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Questions Answered by John Francis Nicholson
2 Answers | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for California on
Q: Can I terminate the lease of a tenant in a rent control area who has occupied the rental for less than 12 months?

We are in the process of completing the purchase for a duplex in Los Angeles (area code 90038).

The duplex is in a rent control area and the one side of the duplex is occupied by a tenant that signed to lease the property until 2021 for $800 below market value.

We were intending for... Read more »

John Francis Nicholson
John Francis Nicholson answered on Oct 9, 2020

Here is the updated version. While the current moratorium rules are in place you cannot evict a tenant based upon the information that you have given. The rules change fairly often but they have been giving tenants more rights - not less.

Encourage them to pay rent in the meantime;...
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2 Answers | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for California on
Q: Selling Single Family Home Rented Out Month to Month Lease, Tenant Current on Rent

I have a single family home in Riverside County that I've rented out for many years. Now I'm getting old and looking to retire. I can no longer manage the property being so far away so I'd like to sell it. Since we're still in the midst of COVID but the tenant is current on rent... Read more »

John Francis Nicholson
John Francis Nicholson answered on Oct 9, 2020

Diffirent counties and municipalities have their own recently passed ordinances and rules regarding eviction moratoriums that some prevent evictions through January 31, 2021. You should retain an attorney in the area where the property is located.

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2 Answers | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for California on
Q: Tenant no longer paying rent and no COVID loss best way to start an eviction. We wanting to take unit off rental market?

We have no oral or written lease agreement with this tenant. She had an oral agreement with our mother who passed away and this agreement expired in august and she just stopped paying rent. We live out of town and would like the unit vacant and off rental market. We may use unit for our personal... Read more »

John Francis Nicholson
John Francis Nicholson answered on Oct 9, 2020

First of all you need to retain an attorney in the area where the property is located. Most cities have COBVID-19 regulations, as well as the State of California, that have a moratoriun on evictions for any reason until next year. The rules are a bit tricky and can change at any time.

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3 Answers | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for California on
Q: Is a landlord allowed to give only 10 days notice? No renters agreement or lease.

I recently moved into a room. I moved in on the 6th of June. The owner of the house is 57 year old male. I am a 23 year old male. I had a stomach bug a few days ago and vomited 1 time. He told me I had to get a coronavirus test or he was giving me a 10 day notice. I went and got tested and was... Read more »

John Francis Nicholson
John Francis Nicholson answered on Jul 28, 2020

You did not provide many details of your lease arrangement; however, I can address the basic problem you are facing - imminent eviction according to the landlord.

Your landlord cannot evict for the reasons that he stated. Although you did not state the length of your lease or if you are...
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1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for California on
Q: We have been subleasing a room to someone in Long Beach CA for 2 years. Can we serve them a 60 day notice during covid

We have been leasing to them for two years and it just has not worked out. We want to take possession of the room for ourselves but they are claiming that due to covid restrictions they cannot work therefore cannot save a first and last months rent for a new place. Can we still serve them a 60 day... Read more »

John Francis Nicholson
John Francis Nicholson answered on Jul 12, 2020

If your tenant, and or additional tenants subject your property to Long Beach rent control then you may be subject to paying a relocation expense. However, with the moratorium on evictions for residential convictions in California that does not prevent you from serving a 3-day notice to pay rent... Read more »

3 Answers | Asked in Contracts for California on
Q: consignee refuses to return precious jewelry and an antique clock worth $7,000 I was out of country for one year

We had a verbal agreement to keep items until they sold. Now they claim I Abandoned them What Cal. Agency must I complain to?

John Francis Nicholson
John Francis Nicholson answered on Jun 29, 2020

I agree with Mr. Mandell. Also, you can contact the Better Business Bureau; however, the California Department of Consumer Affairs has teeth if you file a claim with them because it is business related.

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2 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law and Landlord - Tenant for California on
Q: What to do when sent a threatening letter based on inaccurate citing of code?

