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  1. #1
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    Feb 2012
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    Default How Much Notice Must You Give to Modify a Month-to-Month Tenancy

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

    I need to know what the laws are on giving proper notice in changing the terms of a month to month rental agreement. I was sent a letter today that the owner of the home we have rented for 5 years is going to now be managed by a property management company effective immediately. I thought before they can change the terms of our agreement from going from an owner to a PM Company that a 30 day notice has to be served as our rental agreement only has the owner's name and address on it. No addendum has been sent just a typed letter from the owner. There is no address of where my rent is to be paid and I have always paid it through a bank transfer. Now I being force to send checks to an address unknown all of a sudden without any notice?? Plus I was also told she will no longer take any phone calls from me that I have to go strictly through the PM Company? I thought I had the right to contact the owner at any time especially if the PM Company is not following through on any requests for repairs.

    We find this odd after 5 years and considering she only has this home that she rents. She is woman who says she has no money to fix the repairs that we have wrote letters about for over a year. Also since a bad rain storm in December 2011 we ended up with a huge roof leak in 2 bedrooms that have yet to be repaired and several other issues and we now have to deal with a PM Company?? If she wouldn't repair them, what makes me think a PM Company will.. This is very weird and have been looking for a new place since the roof leak. But to be told this all of a sudden that we can no longer call her, seems like our rights have been violated. I was an apt mgr for over 15 years and laws have changed over the years but I know this can't be right.. Can you please help me on this?? Any info would be greatly appreciated!!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
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    1,995

    Default Re: Changing Terms of Rental Agreement-Month -Month-Proper Notice Time Frame

    There is absolutely nothing wrong with an owner deciding to go out a hire a PM company to manage his or her properties, and in most cases pay a 10% monthly fee besides.

    My dad who passed away last year owned commercial properties for over 50 years, and in the last 10 years of his life, he developed pancreatic cancer, then my mom got Alzheimers. I got after him to get a PM company as it was inconvenient for me at point point to take on the addtional responsibility, and if you were to come to me and say "this can't be right, how dare you get a PM company after I've been here all these years" (some tenants had been there over 10 years), I would say to you "sorry, they are very sick, you are not their boss, and they are just too sick to handle it any more". It's no fun suffering in pain in a rehab center, and have to deal with roof leaks.

    And on top of it, it's none of the tenant's business.

    I had interviewed PM companies to manage some of my properties, and I asked one local Century 21 guy who his typical clients are. He tells me besides out of towners, he's got widows who finally had it with tenants torturing them because they are not familiar with property management. Seems you are saying these tortured LL's who can't manage their houses themselves has NO RIGHT to get professional help??

    Bottomline is, there is NO LAW against it, the owner has every right to hire a PM as much as he can hire landscapers because he don't want to mow himself anymre, or hire maids to clean the house, because she doesn't want to clean anymore. And if LL's don't want to deal with tenants anymore, they hire a PM.

    And what "can't be right" about this?? You can't torture the poor women any more??

  3. #3
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    CA
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    Default Re: Changing Terms of Rental Agreement-Month -Month-Proper Notice Time Frame

    Wow I ask for "legal help" and I get a bashing from someone who hasn't walked in very many tenants shoes!! I was a property manager myself for over 15 years and I wouldn't' "torture" anyone. And this little lady is the one who neglected their responsibilities in making sure her home that I pay rent to is kept up and maintained!! Not having a roof and it being covered with blue tarp for two years because she can't afford a new roof, us dealing with huge leaks and sleeping in our living room for over a month, rats and mice in out attic, gophers everywhere in the backyard and her answer to pest control was have my dog kill them, windows leaks terrible, and I am torturing her?? yeah right.. This is suppose to be a "legal advice" forum, not a bashing one. Beside I found the laws on that and NO she can't just get a PM Company and enforce it without serving a 30 notice in the state of CA.. it is changing the terms of an existing rental agreement, so you go ahead and think whatever you want but not everyone will check the laws or have worked in property management like I have to know it wasn't right. Most people wouldn't have a clue and take what the owner says as law!! I would check your facts first before posting things like this to people. It shows how ignorant you really are!!

