Saturday, November 22, 2014
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Stop! Dismiss the lawsuit

By
From page HSR2 | June 07, 2014 |

Q: I have a small house I inherited from my brother. It’s been rented to a young couple for the past six months. They’ve always paid their rent late, but last month they didn’t pay at all. I got online and bought a book on property management. It told me how to file for an eviction. I served the tenants with the three-day notice they had in the book. The wife immediately paid me half of the rent and promised to pay the rest the following day. I didn’t hear from them again so I filed a lawsuit. The tenants answered the lawsuit and we are set to go to trial in two weeks. The tenants said in their answer that I had accepted partial rent and couldn’t evict them. They also said there were other tenants in the house who weren’t served with the three-day notice or the lawsuit and I can’t evict them either. I think I’m over my head. What should I do?

A: First, dismiss your lawsuit, because you’re going to lose big-time.

Now for a little background.

California and New York are the leading states in consumer protection laws. Nowhere is that more evident than in the laws regarding landlords and tenants.

Before the law will order someone physically removed from their home it will first make sure that the landlord had dotted every “i” and crossed every “T” in the eviction process. You screwed up in at least two places.

The three-day notice you served, I assume, was a three-day notice to pay rent or quit. It should have laid out exactly how much money was due, to whom it had to be paid, and that you were going to consider the lease forfeit if it wasn’t paid in full within three days. You should have refused to accept a partial rent payment.

As far as the law is concerned, when you accepted the partial rent payment you waived your right to proceed under the three-day notice. As a result, everything else you did, like file the lawsuit, was of no effect. You will have to dismiss the suit right away.

Then you can serve another 3-day notice. Make sure it properly reflects the current amount owed.

If there are other adults who are going to claim that they reside on the property, you will have to name them in your notice and your lawsuit. If you don’t, your judgment and ultimate eviction won’t be valid towards them.

In order to protect yourself, you should serve with your lawsuit a special document known as a Prejudgment Claim of Right to Possession. This document was devised by the courts to give notice to anyone claiming a right to live in the house, even if they aren’t on the lease.

If someone wants to claim a right to live there they must fill out the form and file it with the court. If no one files it, they will forever be prevented from claiming to the sheriff that the eviction doesn’t apply to them.

Eviction lawsuits are known as Unlawful Detainer Actions because you are, ultimately, claiming that the tenant is illegally detaining you from taking possession of the property.

Unfortunately, the statutory waters that a landlord must wade through in order to evict a residential tenant are treacherous indeed. Even experienced attorneys get it wrong from time to time.

I’m usually slow to advise readers in this column to pay the money for an attorney, but the technical requirements of unlawful detainer actions are so complicated, and constantly changing, that most are no longer considered routine.

Add to that the fact that tenants may be very sophisticated regarding the consumer protection laws that pertain to landlord/tenant issues. Since your tenant had demonstrated a willingness to answer the complaint and appear at trial, you need to hire an attorney to handle the process.

Tim Jones is a real estate attorney in Fairfield. If you have any real estate questions you would like to have answered in this column you can contact him at SolanoScene@TJones-Law.com.

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | No comments

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

.

Solano News

Courses designed to boost health yield positive results

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
 
Bands shine, Scouts serve, dogs win across region

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

 
Quail Run appeals 2nd ruling over wage claims

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A3

 
Settlement reached in Fairfield Inn suit over fall

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A3

Assessors association taps Tonnesen as president

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A3

 
Police: Child flees attacker in Fairfield

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A3, 2 Comments

 
Timm, Hunt maintain leads in tight council races

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A9

Afternoon crash kills 1 in Vallejo

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A9, 1 Comment

 
Fairfield police log: Nov. 20, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A9

Suisun City police log: Nov. 20, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A9

 
.

