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Lucy, Esq.
Lucy, Esq., Attorney
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Satisfied Customers: 27668
Experience:  Attorney
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I rented out a room in my apartment and the person I am

Customer Question

Hello, I rented out a room in my apartment and the person I am renting to is a total nightmare
JA: Because laws vary from place to place, can you tell me what state the property is in?
Customer: I am in California
JA: Has anything been filed or reported?
Customer: No
JA: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: This person is not on my actual lease. They are a sublet
Submitted: 1 month ago.
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Customer: replied 1 month ago.
The thing is the woman is very hostile, does drug, and is a prostitute (I have proof). I did create a rental agreement between the both of us and on it stated a 30 day to terminate the agreement has to be given on the first of the month. I gave her a 30 day notice to move on 10/17/2016 and made sure the date was posted dated for November 1, 2016. Things have gotten worsen since then and she basically informed the property management she is living in my unit. I spoke to the onsite manager and she inform me she had to be out immediately. Will management give me a 3 day notice to correct the issue or can they legal move forward with an eviction process if they decide to evict me? Also this trouble tenant has only been here for 2 weeks, can I just put her out? If not would legal issue would I be facing if I move her out and change the locks?
Expert:  Lucy, Esq. replied 1 month ago.

Hi,

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

First, and most importantly, you absolutely CANNOT change the locks or put her out. She is legally considered your tenant and you are legally considered her tenant. If you change the locks to force her out, she can sue you for a penalty of $100 for every day she's locked out, plus a court order granting her access back to the property, plus her attorney's fees. Cal. Civ. Code, Section 789.3. That leaves you in a MUCH worse position than you're in now. The fact that you sublet without your landlord's permission unfortunately doesn't change your legal obligation to your tenant. She could sue you if you get evicted and put her out without a proper notice.

I'm not sure if that's a typo above, but a 30 day notice served on October 17 would be valid December 1, not November 1. That's what's required for a regular, no-fault eviction notice. If she's doing drugs in the apartment or bringing johns into the apartment, then you could give her a 3 day notice to vacate. It's a violation of the lease to use the premises for an unlawful purpose.

Your management company should give you a 3 day notice to vacate in order to avoid eviction. If she's not out, the they can go to court and file a Complaint. It can take time to get a court date, so it's theoretically possible that she'd be gone before it gets to that point (and you can stall by asking for discovery, if you have to). Because your subtenant has a right to remain on the premises through December 1, if you get evicted before she leaves, she could sue you for damages. A three day notice can avoid that, if she leaves. Or you could consider trying to work out a deal where she agrees to leave and not sue and you agree to pay her some amount of money you think is fair (in order to get to stay in your apartment). That's a decision you can make after you see if the landlord files for eviction - if she's out before the court date, you'll win the case.

If you have any questions or concerns about my response, please reply WITHOUT RATING. It's important that you are 100% satisfied with my courtesy and professionalism. Otherwise, please rate my service positively so I am paid for the time I spend answering questions. If you are on a mobile device, you may need to scroll to the right. There is no charge for follow-up questions. Thank you.

Expert:  Lucy, Esq. replied 1 month ago.

Did you have any other questions about this?