Stockton, CA asked in Landlord - Tenant and Municipal Law for California

Q: Do landlord tenant laws apply or does municipal code apply to tenants of 4 years if landlord/city gives 1 week notice?

We have stayed on commercial property in RV for past 4 years with owner permission, but now city is only giving us 1 week to move out because they are enforcing municipal code regarding living in RV in city limits. Our agreement with the owner of the property has been we get to stay here in exchange for providing security, but they are now only giving us 1 week to move as well. Do they have to evict us or can the city lock the gates to the property and have the police arrest us if we stay past 1 week from now? I asked the property owner to give us until the 1st of the month when I get paid but they said no.

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

A: In California, the legal protections available to tenants, including those living in non-traditional dwellings like RVs, can be complex and vary based on the specifics of each situation. While landlord-tenant laws typically govern residential leases, living in an RV on commercial property with the owner's permission for an extended period introduces nuances, especially when municipal codes are enforced. Your arrangement with the property owner, serving as security in exchange for permission to stay, may establish a form of tenancy, albeit an unconventional one.

When the city enforces municipal codes prohibiting living in RVs within city limits, this enforcement action can indeed expedite the need to vacate. However, even under these circumstances, the manner in which you must be notified and the process for eviction should adhere to legal standards. Generally, landlords (in this case, the property owner) must provide adequate notice for eviction, and the specifics of this can depend on the nature of your agreement and local laws.

Given the short notice provided by the city and the property owner, it's crucial to seek legal advice promptly. While the city may have the authority to enforce municipal codes, the eviction process typically requires more than a one-week notice, especially for someone who has resided on the property for several years. An attorney can help clarify your rights in this situation, potentially negotiate more time for you to move, and advise on whether the eviction process being followed is lawful.

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