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Posts: 2
Reply with quote  #1 
Hello everyone! Thank you in advance for your informative advice. I spent a lot of time reviewing old posts and they were very educational, especially for new landlords like me. My question is regarding tenants in California. Initially, there were 2 couples who lived there, one moved out and then the other was unable to pay rent and moved out. I contacted the first one who moved out to let them know that the other couple had moved out of the rental unit and they were contractually obligated to pay for the rent so they moved back in. They have not paid their last 2 months of rent so I gave them a 3 day notice to pay rent or quit. That time has since expired but the tenants have informed me that they will be out of the unit in 2 weeks so I am holding off on the unlawful detainer lawsuit.

I want to collect back rent from them for the months I haven't gotten rent (dec, jan, and now feb). Do I just go to small claims for that? The tenant is arguing that the 3 day notice states to pay rent OR quit and since he is choosing to quit, he does not owe any rent. However, I don't believe that is correct. His lease technically ends in May 2011 so isn't he obligated to pay for back rent and rent up until May if I can't find tenants to move in right away? Also, he is moving out into another rental unit in 2 weeks but I don't think he is going to give me his forwarding address. Since his mother is his co-signer, could I send the small claims notice to his mother's work address? When this couple initially moved out, they contacted me to let them out of the lease. I told them that it would depend on who would be moving in to replace them in the home and since no one ever did, they were never taken off the lease. I never heard from them again regarding the issue, but after I gave them the 3 day notice, they now claim that I was not honest with them and that they were already off the lease. But we never had a verbal or written contract taking them off the lease so that shouldn't be an issue in court, is that correct?

Thank you to everyone on this site. I really appreciate it!

Posts: 123
Reply with quote  #2 
Never wait this long to start eviction. Get yourself a flat fee eviction lawyer.
They usually charge $100 more than the court filing fees. CA court filing fees will cost you about $400 so for $100 more the lawyer will handle it all for you.

Never wait for a tenant to pay you rent. Train them to pay you first. Give them a 3 day the minute they are past your grace period.

You go after all 4 tenants who originally signed the lease.
Get the remaining two out first.
Get in the dwelling and do what you need to do to get it rent ready.
Screen screen screen. Get yourself a good tenant in there.

Long Beach CA Landlord

Posts: 3,809
Reply with quote  #3 
I agree with this post.  But when you go to small claims, sue all the tenants AND their co-signers.  The co-signers are guarantors for the tenants.  The tenants didn't pay so the guarantor should.

A pay or quit means to pay or quit within those 3 days, not to quit eventually.  And it doesn't relieve them of paying past and current rent that is due.  Rent will be due up to the eviction and/or set out date (whenever they vacate).  Most courts won't award future rent (after the set out) since you were the one who required them to leave through the eviction.  If they move out on their own, you may be able to collect a month or two of future rent if you can show yu were actively trying to sek a new tenant.  Very few courts will grant an award for the entire lease.

Posts: 2
Reply with quote  #4 
Thank you both for your excellent advice!

Posts: 1
Reply with quote  #5 
location California - i have a previous tenant which left a bill including move out of the access of $ 4,000 - previous tenant vacated unit but now refuses to pay bill, tenant is a business owner so no way to garnish wages - can i go after business?? disparate in California - any information would be appreciated,  
soto properties

Posts: 5
Reply with quote  #6 



You should post this as it's own new thread.  I'm not sure many people will see it under this old thread.


I don't know California's laws so, I don't have any advice for you about this.

Stay at home, homeschooling mom to 3 great kids!
Keeper of chickens :D
***Playing Landlord so I can be home with my kids***

Posts: 23
Reply with quote  #7 
The real problems arise when you've put off trying to collect back rent and the tenant now owes you several months .Delinquent rent from tenants will be defined by your rental agreement.


Posts: 17
Reply with quote  #8 
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"Secrets to Secure Rent Payments and Collect Back Rent"

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Posts: 5
Reply with quote  #9 
There is a trick that I've been using for a while and it seems to work well for me if the tenant is late on payments. I submit my non-paying tenant to and then choose to send the report to my non-paying tenant. They get an email from the website with a like to my review about them. Usually that's when my tenant realizes that future landlords will not rent to him/her when they Google his/her name and find my review about them and that's when they come to me to see what they can do to fix the problem. Usually that's when they pay rent, and fix most of their problems.

Before you start the eviction process, do this.
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