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LawTalk
LawTalk, Attorney
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 35309
Experience:  I have 30 years legal experience. Additionally, in CA I held a Real Estate Broker's license.
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Thank you. A friend of mine who lives in Canada has a

Customer Question

Thank you. A friend of mine who lives in Canada has a property in California, she had a tenant who's lease expired on June 30, 2015 and moved out. Tenant took some of the furniture and household stuff with him (the house was leased furnished). My friend the landlord and her tenant came to an agreement on the amount to be deducted off of the deposit for the missing items, a refund check was sent out to the tenant on July 7, 2015, as the final settlement. The house was listed for rent and is still vacant.
On August 4, 2015 the Tenant sent an email to the landlord stating that he had found the items and had entered the house (with the landlord's knowledge and or authorization) and left the items in the garage. He emailed some pictures as evidence for this action. He is demanding the refund of the monies that was deducted from his security deposit.
additionally he is threatening the landlord with legal action.
The following are the concerns:
1- What is the Landlord's remedy for the tenant's action of illegally breaking into her property 35 days after he has moved out.
2- The landlord has no means of checking on the validity of tenant's claim as to the extent and or condition of the missing items, as she live overseas and the tenant is playing this game with her.
3- Once a refund check is issued for in this particular case, how long does the tenant have if any to return the missing items.
The Property is located in Los Angeles and the total deduction for the missing items were about $1800.00
Thank you
Allen M.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Real Estate Law
Expert:  LawTalk replied 1 year ago.
Good afternoon,
I'm Doug, and I'm very sorry to hear of your friend's situation. My goal is to provide you with excellent service today.
You asked:
1- What is the Landlord's remedy for the tenant's action of illegally breaking into her property 35 days after he has moved out.
The landlord should report the break-in to the police.
2- The landlord has no means of checking on the validity of tenant's claim as to the extent and or condition of the missing items, as she live overseas and the tenant is playing this game with her.
The agreed deduction from the deposit of the "stolen" items constituted a sale and the landlord is not obligated to buy the items back. The return of the items, if it is true, does not constitute a sale for which the landlord must pay the former tenant.
3- Once a refund check is issued for in this particular case, how long does the tenant have if any to return the missing items.
They had no time, since the agreement was that the tenant pay for the items they illegally took. Once the agreement was reached and the refund check mailed---that was it. Too late to return the items unless the landlord now wants to accept them and pay for them.
You may reply back to me using the Reply link and I will be happy to continue to assist you until I am able to address your concerns, to your satisfaction.
Please remember to rate my service to you so that I can be compensated for helping you.
I wish you and yours the best in 2015,
Doug
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you so very kindly,
Please note the agreement for the deduction was basically as follows:
1- The landlord gave the tenant 3 days to return the furnishings, which he failed to do, she (landlord) itemized the missing furnishing and a line item price for each item, where possible she cited websites that the tenant could go and examine the pricing for the said item and gave the tenant a total. Tenant asked her to mail the check to his address. There was no formal agreement with extensive verbiage, does this suffice?2- Additionally what is she suppose to do with the furnishings that he is claiming to have returned? How does one report this to the police as breaking an entry based on the tenants claim that he has done so? Los Angeles police are very difficult, they do not take reports easily!3- She is still in Canada but is planning to Visit Los Angeles in Late September or Early October, that is the first chance that she would have to examine what this tenant has returned if any- Would this obligate her in any ways?4- What is the best way to rid of this tenant, would be able to write a letter of cease & decease, what would cost for this service, are you licensed to practice in California if so please.Thank you so kindlyAllen M.
Expert:  LawTalk replied 1 year ago.
Did tenant acknowledge the right of landlord to deduct the cost of the items? Or did the tenant just say send me the deposit?
Expert:  LawTalk replied 1 year ago.
This seems like a very crucial matter for you, and your questions and issues suggest that an in-depth conversation might better suit your needs. If you are interested, I can offer you a phone conference as opposed to continuing in this question and answer thread. I will make that offer to you after I get this posted to your question thread. All you need do is accept the offer if you would like me to call. Let me know if you don't want a call and I can continue here.
Thanks in advance,
Doug

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