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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Santa Barbara
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    6

    Default Can I Be Sued by My Landlord for Negligence and Lost Rent

    My question involves landlord-tenant law in the State of: California

    I was a tenant in CA. I gave 30-day notice and vacated the apartment. I requested a move-out inspection 3 weeks prior to my move-out date but the landlord never responded to multiple calls and emails. In those emails I informed landlord of some minor repairs needed (touch up paint, paint on door, etc), probably not more than $500. I ended up leaving the keys under the mat when I moved I because I couldn't reach the landlord.

    The landlord filed a limited civil action (he's an attorney) now claiming damages and "lost rent". He claims my deposit doesn't even come close to covering the damages and two months worth of lost rent to restore unit to original condition. It's complete BS!! Since I have to now answer his complaint, my question is:

    A) can a landlord sue for "Lost Rent" - basically the time it takes him to make minor repairs to a unit after a tenant vacates

    B) He is also claiming negligence as a cause of action. Does a tenant owe a "duty of care" to a landlord under CA residential lease agreements? We used the standard CAR Form.

    Thank you!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Posts
    1,995

    Default Re: Can I Be Sued by My Landlord for Negligence and Lost Rent

    Quote Quoting sbvalet
    View Post
    My question involves landlord-tenant law in the State of: California

    I was a tenant in CA. I gave 30-day notice and vacated the apartment. I requested a move-out inspection 3 weeks prior to my move-out date but the landlord never responded to multiple calls and emails. In those emails I informed landlord of some minor repairs needed (touch up paint, paint on door, etc), probably not more than $500. I ended up leaving the keys under the mat when I moved I because I couldn't reach the landlord.

    The landlord filed a limited civil action (he's an attorney) now claiming damages and "lost rent". He claims my deposit doesn't even come close to covering the damages and two months worth of lost rent to restore unit to original condition. It's complete BS!! Since I have to now answer his complaint, my question is:

    A) can a landlord sue for "Lost Rent" - basically the time it takes him to make minor repairs to a unit after a tenant vacates

    B) He is also claiming negligence as a cause of action. Does a tenant owe a "duty of care" to a landlord under CA residential lease agreements? We used the standard CAR Form.

    Thank you!
    Presumably, he didn't return your security deposit, so if I were you, I would file a countersuit, in answer to his suit.

    I am a landlord, and there is a prevailing opinion by some landlords, that if they have to do absolutely nothing when a tenant leaves, and the vacating tenant has to bring the unit to the "pristine move in condition". Given wear and tear over the period of the tenancy, that is not possible.

    Hopefully, you have taken photos of the unit on vacating. This landlord-tenant situation is common in the 'court TV shows', and I see the landlord is usually on the losing side. Unfortunately, you'll have to go to court to get your money back.

    As to lost rent, many landlords love to have one tenant moving out in the morning, and the next moving in that afternoon. That happened to me only once in over the years, and usually, the new tenant has to give notice to his prior landlord anyway, often up to 30 days, so there is always lost rent no matter how pristine the unit is in, and is in no way the fault of the vacating tenant. So no, you are not responsible for his lost rent, unless the unit is utterly destroyed, and has to be extensively rehabbed, which does not sound to be the case here.

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