Posted: 4th January 2012 by Melissa in Uncategorized

Welcome to the FBS Rent Sense Blog. We will be posting weekly Rent Sense Articles written by Neil and Chris. These articles can also be seen in major publications such as the San Diego Union Tribune. Our goal is to bring quality information to help counsel those already in or interested in the industry. Check back each week to see what is new and exciting in the Property Management world.

“Nearly half of all the housing in San Diego is offered for rent. This condition has existed locally for decades and will continue for the foreseeable future. It is imperative that rental owners and rental residents respect the other for their important role in the essential segment of our local economy. The more informed each are about their respective rights and responsibilities as well as changes in the marketplace the more realistic are the expectations. That just makes good sense; Rent Sense.” – Neil,  2008

Where your home matters…

KTS Legal Questions July 2014 Part 2

Posted: 29th July 2014 by Melissa in Rent Sense
Tags: , , , ,


Question:  Can I post a 24 hour notice to check to see if a tenant complied with a notice that was served (unauthorized occupant, unauthorized dog, etc…)?

No, California law limits the reasons in which a landlord can enter a unit. Under California Civil Code Section 1954, a landlord can enter a dwelling for the following reasons: (1) in case of emergency; (2) to make necessary or agreed upon repairs, decorations, alterations or improvements, supply necessary or agreed services, or exhibit the dwelling unit to prospective or actual purchasers, mortgagees, tenants, workers, or contractors, or to make an inspection pursuant to subdivision (f) of 1950.5; (4) pursuant to court order.


Question: I served my resident a 30-Day Notice of Termination of Tenancy on the 15th of the month.  My resident says I have to wait until the end of the month to serve the notice, is that correct?

No.  Under California law, either party can serve an appropriate 30-Day Notice of Termination of Tenancy any day of the month.  Your notice will expire 30 days from the date you served the notice, so make sure you do not accept rent beyond that point.


Question:  My lease states that the rent is due on the first of the month. If the first of  the month falls on a weekend, can I require my tenants to pay rent on the weekend if my rental office is open on the weekend.

No.  If the rent is due on the first, and the first of the month falls on a weekend or holiday, pursuant to California law, the tenant has until the next business day to pay the rent. For example:  If the first falls on a Saturday, the resident has all day Monday to pay the rent (assuming Monday is not a holiday), and you cannot serve a 3-day notice until Tuesday at the earliest.


Question:  I served a 60-day notice that expires on the 15th of the month.  How much rent should I accept for the month in which the notice expires?

You can only accept 15 days of rent for that particular month.  You calculate the pro-rated daily value as follows: (1) divide the monthly rent by 30 (days), (2) do not round up or down (in other words, clear the calculator screen), and (3) multiply the daily value by the number of days.  For example, you calculate 15 days of rent for the monthly rent of $1000.00 as follows: $1000.00 divided by 30 is $33.33; then multiply $33.33 by 15 days; and your pro- rated rent for the 15 days would be $499.95.


Question: I want to serve a 60-day notice. However, when I calculate the expiration of the notice, it falls at the middle of the month. Can I extend the expiration of the notice to expire at the end of the month, therefore making the notice in excess of 60 days?

Many notices will specifically state language similar to the following: …within 60 days after service upon you of this notice, or (insert date), whichever is later, your tenancy shall be terminated.  You can insert a termination date later than the 60 day expiration.  You can have the expiration date fall at the end of the month. Therefore, you can accept the full month of that particular month’s rent. If a 60-day notice expires in the middle of the month, you have to be cautious of not accepting rent beyond the expiration of the notice.


Question: Per the rental agreement, rent is due on the first day of each month and, if rent is not received by the 5th day, then a late charge will be incurred by the tenant. If my tenant fails to pay rent, do I have to wait until the 5th day of the month before I serve a 3-Day Notice to Pay Rent or Quit?

No.  You can serve a 3-Day Notice to Pay Rent or Quit the following day after the rent is due.  Be aware that if the due date falls on a weekend or holiday, you must carry the due date to the following first business day.


