Oakland, CA asked in Landlord - Tenant for California

Q: I would like to know if a landlord can evict you for minor damage to the unit even if your rent is payed up??

My kids broke the shower head and the landlord said to repair it … it was 2000$. My rent is payed yet they said if I don’t pay it in 30 days they can evict me: I never heard of a 2000$ shower head: and if they excepted my no for rent,, how can they hold the repair bill over my head and say if I don’t pay it in 30days they can evict… can they???

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1 Lawyer Answer
James L. Arrasmith
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  • Landlord Tenant Lawyer
  • Sacramento, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: In general, a landlord may have the right to evict a tenant for damage to the rental unit, even if the rent is paid up, but the specific circumstances of the case will depend on the terms of the lease agreement and applicable state and local laws.

If the lease agreement includes provisions for tenant-caused damages, the landlord may be able to seek compensation for repairs from the tenant. However, the amount of the repair cost and the timeline for payment will likely be subject to negotiation and/or legal action if necessary.

In California, for example, a landlord can seek compensation for damages beyond normal wear and tear caused by the tenant, but they must provide a written itemization of the deductions from the security deposit within 21 days of the tenant vacating the premises. If the landlord does not provide the written itemization, they may lose their right to deduct the cost of repairs from the security deposit or to pursue legal action against the tenant for compensation.

It's also worth noting that landlords in California are required to provide tenants with a notice to cure before proceeding with an eviction action. The notice must give the tenant a certain amount of time to remedy the issue, such as repairing the damage, before the landlord can file an eviction lawsuit.

If you are facing an eviction threat for damage to the unit and you believe that the landlord is not acting in accordance with the lease agreement or applicable laws, it may be advisable to seek legal advice from a qualified attorney or housing rights organization in your area.

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