I just received a letter from our City Attorney regarding a city-owned vacant property I had a Right Of Entry to. It expired, COVID19 kicked in and I haven't been able to locate a new space. The cost for moving (heavy equipment etc) would be thousands of dollars and economic suicide for me to... Read more »

John Francis Nicholson
John Francis Nicholson answered on Jun 29, 2020

I agree with Mr. Mandel. Also, retaining an attorney may result in negotiating a renewal of the right of way, or at least finding a resolution so the matter doesn't continue resulting in litigation.

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1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for California on
Q: If my lease agreement says no pets could my landlord evict me for having a dog even if I get a letter from a doc for esa
John Francis Nicholson
John Francis Nicholson answered on May 26, 2020

A lease that prohibits pets is valid, but ESA is an exception and if certified by a licensed physician the landlord has to allow the ESA. However, you can be evicted if the ESA becomes a nuisance or otherwise disrupts other tenant's quiet enjoyment of their premises.

To avoid the...
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1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for California on
Q: Principal tenant amended the terms of the contract after we signed it

My roommate and I are both international students who signed a rental agreement with a person who was subletting her apartment to us (California). The rental agreement was an ePDF and we electronically signed it and sent it to her in May 2019 through Whatsapp. However, she changed the late fee... Read more »

John Francis Nicholson
John Francis Nicholson answered on May 26, 2020

You have represented 2 issues; however, without knowing all of the facts this should not be considered legal advice.

(1) The landlord unilaterally changed the terms of the lease after you signed it. Of course she cannot do that and she must adhere to the original terms that she forwarded...
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2 Answers | Asked in Consumer Law, Contracts, Business Law and Education Law for California on
Q: How should I request a university program in California to return my admit deposit since they have deferred starting?

I was selected in a program that has now deferred their start date due to CoVID. They requested a sizable deposit to secure my position in the program for their initial start date. The program no longer fits my timeline and they have refused to refund the deposit. What can I do in this situation?

John Francis Nicholson
John Francis Nicholson answered on May 20, 2020

I agree with Mr. Kaufman that you may need an attorney to sort this out. However, your question does not indicate whether you have contacted the university directly to find out what there policy is, and what writing is it based on. Some schools have a refund policy based upon a timeline that... Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Consumer Law, Contracts and Real Estate Law for California on
Q: Contractor malpractice on hazardous material

in Calfornia, a general contractor was hired for condo remodeling.

The condo is contaminated to the extent beyond living and the clean up bill from is hefty. Shall the owner be responsible for the bill only?

John Francis Nicholson
John Francis Nicholson answered on May 19, 2020

I agree with Mr. Juarez, but there are additional things that you should know.

There are requirements for testing before a commercial demolition.Those requirements include the following: The asbestos survey must be conducted by a Certified Asbestos Consultant. The survey must be completed...
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3 Answers | Asked in Contracts, Real Estate Law and Landlord - Tenant for California on
Q: Can I be held responsible if I give proper notice to everyone (landlord & roommates) but roommates won't leave?

I'm the only one on lease but landlord was informed about roommates but didn't have them fill out applications. I'm in california lived here 6 years and am on a month to month lease. If I move completely out and gave proper notices to everyone can landlord sue me if roommates dont... Read more »

John Francis Nicholson
John Francis Nicholson answered on May 13, 2020

I agree with Mr. Torres but would like to give you more information that may help you resolve your problem. You have several problems here, but first there are some facts missing.

Are the subtenants paying rent? Do they want to stay and be responsible for the amount of rent on your lease...
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1 Answer | Asked in Contracts and Landlord - Tenant for California on
Q: I was trying to rent an apartment. Question below....

I filled out a rental application, was approved, paid the deposit and received keys and a receipt for a two bedroom apartment. Did NOT sign lease right away cuz landlord couldn't print it, printer acting up. Was promised the lease later that day. Received a text message about an hour later... Read more »

John Francis Nicholson
John Francis Nicholson answered on May 4, 2020

Some lease provisions include a clause that it is subject to a credit check where the landlord has the option to void the lease. But to do so they must return your deposit.

If the landlord cashed your check, or kept your cash, and refuses to return it, then they are obligated to honor the...
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1 Answer | Asked in Contracts for California on
Q: 8 months ago i signed a lease but never moved in and they charging me for not moving in
John Francis Nicholson
John Francis Nicholson answered on May 4, 2020

A lot has happened with the novel COVID-19 virus since you submitted your question. However, you have not provided much information concerning the lease contract, etc.