San Diego Property Management 92011 – Carlsbad

Fjellestad, Barrett & Short (FBS) is the San Diego north county property management company of choice for residential properties, rental homes, condos, townhomes and apartments for rent in Carlsbad. FBS fills more residential vacancies, collects more rent and supervises more property maintenance in 92008, 92009, 92010and 92011 than other San Diego north county property management companies.
Fjellestad, Barrett & Short (FBS) established its complete property management and advisory services in 1972 and has been operating rental properties throughout San Diego for independent rental owners in an exemplary manner that recognizes renters as their preferred customers as well. In the early 1990s, due to a growing emphasis on north county rental homes, condos, townhomes and apartments for rent a central office for the company was established in the heart of Rancho Bernardo that is operated by local staff that specializes on FBS properties north of SR-52 and that have invested their careers at Fjellestad to be leaders in this area of San Diego property management.

The San Diego Better Business Bureau recognizes Fjellestad, Barrett & Short (FBS) as an accredited local business and has awarded FBS an A+ rating. Read a BBB reliability report on Fjellestad. Whether you are an independent rental owner needing property management in Carlsbad, CA 92008, 92009, 92010 and 92011 or a renter looking for the best rental housing alternatives within Carlsbad or other San Diego north county cities there is one property manager that stands out – Fjellestad, Barrett & Short (FBS).

These ZIP codes feature the expanding north county neighborhoods of the city of Carlsbad. It is located south of Oceanside, west of Vista and San Marcos, north of Encinitas. Its history took an interesting turn in the 1880s when an entrepreneur dug a water well that yielded a mineral water that was similar in composition to that at Karlsbad, a famous spa in Eastern Europe. The Carlsbad Land and Mineral Water was founded and the name of the town followed as part of the marketing campaign to create product awareness. Successful agriculture pursuits by European settlers attracted to the area allowed Carlsbad to survive when economic downturns threatened its existence. Incorporated in 1952, Carlsbad has enjoyed “smart growth” planning residential and commercial development in ways that provide for infrastructure and community services to keep pace. Today, this city supports a growing population of 104,700 (29% renters) inside its 40 square miles while maintaining a regional and national reputation for “quality of life.” Examples of planned communities include: Calaveras Hills, Summerhouse, The Colony, Robertson Ranch, The Summit, Bressi Ranch, Rancho Carrillo, Aviara and the neighborhoods of La Costa. The downtown area (Carlsbad Village) is undergoing redevelopment and features specialty shops and restaurants. Regular events include: a farmers market twice a week, an annual Art Street Faire and a marathon. There is a bi-annual street fair that is the largest single day activity of its kind in the U.S with over 120,000 people in attendance.

Local and regional public transportation is provided by the North County Transit, the Metrolink, the Coaster and the Sprinter (modern rail link to Escondido). Major thoroughfares give commuters access to the I-5 and SR-78. Carlsbad has become the home for many corporate headquarters including a hub of fitness and sport-related companies. Examples include: Callaway Golf, Cobra Golf, Taylor Made – Addidas Golf, K2 Sports, Upper Deck, Jenny Craig, 24 Hour Fitness and Jazzercise.

Rental options in Carlsbad include many housing alternatives from affordable to ultra-luxury. There are large to mid-size apartment communities; small rental properties; individual condos within established condominium communities as well as a growing selection of single homes for rent sprinkled throughout these neighborhoods.

KTS Legal Questions July 2014

Posted: 8th July 2014 by Melissa in Rent Sense
Tags: , , , ,


Landlord/Tenant Questions & Answers

Ted Kimball, Esq. July, 2014


Question: Can I accept rent after serving a notice for an issue other than payment.  For example: an unauthorized occupant notice.

You should always check with a knowledgeable attorney to determine whether you should accept rent or not if the notice served was for something other than payment. Often times accepting rent after serving a notice can waive the notice.


Question: At what point does my property require an onsite resident manager?

If your property has 16 units or more, you are required to have a person onsite who represents the owner.


Question: A resident at my property was taken to the hospital and passed away.  Since the lease requires a 30-day notice, what is the law as far as reimbursement of the deposit?

