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Ask Barrister Your Own Question
Barrister, Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 37349
Experience:  16 years real estate, Realtor. Landlord 26 years
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Can a apartment management company demand or take a full 6

Customer Question

Can a apartment management company demand or take a full 6 months of rent money up front in advance?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Real Estate Law
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Can a landlord give you a termination of tenancy for no just reason, a just because if you have paid your rent in advance?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
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Expert:  Barrister replied 1 year ago.
Hello and welcome! My name is ***** ***** I am a licensed attorney who will try my very best to help with your situation or get you to someone who can. There may be a slight delay in my responses as I research statutes or ordinances and type out an answer or reply,but rest assured, I am working on your question. Can a apartment management company demand or take a full 6 months of rent money up front in advance?.Yes, CA law limits the amount that can be charged as a security deposit, but there is not a statute that limits the amount of prepaid rent that a landlord can charge as this is a matter of negotiation between landlord and tenant..Can a landlord give you a termination of tenancy for no just reason, a just because if you have paid your rent in advance?.No, if you are prepaid, then you essentially have a lease for whatever amount of prepaid rent was paid. So if 6 months rent is prepaid, it is a 6 month tenancy even if there is no written lease that states it. The landlord would have to have some legal grounds to terminate and evict the person such as some breach of the lease terms..If the landlord did evict, then they would have to try and re-rent the property and if they were able to do so before the 6 months rent was exhausted, they would have to refund some portion to the tenant..As an aside, in addition to being an attorney, I have also been a landlord for over 26 years.....thanksBarrister
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
So civil code 1950.5 c is not accurate here in CA? The new property manager I have met for my nrw apartment states it is illegal for them to take a lump sum of rent money from me. The most I can be charged by them is first and last months rent and in addition a security deposit. I just want yo makr sure when I go to court that all my info is correct. The end of my lease will be May 13th but i received a 30 day termination lease on April 1st. Again for no reason besides me asking about the no notice water shut offs. Im always the first one in the office because I need my water. Are you saying I have no legal ground to stand on?
Expert:  Barrister replied 1 year ago.
At first glance, it would appear that prepayments of rent are subject to the limitation of Civil Code section 1950.5 because 1950.5(b) proclaims that advance payments of rent are to be treated as security deposits, which in turn are limited in amount by other provisions of 1950.5..However, there are appellate court decisions shedding some doubt upon the meaning or enforceability of 1950.5(b) with respect to genuine prepayments of rent that are not in fact disguised security deposits. See, e.g., Granberry v. Islay Investments, 161 Cal.App.3d 382. Prior to the adoption of CC 1950.5 in 1970, prepayment was clearly permissible in whatever amount the parties negotiated (Warming v. Shapiro (1953) 118 Cal.App.2d 72).So to be perfectly honest, it isn't exactly clear here but if the landlord doesn't want to accept prepaid rent, then you can't really force them to do so....But if your lease ends on May 13th, then the landlord can't terminate it before then unless there is some breach of the lease. They may just be giving you a notice that they won't be renewing your lease or going month to month after May 13th and want to give you plenty of notice so that date doesn't sneak up on you..But if you are asking if the landlord can refuse to rent to you any longer after your lease expires in May, then the answer is yes. A landlord or tenant has no legal obligation to provide a reason for non renewal and the same way a landlord can't force a tenant to stay past their lease end, the tenant can't force the landlord to continue to rent to them..thanksBarrister
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I didnt offer prepayment of 8,000.00 he said that was the only way to get the apartment rented to me. I quickly borrowed the money and came back the next day. He was shocked but rented the apartment now I have a unjust termination of lease. Would you terminate someone who paid in full with no previous bad rental history and a full time job? Plus I live alone. 30 yr old female.
Expert:  Barrister replied 1 year ago.
I am a little confused here.....Is your lease just ending and the landlord is not renewing?... or is he actually terminating and moving to evict you?. They are two completely different things..
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
My paper says i have exacty til May 1st to be off the premises. Termination of lease in big letters. No explanation.
Expert:  Barrister replied 1 year ago.
Ok so was your written lease set to expire on May 13 or May 1?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Now that i see here it does say May 1st but thats a typo. The money speaks for itself of 6 months rent. Cashier check from my bank. Also states on the cashier check for 6 months of rent.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
So there's nothing I can do? Plus i just wrote them a letter stating that i want a final walk thru with them since i was never told i could have one until reading all these civil codes on landlord tenent rules. So im demanding one. Will i be un trouble if i keep the keys until i get my walk thru? My place is completely empty and ready for inspection
Expert:  Barrister replied 1 year ago.
If your written lease states that it is up May 1, then that controls unless you have something else that shows that it was a typo. But if you paid for 6 months, then you legally get 6 months to live there. The only exception would be if they prorated the first month if you didn't move in exactly on the 1st..But if you retain the keys, you are still considered in legal possession of the property and they could charge you for another month's rent, so not a good idea. I would take video slowly of the place and 4-5 pictures of each room to document its condition in case the landlord tries to ding you for something that wasn't done...thanksBarrister
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Ok thank you for the great info. I moved in Dec 13th 2015. So it hasnt been six months. Also I have given them a written notice that i want a walk thru inspection before the 1st. No repl back. So they are denying me my right, right? I will take all pictures you said too. If the first is a Sunday then do I drop the keys in the drop box???
Expert:  Barrister replied 1 year ago.
That is definitely less than 6 months, so you could fight any eviction action in court if you haven't breached the lease in any way....And yes, under CA Civil Code 1950.5(f) you have the right for a move out inspection.. If the first is a Sunday then do I drop the keys in the drop box???.I would and I would video myself doing it with a date stamp on the recording for proof..If you feel your original question and any related follow ups have been answered, I would very much appreciate a positive rating on the answer I have provided so I receive credit for my work. If you have a new question the JustAnswer folks require that you start a new question page, but you can request me by putting "For Barrister" in the caption and they will get it to me..thanksBarrister