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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
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    5

    Default Nonpaying Cat Sitter Won't Leave

    My question involves an eviction in the state of: California

    I've been working out of state at various jobs and have had my house for sale for the last one and a half years. I had a cat-sitter stay there before I decided to sell it and I said she could just stay on, rent free, if she wanted to pay her utilities which I would have had turned off until the house sold. She of course agreed to leave when the house sold. Now that the house is in escrow, she has asked for a three month long period to finish a class she is taking. My real-estate agent said his legal department said she is entitled to a 60-day notice because she has lived there for over a year.

    After that is when I found the definition of a lodger and only needing to give notice corresponding to the days between rent payments. She is not a tenant as I have never rented to her. And she isn't a lodger either because it's always been temporary due to the eminent sale of the property. So, it appears to me that I wouldn't be required to give her any notice since there are zero days between rent payments. She was offered by our mutual friend who is buying my place to live free at her house for 60 days while she remodels my home. But this interloped said no to that offer and that she just wanted to stay at my place, even though she lived with our friend until she came to cat-sit for me.

    What are my obligations? What are the buyer's obligations to carry on my obligation if escrow closes before her notice period ends? The buyer would be fine with the cat-sitter staying there for a 30-day period but wants a security deposit and rent starting the day escrow closes. This cat sitter does own her own home in a different country but prefers to live here...obviously if it's free!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
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    98,846

    Default Re: Nonpaying Cat Sitter Won't Leave

    You don't live in the house. She's not your lodger. She is a tenant, as the quid pro quo for your allowing her to stay was the payment of your utility bills. Rent may have been low, but that counts.

    I suggest retaining a lawyer who handles eviction cases to get the process rolling, or to consider giving her an incentive to move. In the alternative you can work something out with the buyer, such as knocking a bit of money off the price.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
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    5

    Default Re: Nonpaying Cat Sitter Won't Leave

    Thanx so much! Wud the buyer be able to assume my eviction process or wud he need to start all over?
    Can the buyer come and go as I have?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Posts
    372

    Default Re: Nonpaying Cat Sitter Won't Leave

    I'm not following all of the excitement. You've given the tenant 60 days notice. You can't do anything with the tenant until that period passes, then you can start the eviction process. The tenant wants to stay for 3 mo. rather than 60 days. The house does not seem to have a closing date yet. Why not set the closing date for 95 days? Then everybody's happy, I hope.
    The new landlord will need to give notice and then start the eviction process, again unless you evict before the sale closes. The new landlord may enter the premises with proper notice or for emergencies

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
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    5

    Default Re: Nonpaying Cat Sitter Won't Leave

    Thanx so much for ur response. The previous response clarified that she has moved herself into tenancy rights by paying the utilities and i must stick w the 60 days i have given her.
    Now I have two questions:
    Am I legally able to sell my house during that 60 days?
    What is the buyer's obligation during the remaining period of 60 days? The buyer intends to paint and remodel the kitchen for one month and then move in.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Toledo, OH
    Posts
    16,303

    Default Re: Nonpaying Cat Sitter Won't Leave

    Thanx so much for ur response. The previous response clarified that she has moved herself into tenancy rights by paying the utilities and i must stick w the 60 days i have given her.
    60 days is the MINIMUM notice you must give her. Nothing prevents you from giving her more time, only from giving her less.

    Am I legally able to sell my house during that 60 days?
    Sure, you can sell it, but they buyer can't take possession until the end of the 60 day period.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
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    Default Re: Nonpaying Cat Sitter Won't Leave

    Quote Quoting LawResearcherMissy
    View Post
    Sure, you can sell it, but they buyer can't take possession until the end of the 60 day period.
    Or, if she hasn't moved by that time, until the eviction process is completed.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Posts
    5

    Default Re: Nonpaying Cat Sitter Won't Leave

    Here's a new take on it: she has been an employee taking care of my cat until the house sold. I never expected it to take 18 months. The payment she was receiving was free lodging and she had to pay the utilities because I essentially paid $500/mo space rent. She always knew that, when the cat goes, she goes. Why can't I let her go as an employee?

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
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    Toledo, OH
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    16,303

    Default Re: Nonpaying Cat Sitter Won't Leave

    Don't even try it.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
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    Default Re: Nonpaying Cat Sitter Won't Leave

    The long version of "Don't even try it".... Although if the housing is free to the employee-tenant, you can end the tenancy with the job, that is not the case when you charge any money for rent. Your game of pretending that you were paying $500 for services then charging it back as rent would not change the situation. And once you call this person an employee, you will suddenly owe 18 months of past state and federal employment taxes that you failed to withhold, along with interest and penalties, and let's not forget your SDI, unemployment and worker's compensation obligations. And you'll be paying for UI just in time for your newly fired employee to file an unemployment claim against you. You would be subject to penalties under the Wage Theft Prevent Act, for failing to properly disclose wage deductions to your employee, and for failing to obtain a permit for employe housing under the Health and Safety Code. Fun times -- without a written agreement you can't charge employee housing against the minimum wage, Industrial Welfare Commission issued Order No. 5-2001, so your cat sitter may be happy to play along and make a massive wage claim against you for what you contend were 18 months of service.

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