When a tenant passes, the month-to-month tenancy is terminated 30 days from the date of the decedent’s last rent payment. Therefore, you have 21 days from that date to account for the security deposit assuming that you have taken over possession of the unit.  If anyone else is claiming a right to possession, you would need to go through the eviction process.


Question: We rent garages out to our residents. One of the residents moved a bed and some furniture in the garage and we believe someone is sleeping there. What can we do to make sure we do not have any issues with the use of the garage as a bedroom?

If you have a separate month-to-month agreement for the garage, you can terminate the garage rental with a 30-Day Notice to Perform Conditions or Quit to require the removal of the bed.


Question: My resident is not parking in his assigned parking space on the property. Can we issue him a parking citation for parking in the wrong place?

No, you cannot issue a parking citation. Only the local traffic enforcement agency has the ability to issue parking citations.  You can either issue a Notice to Perform Covenant or Quit if the resident is violating your parking rules, or tow the resident’s car.


Question: I have a resident who has bed bugs in his unit. He refuses to allow access to his unit so that we can start treatment.  Can we evict him?  Can we charge for the cost of treatment?

First, you need to send a Notice to Perform Covenant of Quit for refusal to allow access.  If your resident fails to provide access prior to the expiration date of the notice, you can start the eviction process.  As for charging the resident for treatment, if you can show that the resident is responsible for the infestation, you should be able to charge. It is important to have a professional pest control vendor who specializes in bed bugs that can provide you with a detailed report regarding the source of the infestation, how long the unit has been infested, and any other information which will help show that it was the resident who caused the infestation.


Ms Management- Q & A

Posted: 23rd June 2014 by Melissa in Ms. Management

Ms. Mgmt,                                                 

Q. I am a community manager with a team of seven. I enjoy my assignment which I’ve had for about a year but I find that I am managing personalities more than anything else. Do you have any suggestions for handling the demands of a prima in leasing, an introvert in the back room and a passive aggressive in maintenance?

A. It is true that you are managing people more than property. It’s also true that personalities can both compliment and complicate our ability to build and lead a community team. The first thing that comes to mind is a return to the basics. You are managing performance that crosses personality boundaries. Often personality tenancies are dramatized or acted out when individuals believe that it will help them gain control. So the first concern with building and leading a team is that performance is what matters. Performance standards must be established, communicated and rewarded. While personality can be incorporated to enhance performance often some standards are being ignored or avoided. If this allowed then team morale will suffer. Here’s an example- a super leasing star gets recognition and often gets away with bending the rules like punctuality, documentation detail in their files, disrespecting a team member one minute then expecting help the next. Trust me, everyone else on the team notices and responds according to their respective personalities. The introvert goes inside themselves making communication and recognizing this individual more difficult. The passive aggressive is angry but would rather wait to set a trap for the prima. Obviously, all these personalities acting out do not develop a team mentality. You need to counsel with the team as well as the individuals. Be sure to keep your regional manager in the loop.  In your meetings take leadership responsibility for not dealing with these issues sooner. Indicate that going forward you are also taking responsibility to get the team back on track with community goals; spell out expectations in writing within a 30 day plan of action. Sit down with individuals weekly to determine progress. During these meeting be transparent and direct about your thoughts and intentions. Document and coordinate your actions with you regional manager. By the end of the 30 days you should be able to determine what comes next for each team member. As the leader going forward, communicate sooner and keep everyone on a performance-based plan. Personalities will calm down with all the emphasis on the community goals.


Good Luck, Ms. Management

FBS @ BBB Golf Tourny! Welcome to Bedrock!

