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Maverick
Maverick, Attorney
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Satisfied Customers: 6390
Experience:  20 years experience as a civil trial and appellate lawyer
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I live in a 385-unit apartment complex at a harbor, built in

Customer Question

I live in a 385-unit apartment complex at a harbor, built in the late '60's. Because of the location, there are residents that have lived here 20-50 years, I've lived here over 6 years. Almost all residents have propane & charcoal BBQ's, which they enjoy on their patios and balconies, and the various Management Companies have encouraged this. Two years ago the property was sold, and a new Management Company took over. This management is terrible. A few weeks ago they circulated a letter stating BBQ's cannot be used due to a Cal Fire Code regarding "open-flame" items near "combustible construction". Management failed to reveal that there is a legal exception if the item is moved 10 feet from the "combustible construction". Now Management is stating they have the right to physically remove any BBQ from a tenant's patio or balcony. Local Law Enforcement tells me that this would be trespassing and theft. What are our rights regarding this?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Expert:  Maverick replied 1 year ago.

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Now Management is stating they have the right to physically remove any BBQ from a tenant's patio or balcony. Local Law Enforcement tells me that this would be trespassing and theft.

1. Yes, the local law enforcement is correct on this. The LL cannot just come in and take your personal property without your consent.

What are our rights regarding this?

2. Your rights regarding this are based on the terms of the lease agreement you signed and the Cal Fire Code. So long as you comply with both of those, you should be in good shape. The LL can make changes to the lease to exclude the BBQ grills from being allowed on the premises at the time the lease renews; but until then any act on their part to forbid them may constitute a breach of the lease or an interference with your quiet use and enjoyment of the premises.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I will check the lease and advise.
Expert:  Maverick replied 1 year ago.

okay....

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
OK, so I've checked my lease and it states only electric grills are allowed as they do not emit an open flame. They also state BBQ grills & propane tanks are not allowed on patios or balconies. This is the first time in the 6 years I've been here that they don't allow BBQ's. But that doesn't give them the right to steal it off my patio, right? What is my recourse?
Expert:  Maverick replied 1 year ago.

No, they cannot steal it off your patios; but they can sue you for breach of the lease agreement if you do not remove it and thereby force you to choose between the BBQ or the lease. If you look at the lease there is probably another clause that says that if the LL failed to enforce a provision of the lease in the past that does not mean he waived the right to enforce it in the future. If that clause is there, then you need to remove the BBQ grill and propane tank if you still want to live there. However, the LL must enforce this across the board for all tenants and not selectively.

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