I have 4 months left on my prepaid lease. Landlord wants to place "For Sale" sign in my front yard. The listing is online, in local papers and ad magazines, and in mailings. I have already had curious people "wander" onto the property. Must I allow the landlord/real estate agent to place sign on property? To clarify, am I REQUIRED by LAW to allow the signage? This is not addressed in lease.
Yes, the landlord has the right to place a "for sale" in the yard. However, by the same token, the landlord must comply with Civil Code section 1954 regarding entry and showings.
Moreover, the landlord must ensure your "quiet enjoyment" of the rental dwelling. Under California law, all leases have the implied covenant of "quiet enjoyment". (California Civil Code, § 1927). The landlord (and management company) has the duty to preserve the quiet enjoyment of all tenants. (Davis v. Gomez (1989) 207 Cal.App.3d 1401, 1404.)
The concept of a “constructive eviction” exists under the rubric of a breach of the covenant of quiet enjoyment that is implied in every rental agreement. (Stoiber v Honeychuck (1980) 101 Cal.App.3d 903, 925–926.)
Substantial interference is required to establish a breach of quiet enjoyment. An interference by the landlord "by which the tenant is deprived of the beneficial enjoyment of the premises amounts to a constructive eviction if the tenant so elects and surrenders possession, and the tenant will not be liable for rentals for the portion of the term following his eviction." (Kulawitz v. Pacific Paper Co. (1944) 25 Cal.2d 664, 670.)
Minor inconveniences and annoyances are not actionable breaches of the implied covenant of quiet enjoyment. To be actionable, the landlord's act or omission must substantially interfere with a tenant's right to use and enjoy the premises for the purposes contemplated by the tenancy. (Petroleum Collections Inc. v. Swords (1975) 48 Cal.App.3d 841, 846.)
Frank W. Chen has been licensed to practice law in California since 1988. The information presented here is general in nature and is not intended, nor should be construed, as legal advice for a particular case. This Avvo.com posting does not create any attorney-client relationship with the author. For specific advice about your particular situation, please consult with your own attorney.
5 lawyers agree
Contracts / Agreements Lawyer
As a practicing real estate attorney/broker, the forms that I use do have a clause that allow the landlord to post "for sale" signs on the property, but both parties must agree.
I agree with the other attorney that you have the right to quiet enjoyment, and the landlord must comply with relevant law regarding showings and entering your unit.
Most of the time I tell prosepctive tenants that the landlord will be selling or is thinking about selling the property near the end of the lease. I don't know if you asked, or if he offered to tell you. Most of the time I negotiate a modest reduction in rent in advance, or if I really want cooperation from a tenant, I will offer them a rent reduction or free rent for a month or so for the right to enter the unit without having to give 24 hours notice. Maybe you can speak to your landlord and work somthing out. That works in both your favor if there is mutual cooperation.
This is general legal advice intended for informational purposes only and does not create and attorney/client relationship. If you wish further advice, please contact an attorney of your own choosing or you may contact me for further advice and make other arrangements including retaining my services.
1 lawyer agrees
Landlord / Tenant Lawyer
Yes. It's their property and they can do as they please so long as it doesn't impact your quiet use and enjoyment of your home. Ultimately it comes down to a reasonableness standard - is the landlord's behavior reasonable under the circumstances? Most courts would probably conclude that placing a sign in a yard is a pretty limited burden on the tenant, and reasonable. It sounds like given the possible uncertainty over the future ownership of the unit you may be better off looking for a new place anyways.
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