Posted: 13th June 2014 by Melissa in Uncategorized
Tags: , ,

2014-06-05 10.41.51 2014-06-05 10.42.04 2014-06-05 10.45.10 2014-06-05 10.46.11 2014-06-05 10.49.01 2014-06-05 10.52.55 2014-06-05 12.34.49 2014-06-05 16.16.58


San Diego Property Management 91909-91915, 91921 & 92154 – Chula Vista and South Bay Communities

Fjellestad, Barrett & Short (FBS) is the San Diego property management company of choice for residential properties, rental homes, condos, townhomes and apartments for rent in Chula Vista and South Bay Communities (91909, 91910, 91911, 91912, 91913, 91914, 91915, 91921, and 92154). FBS fills more residential vacancies, collects more rent and supervises more property maintenance in 91909, 91910, 91911, 91912, 91913, 91914, 91915, 91921, and 92154 than other San Diego property management companies.

Fjellestad, Barrett & Short (FBS) established its complete property management and advisory services in 1972 and has been operating rental properties throughout San Diego for independent rental owners in an exemplary manner that recognizes renters as their preferred customers as well.

The San Diego Better Business Bureau recognizes Fjellestad, Barrett & Short (FBS) as an accredited local business and has awarded FBS an A+ rating. Read a BBB reliability report on Fjellestad. Whether you are an independent rental owner needing property management in San Diego, CA 91909, 91910, 91911, 91912, 91913, 91914, 91915, 91921, and 92154, a renter looking for the best rental housing alternatives within Chula Vista, Bonita, Otay Ranch, Lomas Verdes, Rancho Del Rey, Eastlake, Otay Mesa and other South Bay Communities; there is one property manager that stands out – Fjellestad, Barrett & Short (FBS).

These ZIP codes encompass the municipality of Chula Vista, the second largest city in San Diego county and 14th in the state. In addition there are the surrounding communities of Bonita, Otay Ranch, Lomas Verdes, Rancho Del Rey, Eastlake and Otay Mesa.

Chula Vista has a rich Spanish heritage going back to local land grants beginning in 1795. This influence is still evident in local households where the current median age is 33 years and Spanish is spoken in nearly half of these homes. The name is roughly translated “beautiful view” and the town was created during the land boom of the 1880s. The completion of the Sweetwater Dam (1888) brought needed water to farms and residents. Agricultural business was further assisted by a railroad built to connect San Diego, National City, Chula Vista and Otay. Chula Vista was formally incorporated in 1911.

During WWII and after, this area experienced industrial (Rohr relocated here just before Pearl Harbor and employed over 9000 at its peak) and residential population growth that continues in this century at a fast pace with thousands of new homes being built in these South Bay communities. The South Bay Expressway, which is a toll-road extension of SR-125 that has or will connect I-805 and I-905 with SR-54 and creating easy access to San Diego East County; I-8 and SR-94. Much effort has also gone into providing public transit throughout the South County, with San Diego to the north, and Tijuana to the south. All of this connectivity is vital to a population well over 300,000; 228,000 in Chula Vista (42% renters) and 82,000 in the San Diego Zip code of 92154 (35% renters).

Fame came to the area when Park View Little League won the 2009 Little League World Series. In addition, 4000 elite athletes each year receive the coaching, support and facilities of the U.S. Olympic Training Center that is located on a 150-acre complex adjacent to Lower Otay Lake.

Rental options abound in the City of Chula Vista and South Bay Communities including: older rental properties, mid-size and large apartment communities (affordable – luxury), and an increasing number of individual condos and single homes to rent.

Legal Questions June 2014

Posted: 11th June 2014 by Melissa in Legal Questions
Tags: , ,

Landlord/Tenant Questions & Answers

Ted Kimball, Esq. June, 2014


 Question: One of my tenants has notified me that she has filed for bankruptcy.  She has not paid her rent this month.  Can I proceed with an eviction?

Once a tenant files for bankruptcy, he or she will be entitled to an automatic “stay” of any legal proceedings against him or her. This includes an unlawful detainer action.  You will be required to file a motion for “relief from stay” before serving any notices or bringing an eviction action.


Question: I have an applicant who wants to bring her cat with her to the apartment. Can I require her to de-claw the cat before bringing it onto my rental property?

No.  California law prohibits a landlord from requiring a resident to have a pet de-clawed or de-vocalized as a condition of occupancy.


Question: I have had numerous problems with residents who smoke tobacco, including complaints from neighbors, damage to the rental unit, etc… Can I institute a policy that my rental property is smoke-free?

