Los Angeles, CA asked in Landlord - Tenant for California

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 negative. That was yesterday. This morning I got a text message saying he was giving me a 10 day notice anyways and that I had to be out by the 6th of August at noon. I think he is worried I will somehow infect him. We do not have any lease or renters agreement. I am originally from Maryland and I believe in Maryland they have to give you a 30 day notice. I do not know about California though. I just want to make sure this is legal because if I am allowed to stay for 30 days that would make it much easier to find a new place to live. I will objectively be homeless on the 6th if not.

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3 Lawyer Answers
Manuel Alzamora Juarez
Manuel Alzamora Juarez
PREMIUM
Answered
  • Landlord Tenant Lawyer
  • Berkeley, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: First, Check your county’s Covid Rent Ordinance on Rents. I believe your LL May be violating this Ordinance. At any rate, he will not be able to file a lawsuit until the ordinance is revoked. Just pay your rent and keep all notices and messages, you may be able to sue him later for violating your peaceful enjoyment of your premises. By the way, there is no such thing as a 10 day notice to move in California. Best of luck

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

A: You may be a "lodger" as described in this section: "1946.5. (a) The hiring of a room by a lodger on a periodic basis within a dwelling unit occupied by the owner may be terminated by either party giving written notice to the other of his or her intention to terminate the hiring, at least as long before the expiration of the term of the hiring as specified in Section 1946. The notice shall be given in a manner prescribed in Section 1162 of the Code of Civil Procedure or by certified or registered mail, restricted delivery, to the other party, with a return receipt requested.

(b) Upon expiration of the notice period provided in the notice of termination given pursuant to subdivision (a), any right of the lodger to remain in the dwelling unit or any part thereof is terminated by operation of law. The lodger’s removal from the premises may thereafter be effected pursuant to the provisions of Section 602.3 of the Penal Code or other applicable provisions of law."

This says you get the amount of notice as your term of hiring, probably 30 days. The other State Code section for 30/60 days does not apply because the owner is occupying the property and you share, at least, the kitchen.

I agree with Attorney Juarez that this eviction probably violates the LA county COVID ordinance, you should look it up on the net.

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John Francis Nicholson
John Francis Nicholson
Answered
  • Landlord Tenant Lawyer
  • Woodland Hills, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: 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 paying rent, I will assume you are paying rent on a monthly basis. Moreover, I agree, a 10 day notice is not valid, and until the eviction moratorium is lifted, which could be months from now, the landlord can file an unlawful detainer, but the court will not issue a Summons. That is the magic document that when it is properly served you are within the jurisdiction of the court and the case moves forward.

Also, Civil Code 1946.5, as pointed out by Mr. Mandell, does NOT apply if the landlord is renting to an additional person on the premises in which case you become a "tenant" and not a "lodger." In fact, depending upon where you are in the Los Angeles area, the tenancy could result in being subject to rent control which provides tenants with additional rights.

Since the landlord can't do anything to evict you at present he may calm down because there appears to be no evidence that you are a health threat. A test that you are not asymptomatic would be helpful. Good luck.

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