Our landlord wants us to either pay $2,555 or to get out of the property by the end of the month. Is it legal for him to do this?

Asked by Hector Panduro, Pico Rivera, CA Sun Dec 8, 2013

What I have read from real estate law in California states that he has to give us 35 days to move out. 31- 5 : 26 days is not the same as 35 days. I have also noticed that in the uni lateral notice he sent, on one page it says if the key is not given by the 5th than he will charge $2,555 and if not paid we will get evicted. This price does not go with the pricing the area in Watts or the value of the house. We have the present intent to move out, my sister and mother were both harassed and assaulted by a neighbor. My sister is afraid to come home and mom is afraid of this house."Unenforceable contracts of adhesion...the party offering the contract of adhesion has used his superior bargaining power to dictate unfair terms."
(Business Law I
Mallor 15th ed. 288)
Business Law I
Mallor 15th ed.. McGraw-Hill Create. .

I don't wanna get my family or the broker into legal trouble, but could I argue this if negotiations get sour?

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John Arendsen, Agent, Leucadia, CA
Mon Dec 9, 2013
As others have stated you really need to contact a RE attorney on this.
1 vote
Randy Spaldi…, Agent, Los Angeles, CA
Sun Dec 8, 2013
The lessor is required to give you a 30 day written notice to vacate if you have occupied the unit for 1 year or less. If you have occupied the unit for more than a year, he is required to give you a 60 day notice. Other than the number of days, since you want to leave anyway, and it sounds like it's in your best interest to do so, what is there to negotiate? Just leave, and leave the unit in immaculate condition and take photos.The lessor is required by law to give you a notice regarding a walk through inspection by him or his agent in the last 5 days of your occupancy, and itemize in writing anything that he thinks needs attention, and for which you would be responsible. If he does not offer the move out inspection before you leave, he is not by law entitled to withhold anything from your security deposit. Even if he does do the inspection and gives you a written list, the lessor must return your security deposit within 21 days of your vacating the unit minus any legitimate deductions, and he must give you an accurate written accounting with receipts for any deduction. If you did not return the keys, the maximum he could deduct would be the cost of a locksmith to replace the locks. He cannot take a nickle more than the actual cost incurred by him for anything. If he does not return your deposit, or the remainder of your deposit, if there are legitimate deductions, within the mandatory 21 day period, there are significant damages assessed against the lessor. You can take the lessor to small claims court which is quite easy and inexpensive, and the lessor will be obligated to pay for the court costs as well as return your security deposit and penalties assessed, probably doubling the amount of the security deposit. If you do go to small claims court, you would bring 3 copies of the lease, 3 copies of the eviction notice, and any other correspondence, particularly the threat of charging you $2,555 for the key. The court would not be sympathetic to the lessor.
1 vote
Shannon Chang, Agent, Arcadia, CA
Wed Dec 11, 2013
We can't give you legal advice, try this:
or call a qualified Real Estate lawyer.
0 votes
JR Thrasher, Agent, San Diego, CA
Tue Dec 10, 2013
Talk to a lawyer and have the lawyer talk to your landlord.

J.R. Thrasher
0 votes
Dorene Slavi…, Agent, Torrance, CA
Mon Dec 9, 2013
It is important to know your rights,and the law when it comes to leasing. It would be best if you contacted legal aid for advice since we are not licensed to give legal advice. From your comments it does seem you have a case, however, I wonder why you would want to stay in a property under such conditions.
0 votes
We would love to move, but its been hard trying to find a house for rent with a big back yard. We've found some but we were either last in line or the broker seemed to filibuster their way into making us last in line. I'm a junior in CSUN finals are coming up, my mom knows little english and does not drive. My Dad works full time, so I'm left with the burden of trying to find a house. I offered to give more than half of the down payment, I'm just stressed everything is accumulating towards me.
Flag Mon Dec 9, 2013
Terri Vellios, Agent, Campbell, CA
Mon Dec 9, 2013
The above link should direct you to an answer.

We are not attorneys and can not give legal advice. I suggest you read the attached link on the law and go from there. You lease and other factors will come into play and we are not privileged to your information or contract, so commenting could jeopardize your situation.
0 votes
Trevolyn Hai…, Agent, Highland, CA
Sun Dec 8, 2013
Why does he want you to pay $2555?

I don't know where you saw that you are entitled to 35 days notice but typically:

If a tenant is behind in rent (or breaking any of the other terms of the rental agreement), the landlord can give a 3 Day Pay (or remedy the situation to get back in compliance) or Quit Notice.

While a tenant has a lease, both sides need to adhere to the terms of the lease; otherwise, a landlord typically needs to give tenants that have lived in a property less than 1 year 30 days notice & those tenants that have occupied their unit 1 year or more 60 days notice to vacate.

If the landlord wants to change the terms of the tenancy he would typically have to give a 30 day notice (& the change can not take effect until the tenants lease, if he has one, expires).

Re: you question about if you could use your legal argument, you would need to speak to an attorney.

Here is a resource that may help you:


0 votes
digitalblack…, Renter, Los Angeles, CA
Sun Dec 8, 2013
Do you owe the money? Is the additional monies owed due to a rent increase or damage to the property? I am just trying to understand. I had a landlord accuse me of property damage and refuse my rent check years ago. The landlord was wrong and at the end of the day, I had to pay the rent that she refused in the first place. Bottom line, you don't get to live for free. If this person is jerking you around you should check out AVVO.com and search for a Lawyer. They will give you some solid advice. Screen your attorney wisely, some are just trying to pay bills. A good answer to your questions, would be a good start. Good Luck.
0 votes
Irina Karan, Agent, Aventura, FL
Sun Dec 8, 2013
If you go see an attorney, you will be able to get the best out of your situation.

Hope this helps,

Irina Karan
Beachfront Realty, Inc.
0 votes
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