Yes.  California law permits a landlord to designate their property as smoke-free.


Question: After serving a 3-Day Notice to Pay Rent or Quit, does the day of service count towards the three-day period?

The first day of service does not count towards the three-day period. The first day to count is the day after service of the notice was completed. The tenant must have three full days after service before filing the Summons and Complaint.


Question: May I demand a late charge in a 3-Day Notice to Pay Rent or Quit?

No.  Do not demand any other fees or charges other than the tenant’s past due rent in a 3- Day Notice.  For example, do not include utility charges or interest in the notice even if a written lease or rental agreement states you are entitled to these payments.  A separate 3- Day Notice for all other fees owed may be served along with the 3-Day Notice to Pay Rent or Quit.


Question: Am I entitled to use a deceased tenant’s security deposit?

You are entitled to use a deceased tenant’s security deposit to cover unpaid rent, pay for damage beyond normal wear and tear, and to perform necessary cleaning to the unit.


Question: We evicted one of our tenants and obtained a monetary judgment.  Now we find that they have moved to Arizona.  Can I collect against them since they moved out of state?

If you have a judgment against a former tenant and they move out of state, you can have  the judgment recognized by that state as a valid judgment which would allow you to proceed to levy against their bank accounts or garnish their wages in the state they now live.


Question: Can an owner/property manager require that a tenant secure renters insurance?

Yes, to protect the property and assets, landlords can require the tenant obtain renters insurance as a covenant and condition of the lease.


Question: A tenant has delivered a payment but the 3-Day Notice has already expired. I don’t want the money at this point.  I do want possession of my unit back.  Should I return the payment?

If you do not return and reject the payment, an argument could be made that the payment has been accepted and the 3-Day Notice has been waived.  You should therefore return and reject the payment.


Question: A tenant has left a lot of personal property after vacating.  How do I know if the value of the items left behind amount to $700.00?

You can call a third party appraiser.  Alternatively, you can research what comparable items sell for in the community.  Remember that it is replacement value, not the cost of purchasing a new item.  Accordingly, online resources such as Craigslist can be used to help substantiate a value assigned to an item.


Question: My company policy is to have the computer system print Notices to Pay Rent or Quit that just state who is to receive payment, but there is no blue ink signature.  Does this make them invalid?

California law requires that a person be named as agent for receiving payment in person on the notice, the address, telephone number, and hours/days of availability of this person be provided, but there is no requirement that this person sign the notice.  However, it is a good idea that the notice be signed to give it the personal touch and show the tenant that the information has been reviewed and is accurate.


Question: I served a 60-Day Notice to Terminate Tenancy, but they have failed to pay their rent. Can I now serve a 3-Day Notice to Pay Rent or Quit or will that invalidate the 60-Day?

As long as the Notice to Pay Rent or Quit does not demand rent for a period of time after the expiration of the 60-Day Notice, the 3-Day Notice does not override the 60-Day Notice, and you can file the eviction as soon as the 3-Day Notice expires.


Question: I served a 3-Day Notice to Pay Rent or Quit on a tenant and they paid with a personal check. The check has since bounced. Do I need to serve another 3-Day Notice to Pay Rent or Quit?

The bounced check is not payment, so you can file on the original 3-Day Notice.

10 reasons it’s better to be a renter

Posted: 3rd June 2014 by Melissa in Uncategorized
Tags: , , ,

For decades, it was drilled into the heads of many Americans that renting makes you a second-class citizen. You only rent temporarily until you can move up in the world and achieve the American dream by purchasing a home – but those days may be behind us.

About three in five adults believe renters can be just as successful as homeowners at achieving the American dream, and more than half believe buying a home has become less appealing in recent years, according to a 2013 survey of more than 1,400 people by research firm Hart Research Associates.

