Legal Question in Real Estate Law in California

I live in an apartment in orangevale. I had a roommate that moved without payen his part of the rent. I found out when i rec. a 3 day pay or quit & went to go see the landloard. I paid my portion but am still a month & a half behind. I have live here for 5 yrs. without any maintanence done on the inside of my apartment i.e. paint, carpet, basically nothing done on the inside. I sometimes let friends come & stay at my place if & when they need a place. Girlfriends stay too. Ther afre two people on my lease, hich is month to month, plus the two friends stayen with us. Can my lanloard tell me that my friends cant stay the night or any amount of time? The landloard has also told other people that come to see people here that they cant come visit. Is this legal? She told me that if my friends leave by the end of the week that she wont evict me, is their anything i can do? Many other things to ask, too many to list. Thank you in advance..

Asked on 9/09/10, 4:54 pm

1 Answer from Attorneys

David Gibbs The Gibbs Law Firm, APC

Let me first address the "maintenance" issues. It is really interesting to note that if you read posts on this and the Landlord & Tenant sections of, nobody seems to complain about the condition of their apartment until they cannot pay the rent. Unless the condition of the property reaches the point of being inhabitable (and that standard is much, much higher than you might think), it is irrelevant. Also, over the course of five years, aside from necessary repairs, a landlord really has no obligation to replace carpet, repaint, etc... those issues don't generally reach the level of habitability.

You and your roommates are each individually fully liable for the entire amount of the rent. If your roommate doesn't pay his or her share, you must pay it if you want to remain in the property. You cannot segregate the lease into parts - the landlord is entitled to receive the entire amount each month regardless of who lives there, or who doesn't. If you want to stay, you need to pay up everything that is owed by the end of the third day, or you will most likely be evicted.

As for visitors, yes, the landlord can dictate to a degree who stays there. Only persons who have been authorized to live in the apartment and are on the lease can stay there more than "occassionally." If the same friends are staying overnight repeatedly, then they have exceeded the "occassional" standard, and you can be evicted for allowing unauthorized tenants to occupy the place. The landlord probably cannot tell you who can and cannot come to visit, unless these are the same people spending the night. There does come a point where a "visitor" is more a "tenant" and needs to be approved by the landlord. It sounds like you believe that your friends can stay because the other "legal" tenant moved out - that is not correct. It's not about numbers of people living there, its about who was and was not approved to live in the apartment. I suggest that if you want to stay, pay up the rent, and move your friends out by the landlord's deadline. Otherwise, you will face eviction and odds are decent you will lose based if nothing else on failing to pay the rent.

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Answered on 9/16/10, 12:13 pm

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