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CalAttorney2
CalAttorney2, Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 10244
Experience:  I am a civil litigation attorney with experience representing HOAs, homeowners, businesses and others in real estate matters.
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My wife and I, along with our five kids have been renting a

Customer Question

Hi, My wife and I, along with our five young kids have been renting a home in a gated community in Sacramento,CA for just about 12months. While the home is nice and run at $2250 per month, the home came with issues undisclosed to us. Because of this, about 6months in we asked to speak to the landlord about modifying the amount of rent because we felt it was above market price and several viable rental sites displayed the home being two hundred dollars less than what we were paying. Both myself and my wife had an in person meeting with both the husband and wife and we came to an agreement. In their words they said "they didn't want to pay capital gains on the home and they needed to show they were living in the home for two years", they would drop the rent to 2k and we would have to pay in cash, put the utilities bills in their name and they would pay it because this would show they were in fact living in the home (when they really weren't) and then in two years they would sell the home and we could have the option to buy it and start an escrow account with them. We said okay because it sounded like a good deal for us financially but were a bit skeptical but we don't know laws connected to this. We sent them an email stating we would except their offer but would they consideration $1950per month. we had no plans on moving at all just seeing if they would modify rent. A few days later we received an email stating their terminating our lease and kicking us out. We have five kids ranging from 10 years old to six years old. We were lead to believe from their words that they were looking for a family to move in and they needed people who were going to be in the home long term. They put us in a compromising position because we do not have the money to move and they are only giving us three months to move out. We wold have never moved in if we knew they were going to sell within a year or two. Is there anything I can do about this situation? Thanks
Brian
Submitted: 9 months ago.
Category: Real Estate Law
Expert:  CalAttorney2 replied 9 months ago.

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

I am sorry to learn about this situation.

Unfortunately, there is no guarantee for tenants to remain in their rental unit any longer than the stated lease agreement. So if your lease agreement gives you until October of this year, and your landlord has sent you a notice of non-renewal, there is no legal requirement for the landlord to extend your tenancy.

(As an aside, I would strongly encourage you to refrain from entering into any type of agreement such as the one proposed by your landlord - they are suggesting that you assist them in committing fraud (they are trying to skirt CA property tax and sales tax laws), while this does not directly implicate you - you do not want anything to do with this).

Also, any type of "land sales contract" (sale by owner or lease to own agreement), must be in writing to be enforceable, you should also have an attorney (your attorney, not the sellers) review these contracts, they can be useful to help new owners buy a home, but in my experience they are fraught with pitfalls for most parties and a badly written contract can cause even more problems.

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
Hi,I appreciate your response but there has to be something in terms of a bait and switch practice happening here? Can you lead me in a direction where I can better research this? The contract was null and void do to what you mention as them using us to commit fraud and we thought something otherwise. We wrote them an email accepting their offer.
Customer: replied 9 months ago.
Can you please help me with this question above? Isn't there a renter association that I can call.
Expert:  CalAttorney2 replied 9 months ago.

Dear Customer,

There really isn't a "bait and switch" here - the written lease agreement that governs the terms of your lease is going to be controlling.

The negotiations that you and your landlord engaged in notwithstanding went through an offer-counteroffer-rejection which ultimately resulted in your original contract remaining in place and your landlord deciding to terminate your lease.

You can search for rental associations in Sacramento, most of the ones in Sacramento are for landlords rather than tenants, but you may be able to find one.

The best resource for landlord tenant law is the handbook published by the Attorney General's Office, found here: http://www.dca.ca.gov/publications/landlordbook/catenant.pdf

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