While owning a home may be an aspiration for many Americans, it’s often just less expensive and more convenient to be a renter. Here are 10 examples:

  1. You spend less on utilities. You still need to pay for utilities when you rent, but chances are, your utility bills would be higher if you owned a home. First, a larger space uses more energy, so you can expect your heating and cooling costs to increase. You may also have to pay for watering your yard, upkeep of a pool or utility bills that were previously included in your rent, such as water, trash or association fees, if you live in a subdivision or condominium.
  2. You’re not responsible for maintenance or repairs. Homeowners are responsible for all repairs – maintenance and renovation – and depending on what needs to be fixed; these out-of-pocket costs can be astronomical. As a renter, you can leave the maintenance and repairs, as well as the associated financial responsibility, to your landlord.
  3. You don’t have to pay property taxes. Homeowners are required to pay property taxes, which can be passed by counties, cities and even school districts, so exactly how much you would pay depends on where you live. For example, the median property tax in New Jersey is $6,579 per year for a home worth $348,300, while the median property tax in Louisiana is $243 per year for a home worth $135,400, according to Tax-Rates.org. Regardless of the amount, that’s an expense renters avoid completely.
  4. You’re likely to have less debt. Between student loans, credit cards and car loans, many Americans are already in debt before introducing a mortgage to the mix. In fact, Debt.org reports that more than 160 million Americans have credit cards, and on average, each household carries more than $15,000 in credit card debt. On top of that, NerdWallet reports that the average household has more than $154,000 in mortgage debt. Take a house out of the equation, and you don’t have to worry about that mortgage debt.
  5. Renters insurance is less expensive than homeowners insurance. According to the Insurance Information Institute, the average annual home insurance premium ranges from about $600 in Wisconsin to nearly $2,000 in Florida. On the other hand, the institute says a renters insurance policy averages only $187 per year.
  6. You have more freedom and mobility. Got a job offer in a new city? Just need a change of scenery? Renting gives you that flexibility. Americans tend to be mobile, and unless home prices are rising steeply, it usually doesn’t make financial sense to sell a home a few years after buying it. As a renter, packing up and moving is a much easier process.
  7. You can live in a better neighborhood. Perhaps you can’t afford to own a home in your dream neighborhood – the one with the best restaurants or the one with the best school district – but it may be attainable if you rent. If living in a certain neighborhood suits your lifestyle, moving away just so you can afford to purchase a home may leave you feeling unsatisfied on a day-to-day basis. It could also increase your commuting costs.
  8. You’ll be more financially stable. While purchasing property can be an investment and home prices can appreciate, a mortgage can also dig you into a deep hole. The real estate market is unpredictable, and there are no guarantees. If you put all your savings into purchasing a home, you could be jeopardizing your long-term financial needs – especially if you’re on a tight budget to pay your mortgage.
  9. You can enjoy modern amenities and luxuries. When you purchase a home, you may not be able to afford a pool in the backyard or replace those old kitchen appliances. Depending on the apartment complex, renters can enjoy amenities that would be huge expenses to a homeowner – like new carpet, a fitness center or central air.
  10. It’s easier to redecorate. Renting your home means you can’t make any major changes – like painting or knocking down walls – but it also means you can change your décor more often. With removable wallpaper and wall decals, you can easily update the look of your home as styles change. While owning a home means you can paint and remodel, you’re in for a lot of time and redecorating effort if you outgrow that red accent wall.



Original Article can be found here: http://realestate.msn.com/blogs/post–10-reasons-its-better-to-be-a-renter

FBS @ RB Alive 2014

Posted: 2nd June 2014 by Melissa in Uncategorized
Tags: , , ,

The FBS crew spent Sunday afternoon in Rancho Bernardo, speaking with current clients, neighborhood leaders and community members! The San Diego North Chamber’s 26th Annual RB Alive was huge success!

We passed out over 500 bubbles to the kids and tons of info about our company! Check out the pictures from the event below!