I suggest you contact a local attorney in the San Diego area that practices in the area of evictions and schedule a...
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2 Answers | Asked in Contracts and Landlord - Tenant for California on
Q: I need help breaking my lease so that I can move. I cannot afford the rent. It is rent or food. What options do I have?

I live in San Clemente, CA.

John Francis Nicholson
John Francis Nicholson answered on May 4, 2020

You can break your lease if the landlord has materially breached the lease - meaning the landlord has not performed an important duty that is subject to the lease. If the landlord has been performing their part pursuant to the terms of the lease then they are entitled to the rent.

However,...
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2 Answers | Asked in Appeals / Appellate Law, Contracts, Estate Planning and Insurance Bad Faith for California on
Q: Can I appeal the decision to transfer my structured settlement ?

I was scheduled to receive $75,000 at age 35 and $375,000 at age 45 through a structured settlement that was created after my father passed away. At age 22, about 10 years ago, I sold a portion of my structured settlement for a lump sum of money. I was about 22 at the time. The judge in San Diego... Read more »

John Francis Nicholson
John Francis Nicholson answered on Apr 24, 2020

Your description of your legal issues raises more questions than answers. In order to get an informed legal opinion from an attorney you need to retain an attorney for a consultation. Be thorough with your facts, and bring all relevant documents to the consultation, which will consume at least 1... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Consumer Law, Contracts and Landlord - Tenant for California on
Q: How can one get out of the lease without making the other partner go trough all the financial screenings again?

Me and My Soon to be Ex-partner leaded this place, and now he wants to end the lease on his Part. We brought it up to the landlord and they said if he moves out I need to re-apply for the financial screening, the problem is his income is what helped us get this apartment, I have a way less income... Read more »

John Francis Nicholson
John Francis Nicholson answered on Apr 6, 2020

If you both signed the lease then you have joint and several liability - meaning that each of you individually is liable for the rent. Providing the rent is paid each month the landlord has no power to declare a lease void, or require the remaining tenant to meet certain financial requirements.... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Constitutional Law and Landlord - Tenant for California on
Q: CA Governors powers under the Covid 19 emergency

The State of CA under the Covid 19 emergency has told tenants, broadly, that they do not have to pay rent to their landlords for up to 90 days. This, in spite of the fact that a legal contract exists between tenant and landlord. Can this be considered a "seizure" without due process under... Read more »

John Francis Nicholson
John Francis Nicholson answered on Apr 6, 2020

It is not a seizure because the government isn't taking anything. A pandemic singularly triggers emergency government powers to become effective that would otherwise lay dormant. Further the state is not tearing up a contract. The tenant is breaching the contract by not paying rent, and you... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Contracts and Employment Law for California on
Q: Breaching of a forfeiture agreement

I signed a forfeiture agreement that accelerated my stock vesting and required me to stay with the company for a couple of years. My family is sick and because of COVID 19 we can't hire a baby sitter and I have to take care of my kids and my wife and can't give more than 100% of my time... Read more »

John Francis Nicholson
John Francis Nicholson answered on Apr 6, 2020

Your situation is complex and I don't think you can expect to get an informed response from any lawyer with the brief information that you provided. Even if you provide a lot more facts that is not enough. You need to consult a lawyer, and provide him/her with copies of your forfeiture... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Consumer Law, Contracts, Business Law and Construction Law for California on
Q: Is there a penalty for backing out of an agreement for an HVAC project that has not started?

I signed a "proposal and purchase agreement" for HVAC work for my home. I signed it on March 15, work is originally scheduled for March 30-April 3 but I had to postpone it until end of April. However, with the economic uncertainty due the pandemic, I might back out of this agreement... Read more »

John Francis Nicholson
John Francis Nicholson answered on Apr 4, 2020

Apparently you did not cancel the contract within 3 days, which, theoretically, locks you into it.

As you know these COVID-19 times are very uncertain, and we don't know how the courts are going to rule on the multitude of cases affected by the pandemic that are now before the court,...
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