US / World

House intel panel debunks many Benghazi theories

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1, 3 Comments

 
A look at how FDA-approved robotic leg braces work

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

Marine with robotic leg braces gets Bronze Star

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Oregon festival’s giant nutcracker: 41 feet

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

San Francisco window washer falls onto moving car

By The Associated Press | From Page: A3 | Gallery

 
California storms bring scattered rain, mudslides

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4 | Gallery

Judge declares wrongly convicted woman innocent

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4 | Gallery

 
$139M deal reached in school molestation case

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

Zookeepers had safety concerns before gorilla died

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

 
Senate leader lays off dozens of office employees

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5, 1 Comment

UC expands legal services for immigrant students

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
Man pleads not guilty to emailing nudies of ex

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

Stymied? Republicans seek immigration response

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
LA animal shelter slashes prices on 100 pets

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5 | Gallery

Agency rejects solar project in Silurian Valley

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
Iran nuke talks stalled, despite Kerry efforts

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

Biden urges Russia to uphold east Ukraine truce

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
Police: 3-year-old set fire that killed his family

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

93-year-old woman marks 75 years with same company

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
UK police spied on reporters for years, docs show

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

Agency: Schools helped Lanza’s mom ‘appease’ him

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
Bandits in Guinea steal suspected Ebola blood

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

With snow still piled high, Buffalo faces flooding

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
.

Opinion

 
Editorial Cartoons: Nov. 22, 2014

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Batson column falls short of truth

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A8, 1 Comment

.

Living

Today in History: Nov. 22, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
Community Calendar: Nov. 22, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

My sister kicked Mom out of her house and won’t let her have the car

By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: A7

 
Horoscopes: Nov. 22, 2014

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: A7

Blanket drive for homeless gets help from Colts player

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

 
.

Entertainment

Bill Cosby show set for Vegas casino canceled

By The Associated Press | From Page: B9

 
Matt Czuchry says ‘Good Wife’ arc is at right time

By The Associated Press | From Page: B9

‘Queen Latifah Show’ to end after its 2nd season

By The Associated Press | From Page: B9

 
.

Sports

Vacaville downs Del Oro to advance to section semis

By Nick DeCicco | From Page: B1

 
Sparano savors 1st win with Raiders

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Panthers youth football prepares for Super Bowl

By Marcus Lomtong | From Page: B1

Ibanez, Cash, Wakamatsu finalists to manage Rays

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Federal judge denies sports betting in New Jersey

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

JC women’s basketball: Solano advances to tourney title game

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B2

 
Ciganda, Granada tied for lead at LPGA finale

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Sharks trade Demers to Stars for Dillon

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
NFL will hear Adrian Peterson’s appeal Dec. 2

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

49ers’ Dorsey is out of Sunday’s game against Redskins

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
France levels tie against Switzerland in Davis Cup

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
This date in sports history for Saturday, Nov. 22, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

.

Business

Toyota recalls nearly 423K Lexuses for fuel leaks

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

 
Ford’s new F-150 to get 26 mpg, tops among pickups

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4 | Gallery

CEOs in 10 big mergers to get $430M: Equilar study

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

 
California unemployment unchanged at 7.3 percent

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

White House: Immigration steps would boost wages

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

 
.

Obituaries

Arthur Irving Weiner

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
.

Comics

Baldo

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

 
Rose is Rose

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

Beetle Bailey

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

 
Blondie

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

Sally Forth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

 
Zits

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

Pickles

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

 
Frank and Ernest

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

Peanuts

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

 
Garfield

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

Get Fuzzy

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

 
Dilbert

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

Baby Blues

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

 
Wizard of Id

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

For Better or Worse

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

 
B.C.

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

Bridge

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A7

 
Sudoku

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A7

Cryptoquote

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A7

 
Crossword

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A7

Word Sleuth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A7

 
.

Home Seller 11/22/14

My brothers said, pay double the rent or move out

By Tim Jones | From Page: HSR2

Ask a Designer: from clutter to decor

By The Associated Press | From Page: HSR2

Real estate transactions for Nov. 22, 2014

By Maureen Fissolo | From Page: HSR3

US 30-year mortgage rates drop to 3.99 percent

By The Associated Press | From Page: HSR3