  4. #4
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    Mar 2008
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    Default Re: Changing Terms of Rental Agreement-Month -Month-Proper Notice Time Frame

    Quote Quoting Raindrop1243
    View Post
    Wow I ask for "legal help" and I get a bashing from someone who hasn't walked in very many tenants shoes!! I was a property manager myself for over 15 years and I wouldn't' "torture" anyone. And this little lady is the one who neglected their responsibilities in making sure her home that I pay rent to is kept up and maintained!! Not having a roof and it being covered with blue tarp for two years because she can't afford a new roof, us dealing with huge leaks and sleeping in our living room for over a month, rats and mice in out attic, gophers everywhere in the backyard and her answer to pest control was have my dog kill them, windows leaks terrible, and I am torturing her?? yeah right.. This is suppose to be a "legal advice" forum, not a bashing one. Beside I found the laws on that and NO she can't just get a PM Company and enforce it without serving a 30 notice in the state of CA.. it is changing the terms of an existing rental agreement, so you go ahead and think whatever you want but not everyone will check the laws or have worked in property management like I have to know it wasn't right. Most people wouldn't have a clue and take what the owner says as law!! I would check your facts first before posting things like this to people. It shows how ignorant you really are!!
    If things are so terrible, why don't you move. In a month to month, you can give the LL 30 day notice, as she can give you a 30 day notice.

    And if you say that she has to give you 30 days notice to use a PM, so for one more month you send her the check instead of to the management company, so you make the LL take your payment and then forward it onto the PM. If that makes you happy go ahead. And if you give you pleasure to refuse to deal with the PM company because you didn't get the proper notice, mail her a certified letter saying you refuse to deal with the PM because you didn't receive your 30 days notice.

    And if you worked PM for 15 years, you should know there is no law that says your LL cannot have the PM company handle it. From what I can see, she is not able to handle it, and from the sound of your post it's saying "how dare she hire a PM firm and I can't call her anymore". If you think it is illegal, and you have the right and pleasure to bother her for 30 more days, no one is stopping you from calling her. If you say I am so ignorant that I don't know you have another 30 days to do this, OK fine.

    Why you insist on calling someone who can't handle it, but hired a professional to handle matters properly is beyond me.

    As to "changing the terms", having you call a PM for repairs, or sending checks to a PM is not changing terms. If you receive a letter saying beginning next month, send your checks to ABC PM firm, that already is your notice. I can tell you as an "ignorant LL", I sold properties with tenants in them, assigned the leases, and it is perfectly legal as the lease DOES NOT PROHIBIT assignments or sales of properties, and through the years all my real estate attornies tell me sending monies to a new LL, let alone to a PM firm is not changing any terms. But hey, what do they know.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
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    174

    Default Re: How Much Notice Must You Give to Modify a Month-to-Month Tenancy

    Please post the CA statute that requires the landlord to notify you of a PM change.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
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    CA
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    Default Re: How Much Notice Must You Give to Modify a Month-to-Month Tenancy

    Here it is.... and we are moving thank you, but it takes time and lots of money to move in CA- so we had no choice but to endure until now!! And just FYI it wasn't like this in the first 2 years we rented from here, it only has been these last 2 and half years we have ran into maintenance problems that needed to be made that this all began. When you are told from a landlord that they have no money to repair things, then they shouldn't be renting out their property in the first place!!

    And my experience with PM Companies are not favorable due to they are nothing but notice happy and repairs are made cheaply so as to make more money off the home owner. They are there to "save" them money, and could care less about the tenants. So we thought we would give her the benefit of not using the "repair & deduct law for the past year because we felt sorry for her.. now putting a PM in charge is not something I will not deal with and why we rent with homeowners only. They are much easier to deal with then a PM anyday!! Thankfully we found a new home, much nicer and homeowners who actually care about the home they rent!!

    This will be the end of my feed on this subject..

    California Tenant/Landlord Laws
    A Guide to Residential Tenantsí and Rights and Responsibilities

    Month to Month Agreements-



    A landlord may change any of the terms of the agreement such as: rent increase, increase security deposit, add or delete services or amenities, AGENTS, and terminating the tenancy (CA-60 days). The California Civil Code calls for a notice period equal to the time between rent payments- usually 30 days.
    In CA, any changes to the rental agreement MUST be made in writing with proper notice, generally 30 days advance notice for month-to-month tenancies. This includes changes to the date the rent is due, changes in who accepts the rent, how it is to be paid, where rent is to be paid, changes in when a payment is considered late and any associated addendums to the rental agreement, etc.
    Both parties -- landlord and tenant -- must give proper notice to the other party before changing the rental agreement/lease terms.
    The new owner, agent/or property management company also cannot demand that the rent be paid earlier in the month or charge a late fee before the end of any grace period that may be have been allowed from the previous owner/agent agreement. (Example: if rent was paid on the 10th each month/ or partial payments were accepted or any other agreements prior to the new owner/agent, cannot be changed unless a new rental agreement is signed/and proper notice has been given to change the terms of the tenancy- usually 30-60 days. When either party to a lease agreement wants to change the original terms of the contract, they generally have two options:
    create a new agreement or
    create an addendum that simply adds to the existing contract.
    A party cannot unilaterally change the terms without proper notice. If a landlord wants to enforce a lease addendum, the landlord must provide the tenant with proper notice of the intended changes and the tenant must agree to the changes and sign the addendum agreement.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
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    Default Re: How Much Notice Must You Give to Modify a Month-to-Month Tenancy

    I agree with you completely, moving as well as dealing with owners directly.

