Spring, TX asked in Estate Planning and Real Estate Law for California

Q: I just inhereted a rental property. The tennants are not paying. They asked for docs. What am I required to give them?

I have a trust that leaves everything to me. I have been very nice to them. I introduced myself in Dec and asked for the rent and gave them my information: name, address, phone number, and email. I told them they could mail it since I don't live near by. They said they would mail it. Jan there is a scheduled repair. I pay for it and tell them the repairmen are coming at a particular time, and remind them of the unpaid rent for Dec and now Jan. They said it will be in the mail shortly and tell me they were waiting on me to contact them and they didn't have my address. Now Feb, I contact them, and ask if everything is okay. Rent is now behind 3 months. Now they tell me that they have been waiting on me to send them something. Then they ask me for documentation that I'm now the landlord. I confirm with them that no one else is trying to collect rent. Their rent is also incredibly low.

2 Lawyer Answers
Julie King
Julie King
Answered
  • Estate Planning Lawyer
  • Monterey, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: The lease is the key document saying what the tenant and the landlord are required to do in various situations. You must comply with any terms in your lease that apply to a change in the Landlord. If your lease doesn’t require notice be given or some specific proof that you are your mom’s child, I would give them a letter saying you are confirming in writing what you already told them, then repeat the fact you are the new landlord and provide your address and phone number. The letter should clearly state they are behind in the rent as you’ve already informed them and, if it isn’t paid by a certain date, you will begin unlawful detainer proceedings. Send the letter via overnight delivery, so you can prove it was received. If you need help interpreting the lease terms, hire a lawyer for assistance. Best wishes.

Yelena Gurevich agrees with this answer

Howard E. Kane
PREMIUM
Howard E. Kane
Answered
  • Estate Planning Lawyer
  • Oakland, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: The property needs to be properly transferred to you by the successor trustee via a Trust Transfer Deed. The Trust Transfer Deed is your ownership document which should be shown to the tenants as proof that you are the new owner. Call me if you or the successor trustee need help with this.

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