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Can I be evicted for feeding stray cats on or next door to the property where I have rented for 11 years?

North Hollywood, CA |

I've lived in my unit for 11 years.3 years ago a new owner/managemnt co. came in&refurbished the entire building (NOT older tenants' units) - many months of construction, turned-off water with/without notice. It got a 5-yr cap.imprvt judgment (so I pay an additional amount per mo.)I've never been late-usually pay on the 2nd. One month manager refused to accept my payment after midnight on the 3rd without a $50 late fee, which I paid.In April 2007 manager inadvertently allowed workers to cut the lock on my nearby storage unit&throw out my possessions-I came home on a break&salvaged most-never explanation or apology.Now I've received a letter threatening eviction if I feed stray cats "around the property." I'm humanely trapping&removing a small colony.Is the letter legally enforceable?

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Attorney answers 1


Your history of tenancy isn't relevant, the only issue is whether your feeding of stray cats and your rescue activities is grounds for eviction. If you're in N. Hollywood, and your building is otherwise eligible, then it's under the Los Angeles rent stabliization ordinance, which means you can only be evicted for 12 specific things. One of these things is "nuisance," and your landlord, and a judge, may consider your cat rescue activities a nuisance.

Animal rescue activities are not something that's naturally part of your tenancy and not something you're able to do if it's disturbing anyone. Fighting an eviction may involve getting declarations from your fellow residents and other neighbors stating that this activity doesn't bother them, taking photos of the activity and the cats, etc. etc., and you may need or want to hire a lawyer. It's pretty hard to evict someone under LA rent control for reasons other than non-payment of rent, but this may provide a reason, if the landlord alleges and proves that residents or neighbors have complained about the cats, that the cats create noise, disease, threats to other animals and people, etc. etc.

Disclaimer: Please note that this answer does not constitute legal advice, and should not be relied on, since each state has different laws, each situation is fact specific, and it is impossible to evaluate a legal problem without a comprehensive consultation and review of all the facts and documents at issue. This answer does not create an attorney-client relationship.

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