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Frank Wei-Hong Chen

Frank Chen’s Answers

24,184 total


  • Can a landlord enter his rented property anytime?

    If a landlord wants to enter his property that has living tenants in it, what are the laws to that ?

    Frank’s Answer

    No. California law states that a landlord can enter a rental unit only for the following reasons:

    -- In an emergency.
    -- When the tenant has moved out or has abandoned the rental unit.
    -- To make necessary or agreed-upon repairs, decorations, alterations, or other improvements.
    -- To show the rental unit to prospective tenants, purchasers, or lenders, to provide entry to contractors or workers who are to perform work on the unit, or to conduct an initial inspection before the end of the tenancy.
    -- If a court order permits the landlord to enter.
    If the tenant has a waterbed, to inspect the installation of the waterbed when the installation has been completed, and periodically after that to assure that the installation meets the law's requirements.

    (See Civil Code section 1954).

    The landlord must give the tenant reasonable advance notice in writing before entering the unit, and can enter only during normal business hours (generally, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekdays). The notice must state the date, approximate time and purpose of entry.

    However, advance written notice is not required to respond to an emergency, or if the tenant is present and consents to the entry at the time of entry. Advance written notice is also not required if the tenant and landlord have agreed that the landlord will make repairs or supply services, and have agreed orally that the landlord may enter to make the repairs or supply the services. (But the agreement must include the date and approximate time of entry, which must be within one week of the oral agreement.)

    The landlord or agent may use any one of the following methods to give the tenant written notice of intent to enter the unit. The landlord or agent may personally deliver the notice to the tenant; or leave the notice at the rental unit with a person of suitable age and discretion; or leave the notice on, near or under the unit's usual entry door in such a way that it is likely to be found; or mail the notice to the tenant. The law considers 24 hours' advance written notice to be reasonable in most situations.

    Pursuant to California Civil Code Section 1954(c), a landlord cannot abuse the right of access allowed by these rules, or use this right of access to harass or repeatedly disturb the tenant. Also, the law prohibits a landlord from significantly and intentionally violating these access rules to attempt to influence the tenant to move from the rental unit. If a landlord's violation of these rules was significant and intentional, and the landlord's purpose was to influence you to move from the rental unit, you can sue the landlord in small claims court for a civil penalty of up to $2,000 for each violation. (Civil Code section 1940.2(b).)

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  • Can I give a 30 days notice to vacate?

    I just put my rental in escrow to sell to a family. Per the CA law, I can give a 30 day notice per below since my lease expired and on month to month! RE Agent says no it is 60! I think conformation bias the issue because the won't deviate from th...

    Frank’s Answer

    The general rule is that a landlord must give 60 days written notice to a month to month tenant who has resided in the rental dwelling more than 12 months. However, California Civil Code section 1946.1(d) provides an exception, allowing the landlord to give 30 days notice, but only if ALL of these conditions are met:

    "(1) The dwelling or unit is alienable separate from the title to
    any other dwelling unit.
    (2) The owner has contracted to sell the dwelling or unit to a
    bona fide purchaser for value, and has established an escrow with a
    title insurer or an underwritten title company, as defined in
    Sections 12340.4 and 12340.5 of the Insurance Code, respectively, a
    licensed escrow agent, as defined in Sections 17004 and 17200 of the
    Financial Code, or a licensed real estate broker, as defined in
    Section 10131 of the Business and Professions Code.
    (3) The purchaser is a natural person or persons.
    (4) The notice is given no more than 120 days after the escrow has
    been established.
    (5) Notice was not previously given to the tenant pursuant to this
    section.
    (6) The purchaser in good faith intends to reside in the property
    for at least one full year after the termination of the tenancy."

    All of the above must be true in order for the selling landlord to give the tenant a 30-day notice.

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  • Good Faith and Fair Dealings is Implied in Contracts under what California Code?& Interference with contract code?

    There is a contract. Another party said he would help the contract along. However the other party did not enter into it with good faith and fair dealings and actually made the situation worse by interfering with contract. Moreover, I detriment...

    Frank’s Answer

    It is case law, not a California statute, that you are looking for. The implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing rests upon the existence of some specific contractual obligation. (Foley v. Interactive Data Corp. (1988) 47 Cal.3d 654, 683-684, 689-690.) There is no obligation to deal fairly or in good faith absent an existing contract. (Hess v. Transamerica Occidental Life Ins. Co. (1987) 190 Cal.App.3d 941; Beck v. American Health Group Internat., Inc. (1989) 211 Cal.App.3d 1555.) If there exists a contractual relationship between the parties, the implied covenant is limited to assuring compliance with the express terms of the contract, and cannot be extended to create obligations not contemplated in the contract. (Gibson v. Government Employees Ins. Co. (1984) 162 Cal.App.3d 441, 448.)

