Whether it’s ignoring a reported bug infestation or leaving electrical wiring dangerously exposed, a landlord’s failure to make necessary repairs may render the premises uninhabitable. Although there are many legal remedies available for a breach of the warranty of habitability, your initial duties as a tenant’s attorney is to simultaneously safeguard the tenant’s well-being and preserve any relevant claims.
A recent decision from the Appellate Department of the Los Angeles Superior Court (Chen v Kraft (2016) 243 CA4th Supp 13) allowed a landlord to evict a tenant for running a transient occupancy (short-term rental) business out of his residential rental unit in Los Angeles. If you read this case too quickly, you might think it applies to any situation in which a tenant runs a short-term rental business from an apartment in California. But not so fast!
A client comes to you and wants to evict his or her tenant. Before you start drawing up the unlawful detainer complaint, you need to understand why your client wants to evict — is it a financial decision or an emotional one? Does it make sense financially? Is it because your client wants to live in the property?
Here’s an all-too-common scenario these days: A property goes into foreclosure, the owner who buys the foreclosed property wants to evict the current tenants, who are living there lawfully. The owner decides to skirt the normal legal processes and engage in aself-help eviction. This is a very risky and potentially illegal course of action!