Marinaccio Law Answers FAQs About Landlord-Tenant Relationships

By January 23, 2015Tips

Whether you are an experienced apartment owner, preparing to purchase your first investment property or an apartment renter, it is important to know the laws as well as your rights. Attorney Anthony Marinaccio of Marinaccio Law, a longtime friend of the Coronado Real Estate Group, and resident of Northeast LA, specializes in real estate law and has extensive knowledge of landlord and tenant laws.  Anthony answered some of the most frequently asked questions by both landlords and tenants.

What should a tenant know before going into a lease?
Tenants should understand rent control and make sure to have a written lease.  If a tenant signs a month to month lease in a non-rent control building, they can receive a 30 day notice to vacate if they have resided in the property for less than one year and a 60 day notice to vacate if they have resided there for more than two years. For this reason it is usually better to sign a one year lease.

Looking to understand rent control? Download the Landlord Tenant Handbook: HERE

What happens when an owner asks a tenant to leave in a non-rent control building?
The landlord still needs to follow California law and give proper service of notice. Also, the owner cannot evict a tenant for discriminatory or retaliatory reasons.

This is becoming more and more prominent in Northeast LA non-rent control buildings, read more here: Highland Park Renters Feel The Squeeze of Gentrification 

If a landlord wants to evict a tenant for non-payment, but the tenant claims repairs need to be done, and the tenant is causing the damage, what should a landlord do?
It is the landlord’s responsibility to provide a habitable environment, so they should do the repairs prior to serving a 3 day notice to pay or quit. If there is an ongoing case or complaint with the LA Housing Department contact an attorney.

This can get tricky very quickly, especially since some tenants purposefully deny access for repairs. Contact an attorney for advice on your specific case.

What advice would you give a new property owner?
Review the Los Angeles Rent Stabilization Ordinance. Make sure to document all communication with your tenants and have written lease agreements.  Under RSO, a landlord cannot require a tenant to enter into a new lease. If you are purchasing a property, make sure you have written estoppels to determine number of residents, rent amount, security deposit amount, and distinguish personal property.

We see many landlords underestimate their ability to relocate tenants. Know the guidelines to go about legally relocating tenants. Click HERE for LA Housing Dept. Relocation Assistance Information.

What are the some of the most common questions you are asked?
From a landlord, it is how to handle non-payment and additional occupants. Tenants usually ask habitability questions, for example bedbugs, and what their rights are after receiving a notice from the landlord.

Any other advice you would like to share?
If you are planning on buying a rental property and living in one of the units, contact an attorney prior to closing escrow to ensure it is possible.

For example, did you know that if a tenant is 62 years of age or older, it may not be possible to evict them out of a unit. Consulting with an attorney prior to making a large investment can help ensure a smooth transaction. 


If you have questions on any of those topics or would like more information please feel free to contact us for a consultation on your property.

Attorney Anthony Marinaccio also provides FREE one hour consultations. You may contact him at: 818-839-5220 and visit his website at


Article Produced by:
Lucia M. Cordisco
KW | Coronado Real Estate Group
Residential Income Specialist
Cell: 323-967-1174



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