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legalgems
legalgems, attorney
Category: Landlord-Tenant
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My property manager's CalBRE license expired in 2012 and we

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Hi my property manager's CalBRE license expired in 2012 and we did not know this at the time of our lease signing. I am trying to move out and get a full refund on my deposit, but our lease is null and void since he is an unlicensed property manager. How do I get my deposit back?
JA: When we are ready I'll take you to the appropriate web page.
Customer: Hello?
JA: Hi. What is your issue regarding?
Customer: I just sent it a few minutes ago. I was wondering if you were checking on it
JA: Because laws vary from place to place, can you tell me what state the property is in?
Customer: California
JA: What are the terms of the lease? Any issues related to maintenance or upkeep?
Customer: 12 months but our lease is null and void because our property manager is unlicensed
JA: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: No I just want to know what to do
Under the landlord tenant act the tenant would still be entitled to the return of their deposit since the licensure of the PM is a separate matter. The tenant would have to send a demand letter to the PM requesting the deposit and if they fail to return it theym tenant can sue in small claims, which is appropriate for cases under $10,000. One must first send a demand letter before filing suit. The PM has 21 days to return the deposit. Please seehttp://www.dca.ca.gov/publications/landlordbook/sec-deposit.shtmlFurther questions please post here otherwise kindly rate positively. Information is for educational purposes only
Customer: replied 10 days ago.
But do I have to give notice or find someone to sublet as he is telling me to do so even though our contract is void because he is unlicensed?
Customer: replied 10 days ago.
He is also telling me to find someone to sublet, but it says I cannot sublet the unit or do an agreement in our lease. Since it is void I'm not sure what stands at this point. I just want to get out ASAP and get my full deposit back.
Customer: replied 10 days ago.
The lease term is 12 months and I am trying to move out sooner than that, so do I still have the right to send a demand letter?

Per Businesses and Professional code 10131 the lease is void if the PM is not licensed. The tenant can vacate the unit without giving notice if the lease is illegal and the deposit would need to be returned. There can still be deductions for damages. A small claims judge can determine an implied lease between the actual owner and tenant so to be safe the tenant would give 30 days notice to the owner since an implied lease does require 30 days notice

Customer: replied 10 days ago.
What is an implied lease? Can our "lease" be considered an implied lease even though it is void? And am I still entitled to my full deposit with the exception of deductions for damages if I am moving out prior to lease end if the implied lease stands? It would only go to court if I filed a small claims case if I don't receive my deposit back, correct?
Customer: replied 10 days ago.
What about the subletting piece?

An implied lease is one that is based on fact, i.e. the fact that a person is liVing in the unit and paying rent. It would be implied between the owner and the tenant, not the PM.

Subletting would require a finding that the lease was valid. If the lease is invalid due to the PM issue, there would be no tenancy to sublet for. Rather it would be an implied lease and those are month to month.

And yes, that is correct about small claims and the deposit.

Customer: replied 10 days ago.
an implied lease in court is considered month to month? I also just looked up that Business and Professions Code 1031 and did not find any information stating the the lease is void if the PM is unlicensed. Where can I find that information?
Customer: replied 10 days ago.
Also how do I know you are a real lawyer?

The site has information on our credentials so you can contact customer service to find out their verification process

Yes an implied lease is month to month un less rent is paid more frequently. The duration of the implied lease depends on how often payment is made.

That code states the PM must be licensed. The legal doctrine that illegal leases are void is based on common law

Duffens v. Valenti is a CA case discussing how illegal contracts are void based on public policy.

Customer: replied 10 days ago.
If I send a demand notice let's say tomorrow giving my 30 days notice and requesting the full deposit, am I obligated to pay for the full month of June if I move out on or before the 16th? I pay rent on the 1st of every month.

No, the o ligation terminates when the notice is effective provided the tenant moves out.

Customer: replied 10 days ago.
What does that mean exactly? When I send my notice, I am no longer obligated to pay as of the date of the notice? Or does that mean I am no longer obligated to pay after the 30 days is up (i.e. the 16th)?

The obligation ceases after the 30 days is up, that is correct

Customer: replied 10 days ago.
Ok. Thank you for clarifying. So just to make sure, because the lease is technically void and an implied lease is 30 days, I am only obligated to give 30 days notice and to move out of my apartment on or before the 30 days is up, and should receive my deposit in full minus damages if any within a certain time frame? I am not obligated to find someone to sublet my room and/or do a novation, as my property manager is telling me I have to do? Our implied lease doesn't state anything about how long the landlord has to give us our deposit back. Is there a standard timeframe in California?

Yes the statute requires the deposit or an itemized accounting be provided within 21 days of vacating. Provided tenant leaves a forwarding address.

If a tenant subleases, the sublessee would have the same issue with the non licensed PM so that would continue to create issues and the court does not choose remedies that would be illegal. Similarly if the lease is void that would include future obligations imposed by the lease.

Customer: replied 9 days ago.
in the attached document, are any of the points a-e valid, and how would I cover myself by letting my PM know that the lease is null and void because his license is expired? If some but not all of points a-e are valid, how do I write that in the comment area as to why I am legally terminating the lease and am no longer obligated for the remaining payments, for subletting, etc. after the 30 days?

Im sorry, review of legal documents is an additional service I don't participate in because it requires a conflict of interest check, a limited scope retainer agreement, and other procedures.

I hope the above information has been useful; please remember we can only provide information and cannot advise a particular course of action.

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