Browse Category: Renting and Tenant Rights

The Rights of Landlords to Refuse Rental Agreements

As a landlord, you will need to be fully versed in your rights to deny an applicant according to his background check, credit references and history. Compliance with federal and state law should be your top priority. Federal and state law prohibit discrimination based on race, ethnicity, faith and medial conditions. As long as you apply fair standards throughout the board, then you can deny a lease agreement to any applicant who does not satisfy your criteria.

Right of Refusal

As a private citizen running a business, you have the right to deny tenancy to any applicant who fails to meet your requirements based on income, credit, background checks and references. The only standard you must abide by is to apply your tenancy requirements equally across the board. As an example, you cannot set forth income or financial standards for married renters and different standards for two renters living collectively in the unit. Keep your acceptance policies uniform across the board and you’ll be able to deny unqualified candidates depending on your tenant standards.

Adverse Action Notice

Landlords often utilize tenant screening solutions to assess backgrounds of potential tenants. If you deny an applicant based on information employed at a tenant screening report, credit report, or reference-checking service, you must send the applicant an Adverse Action Notice under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). The Adverse Action Notice must state the reason for the denial, in addition to the credit reporting bureau used and its contact info.


Failure to issue the Adverse Action Notice places you at risk. The denied applicant could file a lawsuit in federal court based on your non-compliance with the FCRA. The applicant could potentially receive compensation, court costs and reasonable legal fees. If the applicant can prove you intentionally failed to comply with the FCRA, he also could seek punitive damages from the court.

Unlawful Discrimination

You cannot discriminate against a tenant applicant dependent on the colour of the skin, the contour of the face, faith, sexual orientation, marital status, source of income or medical impairment. A full listing of illustrations is supplied under the Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA), code section 12900 et seq.. The FEHA prohibits unlawful discrimination and gives legal remedies for the wronged party to pursue in court.

Record a Complaint

A denied applicant can file a complaint under the FEHA together with the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH). The DFEH uses an administrative procedure to research the applicant’s complaint. If a settlement cannot be reached, the DFEH takes you to appear before an administrative hearing or civil trial to find out if a violation of the FEHA happened. The denied applicant alternatively can file a lawsuit and take you to court for unlawful discrimination.

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Real Estate Laws of Subdivisions

A subdivision is a technical term that means legally turning one parcel of property to more than one parcel of property. Before you are able to legally subdivide property, you must obtain permission and approval by the local government body which has authority over your premises. Subdivision approval requires compliance with state law and local ordinances.

Subdivision Ordinance

The local authorities in which you reside will have adopted a subdivision ordinance that provides important particulars and regulations regarding subdivision plans. If you reside in a city or town, then the town or city ordinance will use, but if you do not reside in the city or town, then the county ordinance will apply. Subdivision ordinances have both procedural and substantive requirements for how to subdivide your property.


Most likely, your local subdivision ordnance will require that you submit a preliminary application for subdivision approval. The local authorities staff will then meet with you to discuss your program and to solve any issues with your program. Staff will then grant you preliminary plat approval, at which point the team will introduce your plat to the legislative body for final approval. Assuming the legislative body grants final approval to your subdivision plat, you will then have to record a duplicate of your subdivision plat from the local county recorder’s office. The subdivision usually becomes effective immediately once you record the plat.

Substantive Prerequisites

The local subdivision ordnance may also consist of substantive functionality that decides whether you’re eligible for subdivision plat approval. As long as you meet the requirements set out in the ordinance, neither city staff nor the legislative body is able to prohibit your subdivision plat approval. Maximum densities are required by Many subdivision ordinances. For example, in one part of town you may not be allowed to create individual lots which are smaller than half an acre, while other parts of the city may enable plenty as small as one-tenth of an earthquake. The subdivision ordinance may also consist of minimal withdrawal requirements, road dedication requirements, evidence or supply of adequate water and sewer service, adequate lighting plans, and curbs, sidewalks and gutters.

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Foreclosure Eviction Procedure

Eviction is the final step in a foreclosure sale. It’s a court-supervised procedure used to eliminate from a property those who are is ownership of it. Evicting previous homeowners is usually simple, but the eviction of tenants is a sensitive issue, as it often affects vulnerable groups which struggle to find appropriate housing. Local and federal eviction laws protect tenants’ rights. In San Francisco, for instance, landlords of properties covered by the town’s lease ordinance has to have a”just cause” motive that’s the dominant rationale for chasing the eviction. A property is not considered a legitimate reason.

