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Eviction in San Jose, CA: please help.
on July 23, 2019 @22:11
I am not a professional landlord so I need some advice.
I have a tenant who has been out of the country for 10 months - taking care of his sick relatives. He rents a room, bathroom and one space in the garage in my house in San Jose, CA, in which I also live.
We have a verbal contract, nothing written. He has been a tenant for 7 years.
He owes me five months' rent for 2018, but he paid 2019 January-June. We agreed that he would pay the arrears on June 28.
In June, my wife and I decided to put the house up for sale.
The tenant reached out asking if he could pre-pay rent till the end of this year. And I told him that he needed to pay for the 5 months of 2018 and move out.
I also told him that I need to sell the house and so he needs to move.
The tenant says that's not fair because that's just-cause eviction, and he should be paid relocation assistance.
I hired one lawyer to help me, and she advised me to send the tenant a "Notice of Belief of Abandonment". I emailed him this notice.
He responded that a) the notice should be mailed to his address by registered mail; b) he was not abandoning property, but wanted to continue renting, and offered to pay to the end of the year. The tenant also provided me a mailing address so that I could use registered mail for communication with him.
I hired a second lawyer who told me to serve a 3-day "Pay or Quit" notice and a 60-day Termination notice. Since the tenant provided me with a mailing address, I mailed him both notices by registered mail two days ago.
I also sent him an email. The tenant received the email and said that he would not pay, but quit. He also mailed me the key.
The tenant hired some workers yesterday to pack his things and move them to the storage. I did not let the workers in in because I think he should pay first, and then he can have his things and move.
My lawyer says that San Jose Tenant Protection Ordinance does not apply in this case because the tenant only rents a room, and a bathroom, not a whole apartment.
I feel that I am not getting good advice from the lawyer, and I am doing so many things wrong: it looks like if this goes to court, I could lose big time.
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Re: Eviction in San Jose, CA: please help.
on July 23, 2019 @23:13
[ Reply ]
You should listen to your second lawyer, and do what he says. Right now, you are being your own worst enemy. I get it that you WANT your money. But what you NEED is the tenant GONE. You screwed up by not letting those workers in to get the tenants stuff, so he would be GONE. Getting money from someone can be fought in the courts at any time, for any amount. But you will never be able to sell your house as long as there is a "cloud" over whether the tenant has "legal" possession or not.
Email and call the tenant back, and arrange a date and time when the tenant and his workers can come and get his stuff. Then make sure you are there to let them in, since the T has no key. Tell them to take EVERYTHING that the T owns, and anything left, will go to the dump. Don't talk money AT ALL while they are getting the stuff out. Once the T is TOTALLY out, then next month you can decide if you want to go to court for what the T owes you. Besides, in some states, it is against the law to withhold a Ts personal possessions until they pay you back rent.
And I believe you would have a very weak case, since you already accepted rent for Jan.-June, 2019, without calling it rent for the last 5 months of 2018. A judge may say you had accepted the loss of rents for 2018, and were willing to move forward by accepting rents for 2019.
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