Landlord Questions (8)

Tenant Protection Act of 2019 (AB1482)

Annual rent caps for properties subject to the Tenant Protection Act of 2019 (AB1482) are based on a minimum 5% base plus the percentage change between the previous year’s regional consumer price index (CPI) for the month of April, and the regional CPI for April of the current year. Consumer price data is published monthly by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) (

For the Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim metropolitan areas, the percentage change in the consumer price index (CPI) from April 2020 through April 2021 was 3.6 %. Adding this percentage change in the CPI to the 5% base provided under AB1482, calculates to a total rent cap of 8.6 % for the next 12 months.


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Apartment Association, California Southern Cities

Category: Landlord Questions

Q: I’m looking at a single-family residence to purchase. It’s a pocket listing, no signage, not on the MLS. The agent claims it’s a great deal because the seller needs cash quickly, wants a quick escrow, and is willing to let it go for under market. The only catch is the tenant doesn’t know the house is for sale, and the owner doesn’t want the tenant to know. He says that when I close escrow, I can serve my own notice to have the tenant leave, but he doesn’t want the tenant getting nervous and moving out if the deal doesn’t go through. It seems like a really good deal; I know the house, I’ve peeked in the windows, and it’s in incredibly great shape. What am I missing? What can go wrong?

A: Lots. You have actual notice of a tenant in possession. That means that you are bound by whatever rental agreement or contract exists between the owner and the existing resident. The tenancy agreement may turn out to be a fixed-term lease for a long period of time at less than market rent. The resident may have a lease with an option to purchase the house for a fixed sum, possibly less than what you are paying for it. There may be litigation between the parties relating to the premises, possibly mold, or some other contamination issue that you may not be aware of.

If the deal really is as described, then prepare a purchase agreement providing a due diligence period allowing you a brief time period to check title, conditions, and other issues. Once escrow is open and you are satisfied with the title and the condition of the premises, contact the resident, confirm the terms of his tenancy, get a copy of his rental agreement, and prepare an estoppel certificate for the resident to sign affirming the tenancy agreement, amount of deposit, and affirming that he has no equitable or legal interest in the property.

Stephen C. Duringer is the founder of The Duringer Law Group

Category: Landlord Questions

Source: California

Tenants in California have protections from eviction under state and federal law, as well as under local laws in some cities and counties. This page describes protections under two new state laws: the Tenant, Homeowner, and Small Landlord Relief and Stabilization Act of 2020 (AB 3088), which took effect on August 31, 2020; and the COVID-19 Tenant Relief Act (SB 91), which took effect on February 1, 2021. These laws protect tenants with a COVID-related financial impact from eviction for nonpayment of rent. They also protect tenants from “no cause” evictions, meaning an eviction where the landlord does not state a reason. SB 91 also makes available financial assistance to qualified landlords and tenants for a tenant’s unpaid rent during the 13-month period between March 1, 2020 and March 31, 2021. However, depending on your specific circumstances and where you live, your tenants may have other protections from eviction that you must comply with. You should speak with a lawyer to find out what rules apply to your specific situation.

We understand that many homeowners and landlords have suffered a loss of income because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Homeowners may have lost all or part of their income because they lost their jobs, had their work hours cut, or had to take time off from work to care for family members. 

Many landlords have also felt the impact of the pandemic, as tenants became unable to pay all or part of their rents.

Two new laws – Two new laws – AB 3088 and SB 91 provide some relief.

These laws apply to homeowners and landlords with four (4) or fewer properties, whether those properties are owner-occupied or not, and who have had difficulty making mortgage payments because of COVID-19.

Mortgage Forbearance

Homeowner and small landlords should contact their mortgage servicer – the company they send their mortgage payment to – for options that may be available. Financial institutions are required by federal law to know what entity owns the mortgage loans they service. When you contact your servicer to request payment relief, you should ask whether your mortgage is federally-backed (owned or guaranteed by a federal mortgage agency such as Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, the Federal Housing Administration, or the Veterans Administration) or non-federally-backed.

If you have a federally-backed mortgage, you can request forbearance pursuant to the federal CARES Act (Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security) to help you avoid becoming delinquent on your mortgage.

If you have a non-federally-backed mortgage, you can also contact your servicer requesting forbearance along with other options that may be available to you.

For all mortgages, whether federally-backed or not, your servicer must provide you with a detailed description explaining why the forbearance request was denied, stating the exact reasons for the denial.

If the servicer’s explanation identifies missing information or errors in the request, you then have 21 days to update and correct these issues.

Additional homeowner protections and lender requirements before a bank can file a notice of default on your mortgage include:

The ability for you to contest either the 30-day contact or the forbearance denial notice. (The 30-day contact refers to the minimum 30 days a lender must wait after contacting a borrower to seek payment before filing a Notice of Default.)