Foreclosure vs. Eviction

Foreclosures and evictions are just two distinct processes. Some owners might confuse the Note of Default or Note of Sale of a foreclosure as eviction orders. However, lenders can’t evict the owners of a home until they finish the foreclosure sale. According to California’s Department of Real Estate’s Homeowner’s Guide To Foreclosure in California, homeowners should make plans to move out of the home after the process and the foreclosure sale are concluded.

Foreclosure Eviction Timeline

The owner is eligible to take ownership of the home, once a house forecloses. Particular laws regulating the timeline of a foreclosure eviction vary from state to state and also depend on whether the home is occupied by the former homeowner or a renter. In Washington state that the employer has 20 days to depart a home after a foreclosure. If the former owner does not depart, the buyer might need to submit an action known as an unlawful detainer. In California, state law allows the owner to issue a three-day notice to quit the property.

Eviction Process

Foreclosure evictions depend on whether a path is followed by the foreclosure, and vary from state to state. Judicial foreclosures have the eviction comprised in the exact same suit, until the redemption period — up to one year — ends, however, the owner can not be evicted. Foreclosures require a separate actions to evict the owner. The occupants don’t leave along with if the notice expires, the operator must file an unlawful detainer, the exact same activity employed to tenants. That the occupant has five days to respond, When the unlawful detainer suit is filed. The court could provide a judgment for possession within 10 days, which is subsequently forwarded to the county sheriff for execution if the occupant does not respond. When the occupants do respond, a trial is scheduled in 20 days. If the court supports the eviction, then the arrangement is subsequently passed into the sheriff.

Foreclosure Evictions and Tenants

The law provides security to the renter if the foreclosure eviction is against a tenant. The exact rules vary from state to state. In California, for instance, tenants with a lease who are in good standing with their rental payments can’t be evicted until the lease expires. Even at Foreclosure Act of 2009 the owner must give tenants at least 90 days’ notice before beginning the eviction lawsuit, according to the Protecting Tenants in agreements.

Eviction and Rent Control Laws

Some states, like California, have rent and eviction control laws which provide additional security to tenants of certain areas and properties. From using foreclosure as a reason for 13, owners are forbidden by these laws. The California Courts website includes a database of rent-controlled properties you may use to discover if a house is rent-controlled (see Resources).

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Squatter's Rights on Land

A squatter is a person that takes up residency within an abandoned or unused property, despite not needing any actual right–legal or otherwise–to do so. Though squatters don’t have any authority to occupy fresh properties or territory –and consequently, are accountable for committing trespass–there are laws in place that expand protection to squatters who stay in 1 area, sterile, for a substantial period of time. A squatter who matches the standards may have a claim for de facto ownership of a plot of land where he’s been living, against the true owner’s wishes.

Adverse Possession

Adverse possession, often colloquially referred to as”squatter’s rights,” is the practice of forcefully transferring ownership of real property, against the otherwise exclusive right of the property’s owner. Adverse possession enables a squatter, or possessor, who continuously occupies a plot of land possessed by another person to basically force the owner to transfer the property’s title, without compensation and against the owner’s wishes.


For a squatter to take ownership of another individual’s property through adverse possession, he should meet four primary criteria. To begin with, the squatter should take real, exclusive possession of the property, either via residential occupation or commercial or entertainment use. Secondly, the squatter’s use of the property must be open and clear; he can’t, as an instance, hide behind trees in the rear of the plot in which his use isn’t clear to the general public. Third, the squatter’s use must be exclusive, and can’t be shared with the proprietor or another possessor. Fourth, the squatter’s use must adversely encroach the proprietor’s interests; a person who occupies property with the owner’s permission, like a tenant, wouldn’t satisfy this standard.

Continuous Use

In addition to the above, the squatter’s use also has to be continuous and uninterrupted for a statutory period of time. The statutory time frame varies from state to state; although the ordinary period across all states in seven decades, some states require a minimum constant use of at least 20 years for the squatter to claim adverse possession. If the owner or another party removes or impedes the squatter’s use, it’s no longer constant, and the statutory”clock” resets. A couple of states–most notably, Maine–also impose additional standards, although the vast majority of states follow this five-part rule.


The consequences of squatter’s rights are very pricey for the original owner of the property. If a squatter successfully attracts a claim of adverse possession against youpersonally, you permanently lose the title to the property. The squatter isn’t required to compensate you for taking ownership, and once the squatter takes ownership, he chooses all claims to the property–you cannot sell, develop, occupy or otherwise use the property.


