Legal Question in Landlord & Tenant Law in California

I am a landlord in california orange county. My tenant's lease is up by the end of this month after one year of fixed term. I would like another fixed term lease to mitigate any vacancy risk. Tenant would like to go on month to month. what are my options to get the fixed term? or the tenant has the right to go on month to month after fixed term?

Asked on 7/29/17, 8:51 am

2 Answers from Attorneys

Armen Tashjian Law Offices of Armen M. Tashjian

Unless there is a local rent control ordinance, the tenant does not have a right to month to month tenancy. Based on your lease agreement, once the term ends the tenant must either come to an agreement with you about the future tenancy or vacate.

Make sure you communicate your decision in writing according to the notice provision of your lease agreement. If toy don't want the tenant to be on a month to month then send them a notice saying that.

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Answered on 7/29/17, 10:19 am
Timothy McCormick Haapala, Thompson & Abern, LLP

Mr Tashjian's answer is legally correct but doesn't seem to fit your needs. If your objective is to retain the tenant, the fact that you can evict them once the lease is up, because they have no legal right to go to month to month, doesn't seem to help you very much. What Mr. Tashjian leaves out is that if you allow the tenant to stay without a new lease, whether intentionally or just because you don't come to a lease agreement and the lease runs out, the tenancy automatically becomes a month to month tenancy on the same other terms as the lease. That is the second part of the relevant law.

So the real answer to your question is that you have three possible outcomes. 1. You can reach an agreement on a new lease with the tenant. You can threaten to evict them at the end of the lease if they won't sign a new lease, but you have to really intend to follow through on your second option which is, 2. You can terminate the tenancy at the end of the lease and evict them if they don't move out, plus sue for damages for having to evict them. You can send them a notice that you will not accept a month to month tenancy and then follow through. Then, of course, you have a vacancy, which you say you want to avoid. So, 3., if you can't get them to agree to a new year long lease, you have the default option, which is month to month. If you don't sign a new lease and don't evict them at the end of the lease, that is what the law says you automatically have.

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Answered on 8/01/17, 1:19 pm

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