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 Legal
 44
APRIL 2021 • WWW.AAGLA.ORG
effect clearly provides for the tenant to pay in this circumstance.
Answer. So long as your lease does not provide otherwise, you can serve a three (3)-day notice to perform conditions or covenants demanding the resident pay for the repair.
Question: Who is responsible for keeping the carpet clean? The tenant or the owner?
Answer. The tenant is responsible for leaving the premises, including the carpet, in the same state of cleanliness that existed at the time they first moved in.
Question: I purchased a building in which two of the three tenants do not have a deposit on file. Can I require a deposit for continuing tenancy?
Answer. If their lease agreement is month-to- month (as opposed to a fixed term lease), you can serve a thirty (30)-day notice changing the terms of the tenancy to require a deposit.
Question: Our new tenants signed our lease and paid the first month’s rent. Now they want to get out of the lease. They did not take possession. What should I do?
Answer. When the tenant signs a lease, they are bound by the terms even if they change their mind later. The landlord must make reasonable efforts to try to find a replacement tenant, and if this effort is successful, the amount paid by the replacement tenant will reduce the original tenants’ liability.
Question: Our renters signed a one-year lease but were evicted after two months. They moved out before they were locked out. Are we able to charge rent until the unit is again rented?
Answer. An eviction does not end the tenant’s responsibilities. You can charge them rent through the end of the lease term. . However, you must make reasonable efforts to try to find a replacement tenant, and if this effort is successful, the amount paid by the replacement tenant will reduce the evicted tenants’ liability.
Question: I am renting a single-family dwelling to three individuals, each of whom submitted a separate application but want to all be listed on the rental agreement. How do I fill out a month-to-month agreement?
Answer. Have them all sign the same rental agreement, listing all three individuals as tenant, so that they will all be jointly and severally liable.
Question: Several weeks ago, during a windstorm, a large tree fell on my tenant’s car. The tenant thinks I am responsible for the damages, but my insurance company says I am not.
Answer. Unless you were negligent in the way you maintained the tree, you are not liable.
Question: An attorney representing a former tenant states, “The Department of Consumer Affairs suggests that a landlord should not charge tenants for painting after a two-year tenancy.” Is there any standard on this?
Answer. The Department of Consumer Affairs’ has stated this, but a judge may or may not agree with that position. The life expectancy of paint may depend on the type of paint. (For example, it may be reasonable for a landlord to expect a high-quality gloss paint to last more than 2 years). Tenants are responsible for damage beyond normal wear and tear.
Question: Could you please tell me the law on roommates and the return of security deposits when only one vacates the unit.
Answer. Unless you provide otherwise in your lease, do not release the security deposit until after you regain possession of the unit from all occupants.
Question: I have several tenants who have damaged their units. What can I charge them for?
Answer. You can charge for the actual out-of- pocket costs. If you do it yourself, you should charge what the market would charge if you hired someone to do the work. In other words, it must be a reasonable charge.
Kimball, Tirey & St. John LLP (KTS) is a full-service real estate law firm representing residential and commercial property owners and managers. This article is for general information purposes only. Laws may have changed since this article was published. Before acting, be sure to receive legal advice from our office. If you have questions, please contact your local KTS office. For contact information, please visit our website: www.kts-law.com. © 2015 Kimball, Tirey and St. John LLP











































































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