CA - Abandonment of room by roommate?

Asked over 2 years ago - Sacramento, CA

I rented a room in my home to a guy on 1/1. I have one other roommate. He paid Jan rent. He disappeared for 10 days at the end of January but returned 2/3. Rent is due on the 1st. On 2/4 he stated he was leaving without Notice and not paying. I told him I would sue him in SC Court. He then said he would stay and wrote me two checks on 2/5, one for $100 and one for $500. Rent is $500, the deposit is $100. I called the bank on 2/6 to verify funds and the checks were NSF and written on a closed account! He left on 2/6 before I could talk to him, has not returned and has not called. He has left all his belongings. I left him a voicemail last week with no response. I put a 3 Day Notice on his door and by mail on 2/6. I also put Demand Notices on his door for the checks.

Additional information

His friend called and left a message and said he wanted to pickup some important paper from the room for his friend b/c he was out of town. I have not talked to the friend and my roommate has not contacted me. I think the story is BS and he is living with his friend. Can I remove his belongings, store them in my garage and re-rent the room asap? I have a written Rental Agreement that says I can do so if I believe he has abandoned the room and without any liability. I would say with the bad checks, not returning and not contacting me he has abandoned the room.

Thanks Robin. I did post a 3 Day and Demand Notices for the checks. It appears in my reading of NBoA in CA, he has abandoned the room. I also posted a Termination Notice. I'm going to remove his stuff, put them in storage and change the locks and try to re-rent the room.

Attorney answers (2)

  1. Frank Wei-Hong Chen

    Contributor Level 20

    1

    Best Answer
    chosen by asker

    Answered . There is really no easy answer to your situation because if you had to follow the letter of the law, it would be far too cumbersome and costly to get rid of this roommate.

    However, it appears to you've taken all the necessary precautions to protect yourself from any wrongful eviction claim. I agree with your assessment that with all of the factors you mentioned, he's abandoned the room.

    The information presented here is general in nature and is not intended, nor should be construed, as legal advice.... more
  2. Robin Mashal

    Contributor Level 19

    2

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Disclaimer: The materials provided below are informational and should not be relied upon as legal advice.

    If you signed a lease with this person, and he is delinquent on payement of rent, you will need to give a proper 3-Day Notice. If he does not cure default within the 3 days, you will bring an unlawful detainer action for a court order to evict the person, declare forfeiture of the lease, etc. If this person has issued checks to you on a closed bank account, you can give them written notice based on Section 1719 of the California Civil Code, and if he fails to cure, you can sue for the amount of the check, plus treble damages (limitd to not more than $1,500). You should consult your own attorney to protect your legal rights.

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