Legal Question in Real Estate Law in California

Regarding a rental property in CA - we have a co-signer agreement with our tenants parents that they will be responsible for all unpaid rents and damages not considered normal wear and tear. We had a year contract with the renters then afterwards it defaulted to month-to-month. They moved out after the contract defaulted to month-to-month owing several months back rent, left furniture,belongings etc, left the house filthy and with a lot of physical damage: holes in the walls, broken windows, fixtures. We will probably have to end up going to court.

We believe the co-signer agreement is still valid as it doesn't specify a timeframe or mention the contract period, so will cover the month-to-month time as well. It says they (the parents) assume responsibility during the time of residency (not those exact words). The tenants and parents think the agreement is void since the contract timeframe has passed and they all feel they have no responsibility for payment. We think if it is still valid and we can give them a letter to that effect the parents may take responsibility (we have many pictures and a police report), and it would eliminate a court case.

Where do we stand? Thank you

Debbie Knight

Asked on 9/08/13, 9:03 pm

2 Answers from Attorneys

Timothy McCormick Libris Solutions - Dispute Resolution Services

Ultimately it depends on the exact wording of the agreement, but generally such agreements are for the life of the rental tenancy.

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Answered on 9/08/13, 10:48 pm

Anthony Roach Law Office of Anthony A. Roach

I agree with Mr. McCormick.

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Answered on 9/09/13, 8:15 am

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