By Kevin B. Postema, Editor
Landlord Can’t Force Dog To Be Evicted
I am a renter in Los Angeles. I’ve had my little dog for three years now and the landlord never seemed to mind. Now he wants to change the building’s policy on pets, and he is demanding that I get rid of my dog. I would move before I would do that. The rental agreement states “No Pets,” but it seems unfair to me. Should I start looking for another apartment?
If you live in the City of Los Angeles you can probably unpack those boxes. If the landlord accepted rent for more than a month and knew about the pet, and it sounds like he did, he has probably waived his rights to require you to get rid of your dog.
He may prohibit any new renters moving into the building from having pets, but he cannot evict you for keeping your dog if he has accepted the rent knowing of her presence.
If you give up your dog or it dies, the landlord may prohibit you from getting a new pet as long as he uniformly bans pets in the entire building.
Can’t Evict a Renter for Writing Bad Checks
Every month my tenant in West Hollywood gives me a bad check. I have to wait one to two weeks to really collect the rent by the time my bank lets me know his checks are bad. When I give him a three-day notice to pay rent or quit he always gives me another check right away. It’s always good. Can I evict him for this?
You cannot evict a renter in California because he gives you bad checks, if he subsequently makes good on them. All is not lost, however, you can require that a renter who perpetually gives you bad checks pay his rent in the form of cash, a cashier’s check or a money order.
You must serve the renter with a 30-day change of terms of tenancy notice. In the notice, you should make reference to the series of bad checks and let the renter know that from now on he must pay his rent by one of the above-mentioned means.
Of course, by definition, a 30-day notice requires at least that long to become effective. So, you’ll likely have to take at least one more check from this renter.
From “The Best of Apartment Life: How to Survive Apartment Living and Ownership,” by Kevin B. Postema.