knowledgeable and aggressive attorney representing you. Start... View More

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3 Answers | Asked in Contracts, Animal / Dog Law and Landlord - Tenant for California on
Q: Can a landlord evict us over animals that're in the process of being emotional support animals but aren't registered yet

My wife was almost killed by a police K9 a year and a half ago while working for the sheriff's office. Her psychologist was suggesting she get some cats as a support animal because my wife is an animal lover, but now has a rightful fear and mistrust of dogs. Our apartment doesn't allow... View More

Gerald Barry Dorfman
Gerald Barry Dorfman
answered on May 12, 2023

You are in a difficult position. First, your lease is a contract. There did not have to be a specific discussion at the signing about pets if the lease says they are not allowed. Again, regarding that you "figured" small pets were fine: if the lease says no, you don't get to make... View More

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3 Answers | Asked in Consumer Law for California on
Q: A bill collector is pursuing a car loan I defaulted on twenty years ago. Is this passed the statute of limitations in CA
Gerald Barry Dorfman
Gerald Barry Dorfman
answered on May 11, 2023

The short answer is yes. The statute of limitations relates to when a legal action must be brought. However, if a judgment was obtained against you, it lasted ten years, and may have been renewed for another ten. There are also exceptions to the statute of limitations, such as time you were... View More

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3 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Real Estate Law for California on
Q: My husband inherited half his mother's home with his brother and right now brothers inlaws are paying to live there..

However my husband doesn't have a will. They are joint tenants in common on the deed. I worry if he dies before getting a will my brother in law will take the house. My husband wants me or our kids to have his half in case he dies, but he is slow at getting legal stuff done. I worry he might... View More

Gerald Barry Dorfman
Gerald Barry Dorfman
answered on Mar 20, 2023

You state they are "joint tenants in common". There is no such thing. They are either "joint tenants" or "tenants in common". If they are "Joint tenants", then which ever outlives the other will get the entire property. Having a will would not change this... View More

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2 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law, Landlord - Tenant and Business Law for California on
Q: I sold my restaurant in 2013 and got a letter to pay unpaid rent as current owner hasn’t paid rent

Hi,

I used to own a restaurant and sold it almost 10 years ago in 2013. The lease they were on expired over 5 years ago. I got a notice in the mail about notice of belief of abandonment for unpaid rent since November. The place has been sold twice since I sold it how am I responsible if... View More

Gerald Barry Dorfman
Gerald Barry Dorfman
answered on Jan 17, 2023

Your legal position will depend on such factors as whether you were ever released from the lease, how the extension was accomplished (option, automatic?) and other facts specific to your situation. Do not speak with the firm until after you have had a consultation and document review with counsel,... View More

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1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for California on
Q: California Association of Realtors Pet Addendum liability insurance

My Landlord is a very nice lady but she wants me to sign a California Association of Realtors Pet Addendum where I would have to cover any damages made by my dog. My worry is that every little scratch on the wood floors or issue will be blamed on my pet and I will be liable for thousands or tens of... View More

Gerald Barry Dorfman
Gerald Barry Dorfman
answered on Dec 24, 2022

Assuming this is a new tenancy, you should document the condition of the place when you first take possession. Photos, video and a written inspection signed by landlord and tenant all are helpful. Do the same when the tenancy ends. Whether you sign the addendum or not, you are responsible for... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law and Landlord - Tenant for California on
Q: I'm a tenant and landlord put property up for sale, do I have to show property if lease is not over?

Hello I currently have a lease through a property management my landlord placed house for sale as soon as we had signed a contract extension. with that being said em I obligated to show the property if I'm still under contract?

Gerald Barry Dorfman
Gerald Barry Dorfman
answered on Dec 13, 2022

Yes, but there are limits, as well as requirements for proper notice. Read carefully California Civil Code section 1954, especially (d)(2). https://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/codes_displaySection.xhtml?sectionNum=1954&lawCode=CIV

4 Answers | Asked in Car Accidents and Personal Injury for California on
Q: My friend was hit by a car by fully covered in motorist insured yet she only got 6,000 why is this

Her inuries included two compound fracture both legs and crced pelvis a brief amwas in hospital two week than in a long term care facility.....yet she only offered 6. Thousand.. ..why so little.others I know we're getting much much more

Gerald Barry Dorfman
Gerald Barry Dorfman
answered on Nov 17, 2022

Every case is different, but it sounds like your friend is 1. not represented by a lawyer and 2. is still negotiating. She needs a lawyer to get her the best money recovery. It's really that simple. Insurance companies will take advantage of people who do not have lawyers. They make more... View More

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1 Answer | Asked in Probate for California on
Q: need to put my name on a deed of an inherited house california

I have a will and death certificate. how do I put my name on the deed? There is a loan, the bank said to put my name on the deed before I can take over the loan thank you

Gerald Barry Dorfman
Gerald Barry Dorfman
answered on Jul 17, 2022

In order for you to get title in your name, the property will have to be probated. There are some exceptions to probate, but nothing in your question mentions any facts which suggest they apply in this situation. You need to contact a probate attorney now, as the process is not quick and you also... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Civil Litigation and Collections for California on
Q: I won a judgment in small claims court several years ago but the other party will not pay

I have sent several letters and called many times and the other party, which is a tow truck company, still has not paid. They were served properly by a sheriff's deputy but they failed to appear on our court date, so the judge awarded me the judgment which seems impossible to collect. How do I... View More

Gerald Barry Dorfman
Gerald Barry Dorfman
answered on Jun 22, 2022

The good news is that your judgement keeps earning interest while it remains uncollected. The bad news is that collection is up to you, and is not a subject which can be easily answered in a simple question and answer forum. There are attorneys who specialize in collections, and typically charge... View More

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