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Legal Q & A By: Franco Simone

Posted on 01. Jan, 2019 by in all

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Q: I am a landlord and my tenant normally pays me the rent in person. A person I have never met is trying to pay the rent on behalf of my tenant.  The check has the name of the third party on it and I do not want to create a tenancy with this new party.  Do I have to accept it?

A: It depends. As of August 28, 2018, residential landlords are required to accept rent from a third party if the third party provides the landlord with a written and signed acknowledgment stating the  following:

1.  The third party is not a tenant; and

2.  Accepting the rent does not create a landlord-tenant relationship with the third party.

If you do not receive this acknowledgment, then you are not required to accept the third-party payment.

 Q: I am a landlord and my tenant has not paid their rent. I served the tenant a three-day notice to pay rent or quit on Friday. When does my notice expire?

A: Currently, to calculate the three-day notice period, you start with the day after the notice was served and count three days. The third day cannot fall on a court holiday or weekend and is pushed to the following business day.  In this situation, the first and second days of the notice period are Saturday and Sunday.  This third day falls on a Monday.  If Monday does not fall on a court holiday, then the three-day notice will expire that day and you will be able to proceed with the unlawful detainer (eviction) on Tuesday.

NOTE:  Effective September 1, 2019, the calculation of a three-day notice period for non-payment of rent will change. Weekends and court holidays no longer count towards the notice period.  Under the new rule, if a three-day notice is served on a Friday, then the first day of the notice period is the following Monday because Saturday and Sunday do not count. Thus, the three-day notice will expire on Wednesday and you may proceed with the unlawful detainer on Thursday.

 Q: I filed an unlawful detainer (eviction) against one of my tenants. My tenant was personally served with the summons and complaint on Thursday. When is my tenant’s deadline to file a response with the court?

A: When personally served with the summons and complaint in an unlawful detainer proceeding, the tenant has 5 days to file a response with the court.  Currently, to calculate the deadline for your tenant respond to the complaint, you start counting the day after the summons and complaint were served.  All days of the week, except court holidays, count towards the first through the fourth days to respond. The last day to respond cannot fall on a court holiday or weekend.  If your tenant was served on Thursday, then Friday, Saturday, Sunday, and Monday count towards the first through fourth days. Thus, your tenant must respond to the lawsuit by Tuesday.

NOTE:  Effective September 1, 2019, the calculation of a tenant’s deadline to respond will change.  Weekends no longer count towards the response period, like court holidays.  If the tenant is served Thursday, then Friday, Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday count towards the first through fourth days, unless one of those days is a court holiday. Thus, your tenant must respond to the lawsuit by Thursday.

Q: I own an apartment building built in 1974. Am I required to install water-conserving plumbing fixtures?

Yes.  As of January 1, 2019, all multifamily and commercial properties built before January 1, 1994 must have water-conserving plumbing fixtures installed. The requirements for water-conserving plumbing fixtures are as follows: 1. Toilets must use no more than 1.6 gallons per flush, 2. Urinals must use no more than 1 gallon per flush, 3. Showerheads must use no more than 2.5 gallons per minute, and 4. Interior faucets must use no more than 2.2 gallons per minute.

 Q: Is my tenant responsible for notifying me if the water-conserving plumbing fixtures are consuming more water than permitted?

It depends. You must make sure that all water-conserving plumbing fixtures are consuming no more water than the manufacturer’s consumption standard before the tenant takes possession. Unless the lease states otherwise, the tenant is required to notify you if the water-consuming plumbing fixtures are consuming too much water.

 Q: My building was built before 1940. Are there any exceptions to the requirement to have water-conserving plumbing fixtures?

Yes. There are several exceptions to the requirement to install water-conserving plumbing fixtures in commercial and multi-family buildings built before 1994. The exceptions are as follows:

1.  Registered historical sites,

2.  Properties where a licensed plumber certifies that, due to the age or configuration of the

property or its plumbing, installation of water-conserving plumbing fixtures is not technically

feasible, and

3. A building for which water service is permanently disconnected.

All relevant code sections and assembly bills are available for review online and on our website landlordslegalcenter.com.

Attorney Franco Simone, of Simone & Associates and The Landlords’ Legal Center, has been doing evictions for over 20 years.  He is also an adjunct law professor at the University of San Diego.  Mr. Simone’s office is open Monday – Friday from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM.  Tel: 619-235-6180, website: www.landlordslegalcenter.com or email info@simonelawfirm.com.

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