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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2009

    Default Current Owner Requesting Move to Other Apartment for Lower Rent, No Written Agreement

    My question involves landlord-tenant law in the State of: California
    My neighbor told me I should post my situation here. Our building is being sold and is in escrow and a few of us have some issues.

    Owner wants me to move to another apartment but he can't sign a lease agreement.
    Does acceptance and deposit of my check for rent give me the right to occupy that apartment? Also, he said that I can write on the memo line of the check or better yet on the back just above where the current owner has to endorse it when depositing... to write " rent paid in full for apt. 305. and the building address "
    This is a rent controlled building in los angeles / very close to downtown.
    The owner is selling the building and it is currently in escrow. He said he would not sign a lease because the buyer doesn't want him to execute any new leases. The reason the current owner wants me to move is because the buyer wants this particular apartment that I am currently in (unit 301). The unit they want me to move to is vacant. The owner told the buyer that I would move over to the other apartment... (he should have told me first) but he is sweetening the deal for me by lowering the rent to $950 from $1,200 . So he says to just give him a rent check in full before the ownership changes. That will give me full rights to the unit.

    Also, by me just gving a check stating paid in full ..etc. .. the current owner didn't violate the buyer's request for the current owner not to execute any lease. I do trust my current owner and believe he is trying to watch out for me before the new buyer takes over.
    again, this is a rent control building near downtown L.A. .
    The more simple question is....
    Does acceptance and deposit of a rent check with additional clarification on the memo line or on the back (i.e. Rent paid in full for unit 305 at 'address' ) constitute an agreement once the current owner accepts and deposits it? And is it okay that it will specify rent in full feb. 25, 09 through march 24, 09 ?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Behind a Desk

    Default Re: Current Owner Requesting Move to Other Apartment for Lower Rent, No Written Agree

    Do you have a lease for your current unit? If it were me I would have to think about staying in it as long as you can, unless and until you get a lease for the new unit.

    This smells like an effort to scam you - to get you out of your lease, then deny that you have a tenancy in the new unit. Without knowing a lot more I'm wary of suggesting how to proceed. I suggest consulting legal aid if you qualify or, if available in your community, a tenant's union.

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