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Lucy, Esq.
Lucy, Esq., Attorney
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Satisfied Customers: 27632
Experience:  Attorney
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I live in CA. I own home. Boyfriend moved in Jan. 2013. He

Customer Question

Hi. I live in CA. I own home. Boyfriend moved in Jan. 2013. He owes past due rent over 7,000.00. He has found a new GF, and is house hopping. He has not given notice to move. He has not removed all of his possessions. He has not been here since Nov. 5th.
He is the only person who live in my home who pays rent (my minor children live with me 50%).
Questions are:
1. Serve 3 day notice to pay or quit or, 7 day notice to vacate (he is supposed to pay his rent weekly)?
2. Best way to collect past due rent; 3day/UD or sm claims?
3. I have spoken to him and requested he come remove his belongings. He never shows up. should I serve a notice of abandonment with the 3 day notice so I can legally remove and store his possessions?
If I serve 3 day pay or quit, I am not certain about the language stating "premises in possession" or is this wording proper even if they do not have 100% possession?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Expert:  Lucy, Esq. replied 1 year ago.

Hi,

I'm Lucy, and I'd be happy to answer your questions today. I'm sorry to hear about your situation.

1. If you serve a 3 day notice to pay or quit, and he actually pays you, you have to let him stay. But you could turn around and serve him with a 7 day notice the next day, so it's really up to you. If you want him out ASAP and don't think he'll pay $7,000 to stay, it may be to your benefit to serve the 3 day notice.

2. After he moves out, you can sue for the unpaid rent and get a judgment against him. If he has a job, you'll be able to use that judgment to garnish his wages until he's paid in full. You can also report the judgment to the credit bureaus, which might encourage him to pay faster if he's worried about his credit rating. A judgment can also be used to be a lien on money in a person's bank accounts.

3. You're allowed to serve a notice of abandonment at the same time as a 3 day notice. If you serve a 3 day notice and he doesn't leave, then you can go to court and get an eviction order (plus a judgment). If he still doesn't leave, a sheriff will come to your house and place his belongings in the street. If you serve a notice of abandonment, he has 18 days to reclaim his stuff. Given the practicalities of the court system, chances are that the 18th day to reclaim his items would occur around the same time as a hearing on the eviction (assuming he doesn't pay). So it's up to you if you want to try it. Note, though, that if you go with an abandonment notice and he doesn't reclaim his stuff, you'll have to hold an auction if it's worth more than $300. This site has some good information on that.

http://californialandlordtenantlaw.blogspot.com/2012/02/what-to-do-with-tenants-abandoned.html

4. The phrase "premises in possession" is fine even if he only has part of the property. You can add other language if you want to try to clarify it, though.

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