Steven Christophe Williams’s Answers

Steven Christophe Williams

San Francisco Real Estate Attorney.

Contributor Level 8
  1. Tenant magically disappears - mysteriously or not so mysteriously. What do I do now?

    Answered almost 2 years ago.

    1. Steven Christophe Williams
    2. Nicholas Basil Spirtos
    2 lawyer answers

    As an alternative to the nonpayment of rent eviction process, you may be able to recover possession of the rental unit by delivering a belief of abandonment notice. When rent is due and unpaid for at least 14 days and you believe that the tenant has abandoned the property, then you may serve the tenant with a Notice of Belief of Abandonment. (CA Civil Code Section 1951.3). If the tenant does not respond within about 18 days after the abandonment notice is served, then the rental unit is...

    Selected as best answer

  2. If a tenant is served with a 90 day notice and it is now 120 days after the notice, does the landlord have to serve new notice?

    Answered almost 2 years ago.

    1. Steven Christophe Williams
    2. Pamela Janet Ross
    2 lawyer answers

    If you have give proper termination notice, then the tenancy and housing authority contract is terminated upon the expiration of the termination notice. Termination of Section 8 tenancies and housing contracts typically require 90 days notice, so you may have given proper notice. If this is the case, then no further notice is needed. The tenancy was terminated and an unlawful detainer action may be filed immediately. Please note that if you have been accepting or demanding rent payments...

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  3. My tenants have not paid rent in 3 months and I have served a 3 day pay or quit notice but they will not answer my calls now...

    Answered almost 2 years ago.

    1. Shazad Z Omar
    2. Steven Christophe Williams
    3. Carol Lynne Zimmerly
    3 lawyer answers

    The tenants aren't under any obligation to take your calls. The notice to pay rent or quit only obligates them to pay the rent or vacate. If they do neither, then they are in unlawful possession of the premises. The fact that they are avoiding you speaks volumes. Your recourse is to file an unlawful detainer action against them in the superior court and then have them served with that lawsuit. That will probably get their attention.

    1 lawyer agreed with this answer

  4. If my tenant pays his rent late but doesn't pay his later fee in the amount of time to receive it , can i give him 3day notice?

    Answered almost 4 years ago.

    1. Steven Alan Fink
    2. Steven Christophe Williams
    2 lawyer answers

    Late fees are generally not considered rent, so a 3 day notice to pay rent or quit is probably improper. But if the tenant fails to pay a lawful late fee that is required by the rental agreement, then the tenant is still violating the rental agreement. The law permits you to serve a 3 day notice to perform covenants or quit (this is different than a 3 day notice to pay rent or quit) when the tenant violates the rental agreement. You should probably consult with an attorney before serving any...

  5. Is there a maximum number of units an owner can occupy 3 & 4-plex buildings in Oakland CA?

    Answered almost 4 years ago.

    1. Steven Christophe Williams
    1 lawyer answer

    Many Oakland properties are subject to local eviction controls. If your property is subject to these eviction controls and any of those units are tenant occupied, then you would need "just cause" to evict the tenants. An owner intending to make a unit his residence may be a just cause for eviction. However, if more than one unit is tenant occupied, then there may be some issues/restrictions in evicting them for owner occupancy. Anytime you need to evict someone from a unit that is...

  6. If my tenate has a month to month moved out without notice can i collect rent until i find a new renter

    Answered almost 4 years ago.

    1. Steven Christophe Williams
    2 lawyer answers

    A tenant can terminate a month-to-month tenancy with a 30 day notice. That was not given to you. So, you are generally entitled to the resulting damages (i.e. rent for the next 30 days). However, you have a duty to try to minimize your damages. This means that you must make a reasonable effort to re-rent the unit as early as possible. If you find a new tenant within 15 days, for example, then you cannot collect 30 days worth of rent from your prior tenant - only 15 days worth of rent.

  7. If my tenate has a month to month moved out without notice can i collect rent until i find a new renter

    Answered almost 4 years ago.

    1. Steven Christophe Williams
    2 lawyer answers

    A tenant can terminate a month-to-month tenancy with a 30 day notice. That was not given to you. So, you are generally entitled to the resulting damages (i.e. rent for the next 30 days). However, you have a duty to try to minimize your damages. This means that you must make a reasonable effort to re-rent the unit as early as possible. If you find a new tenant within 15 days, for example, then you cannot collect 30 days worth of rent from your prior tenant - only 15 days worth of rent.

  8. Does it have to be the owner himself/herself to file the complaint for unlawful Detainer?

    Answered almost 4 years ago.

    1. Steven Christophe Williams
    1 lawyer answer

    The person named in an unlawful detainer complaint as the Plaintiff has to be someone who has the right to recover possession. This is typically the owner. However, the right to recover possession can also be assigned by the owner to someone else. It is not uncommon for owners to assign the right to a property manager. The person or company managing the property on behalf of the owner can be the Plaintiff in the unlawful detainer action.

  9. After being served a Three-Day Notice to Pay Rent or Quit, does the tenant have to pay rent if she moves within the 3 days?

    Answered almost 4 years ago.

    1. Steven Christophe Williams
    1 lawyer answer

    If the tenant quits (vacates) pursuant to a 3-day notice to pay rent or quit, then the tenancy is terminated and the landlord is entitled to the rent through the date of the termination. Additionally, because the tenant breached the rental agreement by failing to pay rent, the landlord is also entitled to reasonable damages resulting from the breach, such as the rent demanded in the notice. Nevertheless, the landlord must make reasonable efforts to re-rent the unit and mitigate the damages....

  10. Can I turn off electric on a rental if it's not paid?

    Answered almost 4 years ago.

    1. Stephen Samuel Messutta
    2. Steven Christophe Williams
    2 lawyer answers

    You first need to look to the rental agreement to see what it says about electric utilities. If the agreement requires them to pay for electricity and to put it in their names, then they are in violation of the rental agreement. In California, the law permits a landlord to serve a three day notice to "perform or quit" when the tenant is violating the terms of the rental agreement. If, after three days, the tenant does not perform (i.e. comply with the rental agreement) or quit (vacate), then...