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Gerald-Esquire
Gerald-Esquire, Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 2862
Experience:  30 years of experience.
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My girlfriend and her sister rent a guest house in Beverly

Customer Question

My girlfriend and her sister rent a guest house in Beverly Hills, ca (and I have been living with them for about 2 years).
We were just given 3 day notice to pay or quit but had reached verbal agreement with the house owners wife that security deposit would cover last months rent.
Last night the husband was banging on the door and windows for hours trying to talk about when moving out and they also briefly turned off power, wifi and cable while my girlfriend and sister were hiding inside scared.
We were served 60 day notice a few days into July dated July 1st with owner saying he wanted the unit for his daughter.
I believe the guest house to be illegal / non conforming units as it was zoned as a single family buildings there is now 3 total units (ours, a smaller converter unit a different tenant rents out downstairs, and the owners office).
There was never a lease, only a paper acknowledging receipt of deposit that I have in my possession. There also was issues earlier in the tenancy with them paying gas for all units.
Submitted: 3 months ago.
Category: Real Estate Law
Expert:  Gerald-Esquire replied 3 months ago.

Hello,

Thank you for using Just Answer. I want to provide you the best service I can. Please feel free to ask any follow up questions you have.

I am an attorney with 30 years of experience; I hope to provide you information that will help you in resolving your question.

The husband's attempts to force you out through self help means (banging on the door and windows and turning off power, wifi and cable) is illegal. Evictions must be handled through the courts, and his self help methods can be grounds to sue the landlord.

The penalties that the landlord can face and be ordered to pay to you for his conduct include:

1) actual (out-of-pocket losses), such as motel bills if the tenant has to find a temporary place to live because the landlord cut off utility service, and
2) punitive damages of up $100 per day of violation (but not less than $250 in punitive damages for each separate violation).

So this means that the three of you can bring an action in small claims court against the landlord.

This link can help you get started bringing a claim against the landlord for his illegal eviction practices:

http://www.courts.ca.gov/1017.htm

Also if the unit is an illegal unit the landlord can be penalized by the local zoning officer for renting an illegal unit.

The fact that there is no written lease does not alter the law on the subject.

The three day notice is simply the first step. After that Notice expires the landlord must bring an eviction action in Small Claims Court to remove you.

This reference guide will be useful to you in this situation as well as for future rentals:

http://www.dca.ca.gov/publications/landlordbook/catenant.pdf

I hope the information I provide is useful to you. I want you to be comfortable and satisfied with my attempt to assist you. Please, if you have ANY follow up questions, feel free to ask. Please note that I am generally unavailable Friday evening through Sunday.

Please do not forget to give me a positive rating. It adds nothing to your costs but it helps me greatly. Thank you.

If you are dissatisfied with my response PLEASE let me know before giving me a negative review so that I may try to be of better assistance. Or if you prefer, let me know and I can “Opt Out” and your question can be re-posted without additional cost to you. I will be fair to you and only ask the same from you.

Good luck.

Please note: Information is educational and not given as legal advice. Only your local attorney can give legal advice. I can't establish or accept an attorney-client relationship with you. All posts are available for public viewing.

Kind regards,

Gerald

Customer: replied 3 months ago.
Thank youIs there anyway that the previous agreement of security deposit constituting last months rent can be a response to the three day notice?In your opinion how long would the eviction process take place? We are still planning to be out by the end of the 60 day notice at the end of this month (but do not want negative record as we are applying for new apartment).
Expert:  Gerald-Esquire replied 3 months ago.

Yes. You can respond by pointing to that verba agreement. Also you can raise the illegal actions.

He then has to go to the court to initiate a court ordered eviction. You will raise it at that time too.

The process can take 20 to 60 days depending on the courts docket. It can take longer if you filie motions to delay.

BUT you are in a good position to negotiate since he violated the law by trying to force you out.

Kind regards,

Gerald

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