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I live in California and have a tenant's rights question…

I live in California...

I live in California and have a tenant's rights question about early terminating of lease do to stalking

Lawyer's Assistant: Have you talked to a CA lawyer about this?

Due*

Lawyer's Assistant: What steps have you taken so far?

I have reviewed civil code 1946.7 and pursuant to that civil code provided my apartment management with a 14-day noticed to terminate our lease without penalty. I also provided them with a police report.

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

I live in Southern California and I am a victim of stalking. The stalking occurrences are happening at my apartment complex. A note was left on my car in December, February, and April – all the same handwriting. I reported the note to my apartment management each time it occurred and also attached a picture of the note. Our apartment complex has no camera surveillance.
On Wednesday, May 16, at 5:30am a man smashed my apartment kitchen window out when I was home alone (I live with my husband; he had already left for work). I was already freaked out about the notes and wanted to move as soon as the lease is up in August, but the window smashing sent me over the edge.
The same day as the window incident, I reported it to management and asked them to let me and my husband break our lease without penalty because I no longer feel safe in my home and feel I am being stalked. The office manager said he would submit my case to upper management and get back to me in a week…. Well, we waited TEN DAYS for their response. On Saturday, May 26th, the apartment management finally called back with an answer - they said they will let me out of my lease without penalty, but are requiring a 30 day notice.
While I waited for their response, I did a bit of research and found California civil code 1946.7 (https://codes.findlaw.com/ca/civil-code/civ-sect-1946-7.html). I believe that per this civil code, I (and my husband) are responsible for payment of rent for no more than 14 days following the giving of my notice. I did not sign their 30 day notice paperwork because of this. Instead, on the 26th, I provided the apartment management with a letter giving notice our last day (14 days) which comes out to be June 9th. I also provided them with a print out of the civil code along with the police report. I asked them to provide me with a prorated rent amount as soon as possible.
I just want to make sure I’m doing the right thing. Could you please let me know if I’m adhering to California law? I do not want to pay for 30 days more. I and my husband have not even lived there since the kitchen window incident. I also wanted to make sure that I can break the lease per civil code, as well as my husband.
What should we do if they refuse my 14-day notice, do not tell me my prorated amount and insist on 30 days? Do I just calculate the rent owed amount as best as I can and give them a check with the prorated amount and leave as planned on June 9th?

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Answered in 6 minutes by:
5/29/2018
Barrister
Barrister, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 43,101
Experience: 17 yrs practice, Civil, Criminal, Domestic, Realtor, Landlord 26 yrs
Verified

Hello and welcome! My name is ***** ***** I am a licensed attorney and will try my best to help with your situation. There may be a slight delay in my responses as I type out an answer or reply as I am an actual practicing attorney, not an employee of JustAnswer.

.

You are correct here... CA Civil Code 1976.7 specifically says you are only liable for rent for 14 days after you give the landlord notice..

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(d) If notice to terminate the tenancy is provided to the landlord under this section, the tenant shall be responsible for payment of rent for no more than 14 calendar days following the giving of the notice, or for any shorter appropriate period as described in Section 1946 or the lease or rental agreement. The tenant shall be released from any rent payment obligation under the lease or rental agreement without penalty. If the premises are relet to another party prior to the end of the obligation to pay rent, the rent owed under this subdivision shall be prorated. Existing law governing the security deposit shall apply.

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So the landlord is either ignorant of the law or is trying to gouge you.

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I would suggest printing out a copy of the statute, highlighting it, and sending it to the landlord with a short note stating that in accordance with the law, you will only be paying for 14 days more rent from the giving of notice.

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And yes, divide up the rent by the days in the month and tender a check for that prorated amount.

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thanks

Barrister

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Customer reply replied 2 months ago
Thank you. Just making sure we are following the law correctly.
And this applies to my husband too? Just making sure they can't say, oh your husband is not the victim so he has to honor his lease..

Yes, it would cover the marital unit in being released from the lease..

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And you are very welcome. Glad I could help.

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It was my pleasure to work with you and help with your question. If you ever need me in the future, you can post a new question with "For Barrister" in the title and the JustAnswer employees will get it to me.

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If you feel I have answered all your questions, I would very much appreciate a 5 star rating by clicking on the rating scale on your screen as that is the only way I receive credit for my work.

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Thanks much

Barrister

Barrister
Barrister, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 43,101
Experience: 17 yrs practice, Civil, Criminal, Domestic, Realtor, Landlord 26 yrs
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