Lexington, MA asked in Landlord - Tenant for California

Q: My son goes to UC Berkeley. Before COVID happened he signed up for a 1 yr lease beginning mid May since he was going

to be taking summer classes. But then he came home when pandemic hit. The landlord did not charge him during the summer. Now classes will start up and Berkeley is going hybrid. He is a freshman and all of his classes will be online so he wont be going back. But the landlord now says they have to charge since Berkeley is going hybrid and lease will start aug 1. There was recently a law passed in Berkeley allowing tenant to cancel lease and we sent in a termination letter. But there is some confusion around that law and although we have not heard back from the landlord we expect they wont comply. What is the best course of action in this scenario?

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1 Lawyer Answer
Maurice Mandel II
Maurice Mandel II
  • Landlord Tenant Lawyer
  • Newport Beach, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: I have not seen the Berkeley ordinance regarding the rents, but IMO the best thing you can do is to be sure that your termination letter is clear that the reason is because of the CV caused change to Berkeley's program, and to have a proof that the letter was delivered to the LL, such as a certified mail return receipt. If you authorized payments through a credit card for automatic deductions, keep an eye on the charges and promptly file any disputes. If the LL continues to be a problem, you should enlist the aid of the University. Have a safe and happy 4th.

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