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A tenant in a rent-controlled unit in Los Angeles has to execute a new lease if the new lease is not "materially different" from the old lease. That is, you cannot change the terms, like, removing parking, etc. Otherwise, yes, the tenant can be evicted. However, it will be YOUR burden in court to prove that your new lease is not materially different from the old lease. You will have to produce the lease to win this legal fight. If the only difference is that the landlord is you instead of your deceased father, then the lease should not be considered materially different and you would be able to evict the tenant. You might also be able to evict the tenant based on nonpayment of rent as he is writing the checks to your deceased father. I would in writing let the tenant know that he/she can no longer send the check in the old landlord's name and if he does it will not be accepted and will be considered nonpayment of rent as the person is no longer living and you are the new landlord. Send this certified mail and record all interactions.
Under the Los Angeles Rent Control laws, eviction termination notices based on non-payment of rent requires that the landlord register the unit and serve the tenant with a copy of the certificate of registration as a prerequisite to demanding rent. Failing to meet this requirement is a defense to an eviction based on non-payment of rent under Los Angeles rent control. Furthermore, registration and service on the tenant AFTER service of the 3 day notice will not save the 3 day notice. Both registration AND service of a copy of the Statement of Registration of Rental Units must be served concurrently or prior to the 3 day termination notice. I would also file the 60 days notice of the end of the tenancy because the tenant will not agree to the new lease (again make sure that you offer the same terms except for of course the new landlord).
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