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Can a landlord remove a renter from the lease

Fresno, CA |

does the landlord or owner have to show me some kind of paperwork on why they removed my ex off lease? I have got no police report. I have not gotten served with papers there is no domestic violence charges no stockings I have not received any paperwork or information about what they have done and y they can. what can I do if anything? it took both of us to get this place.

Attorney Answers 3


Yes, for the reasons I explained in response to your prior post.

The landlord does not have to show you any paperwork nor explain anything to you. Presumably, your lease agreement makes you jointly and severally liable for the lease obligations, including payment of rent.

If you are financially unable to afford the rent yourself, you should speak with the landlord about one of two options: getting a new roommate to share the lease obligations, or early termination of the lease so that you can move out without an eviction on your record.

Frank W. Chen is licensed to practice law in the State of California. The information presented here is general in nature and is not intended, nor should be construed, as legal advice. This posting does not create any attorney-client relationship with the author. For specific advice about your particular situation, consult your own attorney.

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See the previous answer of Attorney Chen and myself.

Note this answer does not constitute legal advice, and should not be relied on. Each situation is fact specific and court specific, and it is not possible to evaluate a legal problem without a comprehensive consultation and review of all the facts and court pleadings filed in the case. This answer does not create an attorney-client relationship

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To Be or Not to Be a Tenant

Your question is confusing on many levels. First, you mention a lease, which is an agreement for a fixed period. Such a leasehold is called an estate for years and is one which is to continue for a definite period fixed in advance by agreement between landlord and tenant. The name is somewhat misleading because the period may be for less than a year, measured in specific days, weeks, or months.

You do not mention whether your “Lease” is in writing. If you do not have a written lease agreement, then it is likely that you have a month-to-month tenancy, a form of tenancy at will called a periodic tenancy. In California, there is a presumption that a residential tenancy is month-to-month unless the parties agree otherwise. (See Civil Code § 1944.) Also, if the lease is for a period greater than one-year, the California Statute of Frauds requires a written agreement. (Civil Code § 1624(4).)

You mention that your ex was “removed from the lease,” but you do not indicate if he or she is still living on the leased premises. However, you do mention terms like “police report”, “domestic violence,” and “stalking.” Sooo, reading between the lines, it sounds like a domestic violence situation. If that is the case, and your “ex” obtained a Domestic Violence Restraining Order, the other shoe may be about to drop. The court has broad powers to protect a battered spouse or domestic partner, including protecting his or her privacy. Often, a Court will grant an order excluding a party from "the family dwelling, the dwelling of the other party, the common dwelling of both parties, or the dwelling of the person who has care, custody, and control of a child to be protected from domestic violence" for whatever period and on whatever conditions the court determines, "regardless of which party holds legal or equitable title or is the lessee of the dwelling." [Ca Fam §§ 6218(b), 6321(a), 6340(a)]. Here you have not been excluded from the dwelling, unless I am reading your nebulous question wrong.

On the other hand, the Lessor, as the owner of the leased premises, has a right to accept the surrender of your Ex’s right to occupy the premises. This may happen when domestic violence is involved between co-occupants of an apartment. A surrender of the premises (and termination of the lease), by mutual agreement of landlord and tenant, occurs upon an actual abandonment of the premises by the tenant and acceptance of them by the landlord. Upon surrender, the leasehold and fee title estates are merged, and the tenant remains liable for only his or her “pre-surrender” obligations. Where the rubber hits the road in this case is that two tenants were involved in the tenancy, one of which is staying in the rental unit. If the tenancy is month-to-month, and you remain on the premises AFTER your Ex leaves, and the Landlord accepted the surrender of your Ex, and the Landlord accepts your post surrender rent, only you remain liable for future rental obligations. That is the nature of a periodic tenancy. Any default occurring before that time, called pre-surrender obligations, would be joint. However, you did not mention your deposit, which I assume is still being held by your landlord since you are still occupying the leased premises. (See Civil Code section 1951.2 and Desert Plaza Partnership v. Waddell (1986) 180 Cal.App.3d 805.)

More information is needed in order to fully address the issues presented by your question.

I hope this helps.

Drew Cicconi
Attorney at Law

Disclaimer: This is a general discussion of legal principles by a California lawyer and does not create an attorney/client relationship. This is not intended to be legal advice in your specific case. It's impossible to give detailed, accurate advice based on a few sentences on a website. You should always seek advice from an attorney licensed in your jurisdiction who can give you an informed opinion after reviewing all of the relevant information in your case.

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Drew Allan Cicconi

Drew Allan Cicconi


P.S. Under California Civil Code Section 1946.7(a) “A tenant may notify the landlord that he or she or a household member was a victim of an act that constitutes an act of domestic violence as defined in Section 6211 of the Family Code, sexual assault as defined in Sections 261, 261.5, 262, 286, 288a, or 289 of the Penal Code, or stalking as defined in Section 1708.7, and that the tenant intends to terminate the tenancy.”