Compton, CA asked in Landlord - Tenant for California

Q: Hi, Im in Los Angeles. When the virus hit, I lost my job and income; now Im 3 weeks behind on my rent and my landlord...

My landlord has suddenly informed me that he is going to have my car towed Friday. The car is parked properly, in the space he himself assigned me when I first signed the lease 6 months ago. His argument is that the lease states the vehicles must be operational to be parked in their space. My car is operational, I use it nearly every day, its not broken down, abandoned, or missing any parts, but his justification is that the plate tags are expired and one month over due...can he do this? Doesn't operational speak to functionality and isn't the intent of such clauses to keep common use areas free of eyesores and hazards? And last, doesn't his sudden interest in this "violation", when he never had one thing to say about it until circumstances caused me to get behind in my rent payment, expose him as attempting to circumvent the moratorium on evictions by harassing me as a means to move me out?


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1 Lawyer Answer
Manuel Alzamora Juarez
Manuel Alzamora Juarez
  • Landlord Tenant Lawyer
  • Berkeley, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: He is a creative landlord. It is not his duty to tow your car due to a DNV violation. He does not have the right to assume powers granted to the State. However, the LL is using dirty tactics to psychologically affect you and force you to move out. You should move your car out temporarily and frustrate his intent to evict you. He is stopped temporarily from evicting you, but as soon as the Covid 19 restriction is lifted, you will still be behind on your rent. Without any renewal of the Cvid 19 rental payment protections, I do not see how you can stop an eviction without paying rent. Best of luck.

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