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CalAttorney2, Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 10244
Experience:  I am a civil litigation attorney with experience representing HOAs, homeowners, businesses and others in real estate matters.
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What remedies are available to a landlord if he discovers a

Customer Question

What remedies are available to a landlord if he discovers a tenant has rented a room to another person who is not on the month to month rental agreement and such action is expressly prohibited by the rental agreement?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Real Estate Law
Expert:  CalAttorney2 replied 1 year ago.

Dear Customer,

Thank you for using our forum. My name is ***** ***** I hope to assist you today.

I do not see the state in which the unit is listed (this makes a difference in the number of days that your notice to your tenant will be - but the process is the same in all states).

You can give your tenant either a "notice to cure" or a "notice to quit" - the notice to cure gives your tenant a specific number of days to fix the problem (remove the other person) or vacate the unit (still owing you money for the remainder of the lease or until you find a new tenant). While a notice to quit simply tells the person to vacate within a specific number of days due to the significant breach.

(For example, in CA, this would be a "3 day notice to cure or quit" or a "3 day notice to quit").

The overall process works like this:

  • 1) Notice: The first step in any termination is giving notice, the landlord can simply give notice that they no longer want the tenant to live there (this is usually 30 days, or 60 days, and it can be done for no reason whatsoever, there is no fault, and while the tenant must relocate, they are not being "evicted" and there is no blemish on their rental history), they can give a "notice to pay or quit" (usually 3 day or 5 day depending on the state, and the tenant has this amount of time to pay rent that they missed or move out), "notice to "cure or quit" (the tenant has breached the lease - broken something, noisy, etc. and must stop it or fix it within the notice period, again 3 days, 5 days, or 10 days), or a "notice to quit" (this is a 3 day or 5 day notice that says the tenant has messed up so badly they can do nothing but move out within the notice period - there is no chance to "cure" - this often happens when there is illegal activity on the property).

    2) Unlawful detainer/forcible entry and detainer (this is the legal proceeding where the landlord goes to court and sues the tenant to get possession - the tenant has an opportunity to appear and defend the action, common defenses include improper notice, breach of the lease (such as failure to maintain the property - "inhabitable conditions"). If the tenant answers the complaint, the parties can take "discovery" from one another and get additional information before a court trial before a judge.

    3) A judgment of possession/writ of eviction - if the landlord wins the trial, they get a judgment of possession and the court will issue a "writ of eviction."

    4) Forcible eviction - this happens when the Sheriff or Constable serves the writ of eviction - some jurisdictions give a courtesy notice the day or two before the eviction, others do not, but the end result is the sheriff overseeing the landlord's movers removing all of the tenant's possessions from the property and placing them on the curb, and the tenants are forcibly removed from the property. At that point, the landlord can change the locks and the tenant can no longer return (They have been "evicted").

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Very unsatisfactory answer.too vague.does not discuss monetary penalties for tenant.
Expert:  CalAttorney2 replied 1 year ago.

Dear Customer,

You have still not provided me with the state in which the unit is located.

There is no basis for monetary penalties simply because the tenant is subleasing (that is why there is no mention/discussion of such a non-remedy). Your remedy is to force the tenant to comply on threat of eviction, or to simply evict the tenant.