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CalAttorney2, Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 10221
Experience:  I am a civil litigation attorney with experience representing HOAs, homeowners, businesses and others in real estate matters.
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Under a vacation stay agreement an owner of a condo-hotel

Customer Question

Under a vacation stay agreement an owner of a condo-hotel unit rented if for 6 months. This is not a residential lease.
Charged a deposit $950 and first month - $950.
4 days after the AC drain clogged and the Landlord's agent sent a guy to fix it. 3 days later they said the water was dripping in the corner.
The Maintenance person said it was from the unit above, where the same thing might have happened, the drain pipe clogged.
Guests were offered a similar room in the same building, until this could be fixed and dried up.
They are throwing everything: mold, bed bugs, claiming the unit in untenantable. Seems that they are trying to leave, and demand their deposit back. They are offering prorated rate for the days they stayed, and demand the rest of the money returned.
What is the Landlord has to do. Does he have to return money, and how this is calculated and regulated?
Submitted: 4 months ago.
Category: Real Estate Law
Expert:  CalAttorney2 replied 4 months ago.

Dear Customer,

Thank you for using our forum. My name is ***** ***** I hope to assist you today.

Your long term vacation lease agreement is going to be governed by the same landlord/tenant statute that applies to residential leases, however, the specifics of the lease contract are going to likely be different from what you would normally expect to find in a residential lease agreement.

(The terms matter, and the specific clauses and language in the lease is going to be enforceable).

Regarding the specific issues that you identified here, the tenant appears to be threatening a breach of lease claim.

However, all of their claims (real or imagined) are being addressed by moving them to a similar unit.

If the tenant really wants to push this matter to a conclusion, they could force it to court, where a judge would require them to show that the second unit was somehow not comparable to what they bargained for. (Which is a difficult standard if you are talking about simply moving them from one unit in the same complex to another - I assume with the same area).

If they decide to breach the lease and leave early anyway, they are responsible for rent just like under a residential lease:

Until: (1) the end of the lease term; or (2) a new tenant takes possession of the rental unit. The landlord must make reasonable efforts to find a new tenant, but the tenant is responsible for the costs of finding the new tenant (advertising, turning over the unit, etc.).

Short of having this issue end in a lawsuit, you can try to mediate the dispute with them - contact your local bar association and request referrals to mediators, a third party neutral can often help you reach a mutually agreeable resolution. Use the bar association's referrals to contact a mediator or two, the mediator will then contact the other party to set up a mediation session, and you can go from there - hopefully resulting in a formal or written settlement agreement, and save yourself the time and expense of litigation.

Customer: replied 4 months ago.

Would it be governed any differently if the agreement was for 3 months? At which point it is different and treated like Hotel stay in terms of time?

Thank you,

Customer: replied 4 months ago.

Also, in case of breach of the lease, and them leaving, and owner not wanting to sue, could the owner not return the Security Deposit?

Expert:  CalAttorney2 replied 4 months ago.

Dear Customer,

Time is not the issue. (There is a "Vacation Rental" license you can consider applying for - but keep in mind, there are additional requirements for you as a property owner/manager in exchange for any additional rights you may get in return, please speak to a local attorney regarding your property prior to making this change).

For a brief overview, see:

Security deposits are governed by statute, see this step by step guide on how to properly make a deduction:

Customer: replied 4 months ago.

Thank you

Expert:  CalAttorney2 replied 4 months ago.

You are welcome, and I do wish you the best with this matter.

Thank you for using our forum, and please do not forget to rate my service (the series of 5 stars next to the chat window) so that I can receive credit for assisting you.

If you would like to direct future questions to me specifically, you can do so by starting your new question with "For William B. Esq." and a moderator will notify me.

Thank you again, and again I wish you the best.