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Christopher B, Esq
Christopher B, Esq, Attorney
Category: Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 2963
Experience:  Litigation Attorney with education focus on estate planning and tax
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I inherited a multiple unit dwelling in Los Angeles

Customer Question

I inherited a multiple unit dwelling in Los Angeles California. The units are subject to rent control. The original lease between my deceased father and the existing tenant expired years ago. The tenant and my father have been on a month to month tenancy since then. I as the trustee transferred the property from the trust to me and my sister. I have given the tenant a new lease to sign between my sister, myself and the tenant for the tenant to sign because you can't rent from a dead person. The tenant refuses to sign and keeps sending rent checks in my dead father's name even though she knows that my father is dead. Can I evict this tenant with 60 days notice for failure to execute the lease with the new owners?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Estate Law
Expert:  Christopher B, Esq replied 1 year ago.

My name is***** and I will be helping you with your question today. This is for informational purposes only and does not establish an attorney client relationship.

A tenant in a rent-controlled unit in Los Angeles has to execute a new lease if the new lease is not "materially different" from the old lease. That is, you cannot change the terms, like, removing parking, etc. Otherwise, yes, the tenant can be evicted. However, it will be YOUR burden in court to prove that your new lease is not materially different from the old lease. You will have to produce the lease to win this legal fight. If the only difference is that the landlord is you instead of your deceased father, then the lease should not be considered materially different and you would be able to evict the tenant. You might also be able to evict the tenant based on nonpayment of rent as he is writing the checks to your deceased father. I would in writing let the tenant know that he/she can no longer send the check in the old landlord's name and if he does it will not be accepted and will be considered nonpayment of rent as the person is no longer living and you are the new landlord. Send this certified mail and record all interactions.

Under the Los Angeles Rent Control laws, eviction termination notices based on non-payment of rent requires that the landlord register the unit and serve the tenant with a copy of the certificate of registration as a prerequisite to demanding rent. Failing to meet this requirement is a defense to an eviction based on non-payment of rent under Los Angeles rent control. Furthermore, registration and service on the tenant AFTER service of the 3 day notice will not save the 3 day notice. Both registration AND service of a copy of the Statement of Registration of Rental Units must be served concurrently or prior to the 3 day termination notice. I would also file the 60 days notice of the end of the tenancy because the tenant will not agree to the new lease (again make sure that you offer the same terms except for of course the new landlord).

Please let me know if you have any further questions and please positively rate my answer as it is the only way I will be compensated for my time by the site.

Expert:  Christopher B, Esq replied 1 year ago.

Just checking back in, did you have any further questions?

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