2014-06-01 09.10.14 2014-06-01 09.10.32 2014-06-01 09.10.39 2014-06-01 09.12.33 2014-06-01 09.12.48-1 2014-06-01 09.12.48-2 2014-06-01 10.24.20 2014-06-01 10.24.55 2014-06-01 10.25.24 2014-06-01 10.25.37 2014-06-01 10.25.56 2014-06-01 11.56.49 2014-06-01 11.56.54


KTS Legal Questions May 2014

Posted: 14th May 2014 by Melissa in Legal Questions
Tags: , ,

Landlord/Tenant Questions & Answers

Ted Kimball, Esq. May, 2014


Question: The non-payment of rent notice I served on the tenant has expired. The tenant is now trying to pay the rent, but I do not want to accept payment and would like to return it. How can I return their payment?

A: You can return the tenant’s payment by personal delivery or sending it by regular mail. You are not required to send it by certified mail. It is important to return the payment as soon as possible.


Question: I have an ongoing unlawful detainer against one of my tenant’s but he/she is continuing to create a disturbance at the property.  Is there any way that the unlawful detainer can be expedited?

A: Unfortunately, no.  However, unlawful detainer actions have priority over other civil matters. If the tenant is engaging in a serious or criminal disturbance, call the police.


Question: My tenant was just evicted and the majority of his/her items are still in the unit. Do I need to give him/her another notice to retrieve their belongings?

A: No, once you go through the court eviction process and the Sheriff conducts a lockout, the Sheriff notifies your tenant of their rights to their personal property.


Question: I recently won an unlawful detainer case against a tenant and a lockout by the Sheriff has been scheduled.  Now I get a notice that somebody I never heard of says that he is a tenant and entitled to a trial and that the lockout will not be going forward as scheduled? How can this be?

A: It seems that your unknown tenant has filed a Third Party Claim.  A landlord can protect himself from such tactics by serving, at the time of service of the unlawful detainer, all unknown occupants.


Question: I own a unit that is rent controlled. I have a tenant who is troublesome and I would like to evict him.  How can I do this?

A: You did not mention what city you live in.  There are a number of rent controlled cities in California and each of them have different laws regarding rent controlled properties.

Depending on your city, there are different procedures that must be complied with.  Typically, rent controlled cities allow a landlord to evict for non-payment of rent or for breach of a material lease provision such as causing harm or a nuisance to other tenants, breaking laws such as dealing drugs or causing certain specified problems.


Question: One of my tenants attempted to tape record our conversation explaining that they have a right to do this for legal purposes.  Is that true?

A: Your tenant has no legal right to tape record you without your express consent in places that you have an expectation of privacy, such as your business office.  Further, surreptitious tape recording – tape recordings without your knowledge – is a misdemeanor under California state law.  Contact your attorney if you learn that you have been surreptitiously recorded.


Question: My tenant has been paying rent, but owes for back utilities and late charges. Can I apply the tenants next rent check to outstanding utilities and serve a Notice to Pay Rent or Quit?

A: Unless your lease contains specific language designating the order in which tenant obligations are paid, applying a check tendered for rent to other charges is risky. This is especially true if you have a past pattern of applying payments in a certain way.  You can recover charges other than rent using a Notice to Perform Covenants or Quit.


Question:  My tenant is evading service of the Unlawful Detainer Summons.  I think my resident manager would have better luck at serving the Summons, do you use any problem with that?

A: The Summons and Complaint must be served by an individual over the age of 18 and not a party to the action.  It could be argued that your resident manager is a party to the action since they are employed by a party to the action. We recommend that you use a registered process server to serve the Summons as it provides you with an added advantage.


Question: I had a police officer visit my rental office and request information such as social security numbers, addresses, and birth dates on three of my residents. I told him that I would be unable to provide this information, as it was confidential. Was I correct in denying a law enforcement officer this information?

A: You did the right thing. California law protects against the disclosure of an individual’s information, based on the right to privacy.  Therefore, if law enforcement is requesting information on a former or current tenant, management must not disclose any information absent a subpoena.


Question: We have a limited number of parking spots in our apartment community so we decided to limit the parking to residents only.  Is this legal?

A: Yes, you may restrict parking at your apartment complex to residents only.  Make sure you have complied with the requirements of Vehicle Code Section 22658 so that unauthorized vehicles can be towed according to the rules of the code section. Also, be sure that your lease or rules have been appropriately modified so that this policy is enforceable as a condition of tenancy.