    Being in the LL biz for 30 years, and my dad more than that, many tenants I ran into through the years prefer to deal with owners, but originally I found the other big reason being some of them can't qualify normally through a PM firm, and find owners more flexible, and they are. I was, I rented to several people recently bankrupt, looked good to me, and a PM firm won't. I also found many of these tenants, who think of themselves as homeowners, rather than renters, make much better tenants.

    One tenant who had to rent with his grown son because of a divorce, sold her home, signed a lease with me in early January, to start with me on Feb 1. Before they moved in, a big snowstorm, several foot of snow hit, and I searched for someone to shovel, and finally got a crew there a week later. They found it already shoveled and cleaned, and only after calling around did I found out my new tenant, who hadn't even started with me, drove a great distance to shovel out the place, from out of state, explaining "this is going to be our home". I can't imagine them saying that to a PM. When they left, sent me a card thanking me, and thanking God for helping them find me.

    And I still exchange Xmas cards with some tenants one who moved back to Ireland, and another to Arizona.

    That having said, both my parents and my mother in law, each owning properties for years, finally succumbed to old age. My MIL was a vigorous women of 62 when she bought her rental, she lives in one unit, rents out the other two, can't keep up when she hit her early 80's, and I had to help out as PM. I had issues with one of her tenants she can't get to things fast enough, and had she gone the PM route, I would've exploded if the guy told me "sorry, I won't deal with the PM firm, I still want to bother her because I want my notice".

    So if a LL can't get to things fast enough, having watched my parents, and MIL, sometimes, understand LL's get get old, get sick or encounter other issues. In your case, moving is the best thing.

  8. #8
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    Feb 2012
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    Default Re: How Much Notice Must You Give to Modify a Month-to-Month Tenancy

    Thanks for understanding, and she is far from "OLD".. lol lol She is a very active lady who just has way to much on her plate, she is a gypsy as far I think, because she takes on 5 part time jobs that pay her nothing.. it is all volunteer.., we pay rent thru a bank transfer, her address is a P.O. Box and she hardly calls u back , uses she is “out of range” and why she can't call us back on issues!! But also in that same note, she shouldn't be renting her home then if she had planned on not fixing things. I am not totally against PM and the reasons I work with owners is exactly as you stated.. They are flexible, more understanding and not notice happy!! My husband and I have worked 30 years and all of a sudden our jobs 4 years ago were closed. We found ourselves jobless, and moved to the San Diego area and she rented to us knowing we had no jobs.. She was a godsend as well and no PM would have done that for anyone. But we did get jobs and are stable but also have a high standard of living. I took on this home as it is nice and with some money she could really have a nice house. I take on rentals as my home as well because I can't buy, but when you see an home owner not care about something you would love to buy yourself and can't, it makes me mad. Her money went to her kids homes and not the rental which I found odd, and when a major repair was needed like the roof, window leaks, A/C & Heating unit (30 years old) we were told she had no money because she was too busy fixing her kids homes. How was I supposed to feel about that? Her kids lived in this home prior to us and they band-aided everything, so after a few years of course those band-aid fixes will no longer work!!
    We did all the minor repairs ourselves and never charged her a dime!! We loved our home and really didn't want to move but she has pretty much force us at this point and the PM didn't help. I didn't mean she couldn't get one, which is her right, but I just don't like dealing with them and to be told so suddenly without warning, well we thought we had a business and personal relationship with her and why it was such a shock.

    The PM's don't care about your property either, they are not connected to it.. You are connected thru your parents so I feel you care about your properties and the people that rent from you. So that is great that you are the exception to the rule!!

    So thanks again for replying but we did find a better, well keep home that is not 30 years old with a more up to date and modern feel. The owner is very flexible and nice and we are much closer to work. So maybe this was a good thing to force us to look around instead of staying here hoping things would change for the better. I don’t think so, plus the neighbor kids are horrible.. So we are done!!
    Good luck to you and hope goes well with your parents!

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