My question involves landlord-tenant law in the State of: California
I have lived in a shared apartment for two and a half years on a month-to-month rental agreement. My name is listed on the rental agreement as an 'occupant' but my roommates name is listed as the 'resident'. Since we have lived here my roommate has paid the rent each month with a personal check. However, my roommate is away for a few months (and continuing to pay rent) so is unable to pay the monthly rent check. As such, I attempted to pay this months rent with my own personal check but this was refused as it was claimed that the rent had to be paid by my roommate. The check did not 'bounce' but was returned to me two days after I left it for the landlord, the landlord claiming that the check could not be accepted as it was not written by roommate. Is the landlord allowed to do this?
In the Rental Agreement we signed it states
'Subject to the terms and conditions of the Agreement, Owner rents to Resident and Resident rents from Owner,...'
but nowhere in the Agreement does it state that the rent must be paid by a certain individual.
We are now in a bit of a situation as the 'late fee' date has passed and we have still not paid our rent. I have tried to contact the landlord several times and have left several messages but have not received any response. I am also send a check to my roommate so that a 'valid' check can be written. However, this will take up to a week for this to be completed at the very least. I am trying to get in contact with the landlord to inform them of this (as well as determine why my initial check was refused) but I am unable to get any response from the phone numbers I have on file.
Again, is my landlord permitted to refuse my rent based on what appears to be a non-condition of our Agreement? Is the landlord entitled to demand late fees from us in this situation even though we have tried everything to get in contact with them and explain/discuss the situation?
Thanks in advance