    In California, punitive damages can be awarded in an action for the breach of an obligation not arising from contract pursuant to Civil Code § 3294(a). However, compensation for a breach of the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing is limited to contract rather than tort remedies, and may not include punitive damages.

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  • Is Deyo versus Kilbourne still controlling case law in California when it comes to Discovery related matters?

    I am reading an article about how a lawyer who uses a preliminary statement before responding to Form Interrogatories which relieves her client/and her as the responding party an to change any answers in the responses or objections without any leg...

    Frank’s Answer

    Yes, Deyo v. Kilbourne is still valid in California for discovery related matters, and is frequently cited as authority. However, because the Deyo case was decided in 1978, well before the Civil Discovery Act of 1986 (Code of Civil Procedure sections 2016-2036) was enacted and the Civil Discovery Act (Code of Civil Procedure sections 2016.010-2036.050), which later replaced it in 2005 was enacted, the specific statutory provisions of the Civil Discovery Act control (for example, each interrogatory must be full and complete in and of itself; no preface or instruction may be included with a set of interrogatories; no specially prepared interrogatory can contain subparts, or a compound, conjunctive, or disjunctive question).

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  • Can my Lease be amended to require that only online rental payments will be accepted?

    Hello, I have had a lot of issues with my California (Hayward) property management for my apartment and this is just the latest. They are demanding only online payments be made, though the letter of my lease agreement says checks can be accepted. ...

    Frank’s Answer

    No, after the enactment of Senate Bill 1055 in September 2012, landlords in California may not insist that tenants pay rent only via electronic funds transfer. See California Civil Code section 1947.3(a)(1). A waiver of these provisions is void and unenforceable. Moreover, a landlord cannot "unilaterally" amend a lease agreement without the tenant's consent.

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  • What is maximum period allowed, by law, within which to file Request for Entry of Default?

    I have obtained entries of default against other defendants. However, I still have certain requisite documents to serve one of the defaulting party, before I am able to file Request for Entry of Default. I know that California Rules of Court R...

    Frank’s Answer

    • Selected as best answer

    The same California Rules of Court Rule 3.110 requires the plaintiff to serve all named defendants and file proofs of service within 60 days after the filing of the complaint. (Rule 3.110(b). Failure to comply is covered under Rule 3.110(f). If the defendant has been properly served, Rule 3.110(g) requires the plaintiff to file a request for entry of default within 10 days after the defendant's deadline to file a responsive pleading has passed.

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  • Can you file a motion to compel additional responses and motion to have admissions deemed admitted as one motion?

    Defendant served untimely responses to requests for admissions and form employment interrogatories. 32-days. Meet and confer was unsuccessful in resolving boilerplate objections to all discovery. Bad faith/evasive and so on. I want to file a m...

    Frank’s Answer

    • Selected as best answer

    Because the motion to compel further responses to form interrogatories will require a separate statement mandated by Rule 3.1345 of the California Rules of Court, you should file these as two separate motions. Note that anytime before the hearing on the motion, the responding party can serve a proposed response to the requests for admission that is in substantial compliance with Code of Civil Procedure section 2033.220(f)(1). Also, you should have an attorney prepare and argue the motion(s) because as a pro per, you will not get attorney's fees as sanctions. Parties appearing in pro per may not recover attorney fees through discovery sanctions. (Kravitz v. Sup.Ct. (Milner) (2001) 91 Cal.App.4th 1015, 1020–but such parties may recover reasonably identifiable litigation costs (e.g., photocopying, transportation to and from court, etc.) even if those costs would ordinarily be included in a lawyer's hourly rate.)

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  • How man days does a defendant in a civil case have to respond to RFAs and FIs?

    I read on the form 30 days but I was told 5 additional days were to be added. Is this true and where is this written?

    Frank’s Answer

    This is correct. You will have five additional calendar days if the discovery requests were served via regular mail. See California Code of Civil Procedure section 1013, subdivision (a).

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  • Does a party that is filing a motion have to file an actual motion?

    I received a notice of motion to set aside a default judgment. I did not receive the actual motion. Is this reverent? I received: a notice of motion memorandum of points and authorities in support of motion declaration of defendant in suppo...

    Frank’s Answer

    Yes. Here, if there is a notice of motion and a memorandum of points and authorities in support of motion, most will agree that these together constitute the motion, and is not a mistake by the defendant seeking to set aside the default and to vacate the default judgment.

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  • How soon after reserving a motion hearing date in Los Angeles do I have to serve the other side?

    How soon after reserving a motion hearing date in Los Angeles civil unlimited with the online system, do I have to serve the other side? I made the reservation way in advance. Can I wait until 16 court days before the hearing to serve them? Tha...

    Frank’s Answer

    Yes, you can wait until the statutory 16 court days to file and serve the motion for which you obtained the online reservation. Note, however, that if you are serving the notice of motion by mail, you need to add 5 calendar days to the 16 court days.

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