As a landowner, you can prevent adverse possession by actively protecting your interests. If you are not currently using or occupying the property, visit the storyline on a regular basis, at least once every month. At any time you find someone using your property without your permission, take the right actions to eliminate him instantly. If the squatter poses a physical risk to you or to himself, call local law enforcement for help. For persistent squatters, file a civil claim for trespass to secure an arrangement to”evict” the squatter, and seek an order of protection barring any future trespass. If the squatter remains undeterred, continue to eliminate him on a regular basisthis is going to effectively prevent the squatter from satisfying the”constant use” requirement.

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Real Estate Short Sale Tips

A brief sale can spare you from the foreclosure procedure if you can no longer manage your mortgage obligations. In a short sale, you sell your property to get less money than you owe on your loan, and the creditor forgives the equilibrium. This procedure eliminates the need for foreclosure, the legal route a creditor uses to take back ownership of property once the mortgage obligations are no longer being made in full and on time.

Prove Necessity

You have to be ready to verify that the brief sale is necessary. Approaching a creditor about a brief sale without documentation can lead to delays and a refusal of approval for the sale. Lenders typically have forms that you fill out when seeking permission for a short sale. The lending institution will need documentation of your earnings, other invoices, bank statements and previous year tax returns. You will have to sign up a hardship affidavit, which is a record that explains why you can no longer manage the loan payment.

Legal Aid

You can be subject to money judgments and taxes even after the brief sale is completed and the creditor has forgiven the rest of the mortgage loan. Lenders are allowed to obtain judgments against you in court for the amount of the mortgage loan which wasn’t paid off at the brief sale. These are generally referred to as lack decisions. Nevertheless, you can negotiate with the creditor to insert a clause at the brief sale arrangement which prevents the creditor from pursuing a deficiency judgment. You should think about enlisting the support of a property attorney to ease the brief sale agreement records.

Tax Liability

The IRS treats money spilled on a loan which has been secured by a piece of property, such as property, as earnings in the year that the balance was forgiven. As a consequence, you can be subject to taxes on the amount of the mortgage which wasn’t retrieved by the lender at the brief sale. A property attorney or tax professional can help you determine what tax obligations may arise from a brief sale.

Find a Buyer

In a short sale, you have to find a buyer for the property. Ordinarily, you’ll have to employ a real estate agent to show the home, as would happen in a traditional home sale. You can also list the home and manage the showings yourself without the support of a real estate agent, but this can prove to be difficult, given the time constraints. Lenders can impose a time limitation on a brief sale, and if your home is not sold by that time, the permission for the sale can be revoked.

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Does one Landlord Have the Right to the Alarm Code?

California laws try to balance a landlord’s right to enter a rental property and a tenant’s right to privacy. When the rental home includes an active alarm system, a tenant might wonder whether the landlord has a right to the alert code. Since there are different situations surrounding alarm systems on rental properties, so it is a good idea to explore landlord and tenant rights prior to signing the rental arrangement.

Landlord Right to Enter

California laws limit when a landlord can enter an occupied rental property to only four reasons, as summarized in Civil Code 1954. First of all, a landlord can enter the unit when a tenant gives consent. He also can enter at any given time in the event of an emergency, such as a broken water heater. He can input the unit during regular business hours after giving reasonable notice so as to make repairs or to give access to care professionals. Finally, the landlord can enter to show the property to prospective renters after giving reasonable notice and putting the appointment during regular business hours. Twenty-four hours written or verbal notice is deemed reasonable in California.

Applicable Rules for Entry

If the landlord follows the proper notification procedure, the tenant cannot refuse entry or order the terms of entrance, according to Project Sentinel, a housing counseling agency in California. The landlord legally is permitted to safeguard the right to enter the unit by either keeping a copy of the keys or asking the tenant to supply keys. If a tenant fails to allow the landlord access to the rental property, then the landlord may enter lawfully anyhow. If the tenant fails to make reasonable accommodations to permit the landlord to enter, the tenant is responsible for any costs incurred.

False Alarm Fines

A alarm system won’t limit a landlord’s entry to a rental unit because he already has keys to access the property. But a triggered alarm can lead to a disruption to neighbors and could violate noise nuisance ordinances for town. Also, unless the tenant leaves off the alert or provides the landlord with the code, the alarm will activate a response from emergency responders. Certain cities in California impose penalties for excessive false alarms, and the tenant could face a variety of effects from warnings to fines.

Lease Agreement

If the alarm system already is installed prior to the tenant moves in, the neighbor already will have the alert code. The rental agreement might specify that the tenant isn’t permitted to change the code or that the tenant should provide the code if changed. Lease agreements typically prohibit tenants from making any changes, additions or improvements to the rental property, including adding alert systems. Tenants who want to install an alarm system should get written permission from the landlord first. At that moment, tenants can discuss alarm code accessibility together with the neighbors and come to some mutual arrangement.

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