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My nephew inherited his mother's house. He moved back to…

Customer Question
My nephew inherited his...

My nephew inherited his mother's house. He moved back to Germany and signed a 5 year extension on the lease for the renters; however, last year my nephew died. His wife and son would like to move back to the house in the USA. Yet the renters are saying they have this lease extension that is still valid.

Lawyer's Assistant: Because laws vary from place to place, can you tell me what state the property is in?

We are in California. San Luis Obispo County to be exact.

Lawyer's Assistant: What are the terms of the lease? Any issues related to maintenance or upkeep?

We don't have a copy of the extension. The renter just told us about it. The lease we have a copy of expired January 31 of this year. The format used was a standard lease format purchased from a stationery store.

Lawyer's Assistant: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?

Our niece is the now the executor to the estate established by the terms of his mother's original will. The house is paid for but his son should be the sole ere to the house once he is of age.

Submitted: 12 days ago.Category: Landlord-Tenant
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Answered in 9 minutes by:
2/6/2018
Lawyer: Lucy, Esq., Attorney replied 12 days ago
Lucy, Esq.
Lucy, Esq., Attorney
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Satisfied Customers: 31,231
Experience: Attorney
Verified

Hi,

I'm Lucy, and I'd be happy to answer your questions today. I'm sorry for your loss.

A valid lease extension entered by your nephew would pass to his heirs, meaning that the tenants would have a right to continue living there. However, they have the burden of proving that a valid lease extension exists. It would only be enforceable if it were in writing, meaning that they need to prove it exists. Without a lease extension, the new owner would have a right to terminate their rental agreement by providing 60 days written notice.

The first step is to ask the tenant to produce a copy of the extension. If they do it, then the wife and son unfortunately can't live in the house. If not, then the wife can explain that she has no record of the extension and that they'll have to move if they can't produce it. If they still don't, she can serve them a notice to vacate. They would have to go to court to establish their right to remain on the premises. In California, a notice to vacate always terminates at the end of the month. That means a notice served today would terminate the lease as of April 30, and a notice served February 28 would do the same. So she has a few weeks for them to look for the notice.

Have I answered your question? If any part of my response is unclear, please let me know without choosing a rating. It’s my goal to deliver excellent service, so if I've done that, please give me a 5-star rating before signing out. Thank you for using JustAnswer.

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Customer reply replied 12 days ago
I think you have answered my question; however, if this is intended to be the primary residence for the new owner do they not have any rights regarding the house?
Lawyer: Lucy, Esq., Attorney replied 12 days ago

Unfortunately, they can't terminate an existing lease even if they wanted to use the place as their primary residence. They can choose not to renew the lease for that reason. The tenant could sue for damages if they have a valid lease for a set term.

Late fees in a California lease are void as a matter of public policy. However, if they miss a payment, they can be evicted for non-payment of rent before the lease is up.

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Lawyer: Lucy, Esq., Attorney replied 10 days ago

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Lucy, Esq.
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