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Douglas Allen Wright
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Douglas Wright’s Answers

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  • How long does a landlord have to send an itemized list for damages after lease ends?

    My landlord is threatening to sue me for damages exceeding security deposit. The itemized list doesn't seem fair and it has been 45 days since my lease ended and I moved out. I got the list 45 days after moving out.

    Douglas’s Answer

    The landlord has 21 days to provide a refund and/or itemized statement of deductions. 45 days is past the deadline so you should file a small claims case against your landlord - you'll likely get a judgment for a refund of the entire security deposit.

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  • Can my landlord evict me for having a dog?

    my landlord is threating to evict me for having a dog,problem is half the people in the complex i live in have dogs,can they evict me? my rent is always paid on time my dog is never allowed to run loose,shes quite isnt agressive

    Douglas’s Answer

    The answers provided by my colleagues above are correct.

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  • Attorney fee clause in an expired lease

    My 1 year lease has the attorney fee clause it it. But the lease expired 4 months ago, and I am now renting on a month to month basis. I did not sign a new contract. In the unlawful detainer complaint that I received, the landlord is asking fo...

    Douglas’s Answer

    Yes. The attorneys' fees clause is still valid.

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  • Is a tenant entitled to his entire security deposit if a landlord doesn't send the deposit deduction form within 21 days?

    My landlord is trying to claim my entire security deposit plus additional money. She mailed the security deposit deduction/itemization form 33 days after the property was vacated. Since she did not send the form within 21 days, am I entitled to ...

    Douglas’s Answer

    Yes. File a small claims lawsuit. Granberry v. Islay Investments (1995) 9 Cal.4th 738, 749-750 is the California Supreme Court case that you need to know.

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  • I need a good lawyer that is good in eviction

    rental

    Douglas’s Answer

    I'm currently handling quite a few evictions in OC and am more than willing to assist you with your eviction. You can check out my site at EvictionsInc.com for more information. You can also speak with me personally at 866-236-3989.

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  • Can I ded. From sec. Dep. if my renter move out of rented room, and room is infested with a small bug? Carpet may need to be rpl

    Do I have to refund sec. Dep. on a rented room in my home, that is bug infested after tenant moved out. I am unable to rent thi room until this problem is cleaned up, and the bugs are gone. I may need to replace the carpet.

    Douglas’s Answer

    California law specifically allows the landlord to use a tenant’s security deposit for four purposes:

    1. For unpaid rent;
    2. For cleaning the rental unit when the tenant moves out, but only to make the unit as clean as it was when the tenant first moved in;
    3. For repair of damages, other than normal wear and tear, caused by the tenant or the tenant’s guests; and
    4. If the lease or rental agreement allows it, for the cost of restoring or replacing furniture, furnishings, or other items of personal property (including keys), other than because of normal wear and tear.

    A landlord can withhold from the security deposit only those amounts that are reasonably necessary for these purposes. The security deposit cannot be used for repairing defects that existed in the unit before the tenant moved in, for conditions caused by normal wear and tear during the tenancy or previous tenancies, or for cleaning a rental unit that is as clean as it was when the tenant moved in. Keep in mind, a rental agreement or lease can never state that a security deposit is “nonrefundable.”

    Please see the link below for additional information regarding your obligations regarding the refund of a security deposit.

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  • Can a lanlord/manager go into my storage unit/shop without notifying me in advance, then take out my personal property? lights?

    I rent out a storage unit in Redwood City, Ca I use it to run my Ebay business? Signed a 6-month lease and moved in...There have been a couple inspections since I have been there. I was told that the overhead lighting i had was not up to standa...

    Douglas’s Answer

    A storage unit is not a dwelling so generally different rules apply. Your landlord should provide notice prior to entering your storage unit though.

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  • Los angeles real estate question, landlord vers tenant about security deposit

    In Los Angeles, can a landlord keep a security deposit if the tenant breaks the lease?

    Douglas’s Answer

    • Selected as best answer

    It depends. California law specifically allows the landlord to use a tenant’s security deposit for four purposes:

    1. For unpaid rent;
    2. For cleaning the rental unit when the tenant moves out, but only to make the unit as clean as it was when the tenant first moved in;
    3. For repair of damages, other than normal wear and tear, caused by the tenant or the tenant’s guests; and
    4. If the lease or rental agreement allows it, for the cost of restoring or replacing furniture, furnishings, or other items of personal property (including keys), other than because of normal wear and tear.

    If you broke the lease, you likely owe back rent. If that's the case, the landlord can utilize your security deposit for the back rent.

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  • My landlord is trying to hide me he found a new tenant to retain my deposit.

    I am going to relocate in another town, so I needed to end my lease earlier. I found my landlord a new tenant that has just paid the deposit. The problem is that My landlord doesn't want to admit he collected the money. For this reason he says he ...

    Douglas’s Answer

    California law specifically allows the landlord to use a tenant’s security deposit for four purposes:

    1. For unpaid rent;
    2. For cleaning the rental unit when the tenant moves out, but only to make the unit as clean as it was when the tenant first moved in;
    3. For repair of damages, other than normal wear and tear, caused by the tenant or the tenant’s guests; and
    4. If the lease or rental agreement allows it, for the cost of restoring or replacing furniture, furnishings, or other items of personal property (including keys), other than because of normal wear and tear.

    A landlord can withhold from the security deposit only those amounts that are reasonably necessary for these purposes. The security deposit cannot be used for repairing defects that existed in the unit before the tenant moved in, for conditions caused by normal wear and tear during the tenancy or previous tenancies, or for cleaning a rental unit that is as clean as it was when the tenant moved in. Keep in mind, a rental agreement or lease can never state that a security deposit is “nonrefundable.”

    It doesn't sound like your situation falls into any of these categories. If your landlord doesn't comply with California law regarding the refund of your deposit, I suggest you file a small claims lawsuit. For additional information regarding security deposits, see the link below.

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  • My roomates and I recently found out that the house we are renting is in foreclosure. When we asked our landlord about it...

    He told us that it was "none of our business what is happening between him and the bank" and that the house is NOT in foreclosure (we called Solano county and verified it is.) We told him we understood, but that he still needed to fulfill his obli...

    Douglas’s Answer

    The requirements for a 3 Day Notice to Pay Rent or Quit are very particular. The notice must be in writing and accurately state:

    The full name of the tenant or tenants;
    The address of the rental property;
    The exact amount of rent that is due. The notice cannot go back more than 1 year and cannot include anything other rent, e.g., no interest, late charges, utilities or other damages;
    The dates the overdue rent is for;
    The rent must be paid within three days of receiving the notice or the tenant must move out;
    The days and times the tenant can pay the rent he or she owes, and the address and telephone number he or she can pay it at. If the tenant can pay the back rent by mail, give the address the tenant should send the money to. Keep in mind, the law assumes that the rent payment is received by the owner on the date of postmark;
    Alternatively, the notice may state the name, street address and account number of the financial institution where the rent payment may be made (if the institution is within five miles of the unit), and if an electronic fund transfer procedure was previously established for paying rent, payment may be made using that procedure; and
    Be signed by the landlord or his or her agent, and state the date of the notice.
    If your notice fails to comply with any of these requirements, the Court will dismiss an unlawful detainer case because of the improper notice.

    You can withhold rent under certain circumstances but I do not have enough information to provide an answer to that questions.

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