A requirement for lenders to file the forbearance denial notice along with the required declaration of borrower contact when recording a notice of default.

The right for homeowners or small landlords to file a cause of action (lawsuit) if their lender harms them by violating the law.

If you believe your lender has harmed you by violating the law, you should consult with an attorney. If you need low- or no-cost legal help, visit and/or for additional resources.

Category: Landlord Questions

Q: I rented an apartment to four roommates quite a while ago. One of the four is now moving out, but the other three want to stay. The one moving out is demanding that I return his portion of the security deposit, he says that he paid it so he should get it back. Do I have to?

A: No, the security deposit remains with you as long as any of the roommates remains in possession of the rental unit. Often, owners and residents will enter into an agreement replacing one resident with another, thereby removing the one original resident from the lease. The agreement will further provide that the “new” roommate pay the “old” roommate his portion of the security deposit. Absent a written agreement to the contrary, the owner should retain the entire security deposit; then when all the remaining roommates vacate, the refund check should be made payable to all four of the original roommates named in the rental agreement.

Stephen C. Duringer is the founder of The Duringer Law Group

In most cases, the owner or property manager must provide the tenant with prior written notice to enter the tenant’s rental home. Written notice is considered reasonable if it is provided at least 24 hours in advance. A written notice is required in the following situations:

• To make necessary or agreed-upon repairs.

• To inspect waterbed installation and periodically after to assure the installation meets the law’s requirements. • To show the rental unit to prospective tenants, purchasers or lenders, or to provide initial inspection before the end of the tenancy.

• If directed by a court.


• In an emergency.

• When tenant or another occupant consents.

• After tenant has abandoned or surrendered the rental home.

• Upon verbal agreement to allow the owner to make agreed-upon repairs or supply services.

Source: Long Beach Development Services, The following information is from, “A Guide to Residential Tenants’ and Landlords’ Rights and Responsibilities.”

To view the entire guide, please see


• Maintain a clean and sanitary rental home.

• Properly dispose of garbage or trash.

• Properly operate all electrical, gas, and plumbing fixtures.

• Refrain from damaging or defacing the home or allowing anyone else to do so (tenants are responsible for all repairs of damage caused by the tenant, the tenant’s family, guests or pets).

• Use the premises as a place to live, and use the rooms for their intended purposes.

• Report broken door or window locks.

• Contact the rental owner or property manager immediately to report any problems with your rental home, especially any water damage or leaks.

• Cooperate with repair workers/pest control operators in preparing rental home for service or repairs.

Source: Long Beach Development Services, The following information is from, “A Guide to Residential Tenants’ and Landlords’ Rights and Responsibilities.”

To view the entire guide, please see


• A structure that is weatherproof and waterproof; there must be no holes or cracks that allow rain or wind to enter.

• A plumbing system in good working condition and connected to the local water supply and sewage system or functional septic system.

• Floors, stairs and railings in good repair.

• A hot water system capable of producing water of at least 120 degrees Fahrenheit.

• An electrical system that was legal when installed and without loose or exposed wiring.

• A heating system that is in safe, working condition.

• No insect or rodent infestation.

• A home that is free of garbage or debris.

• Sufficient garbage or trash receptacles.

• A working toilet, washbasin, and bathtub or shower.

• A kitchen with a working sink.

• A safe fire or emergency exit.

• Deadbolt locks on each main swinging door that provides entry to the home.

• Working smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors located in certain areas.

• Working telephone jack and phone wiring inside the home.

• Gas facilities in working order

Source: Long Beach Development Services, The following information is from, “A Guide to Residential Tenants’ and Landlords’ Rights and Responsibilities.”

To view the entire guide, please see

Owners and property managers want to know if there is an item that needs repair in your home. If you have a problem with any of the items listed, you should:

• Contact the rental owner or property manager first. You should document your request in writing and keep a copy. If there is water intrusion, a water leak or any water damage occurring to the property, contact the owner or property manager immediately.

• Allow a reasonable period of time for repair. In most cases, the owner or property manager will begin working on your request shortly after it is made. Repairs are typically made during normal business hours. Some repairs may take longer than others to complete. 

Current law indicates that 30 days is a reasonable period of time to address most repairs but it also depends on the nature of the repair. Accommodating requests for access to make repairs will help expedite the process. If you have waited a reasonable period of time and the requested repair has not been made, contact the Code Enforcement Division to file a complaint.

Source: Long Beach Development Services, The following information is from, “A Guide to Residential Tenants’ and Landlords’ Rights and Responsibilities.”

To view the entire guide, please see