Author: Benjamin J. Smith

May a landlord charge higher rent for a rent-controlled unit after entering into a buyout agreement with the former tenant and briefly occupying the unit?

Geraghty v. Shalizi Facts: A landlord of a rent-controlled property intends to move into a currently occupied unit. The landlord and the tenant enter into a buyout agreement in which the tenant agrees to vacate in exchange for an agreed-upon sum of money to avoid an owner move-in eviction under the rent control ordinance. The tenant vacates and the landlord moves in. A year after taking occupancy, the landlord vacates, then rents the unit to a new tenant at a higher price. Claim: The former tenant seeks to rescind the buyout agreement, claiming the landlord misrepresented their intention to occupy the...

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May a buyer of foreclosed residential property serve the holdover owner with a notice to quit prior to perfecting title?

US Financial, LP v. McLitus Facts: A buyer purchases a home occupied by the owner at a foreclosure sale. The buyer immediately serves the owner a three-day notice to quit before recording the transfer of ownership. The prior owner refuses to vacate and the buyer attempts to regain possession under an unlawful detainer (UD) action. Claim: The prior owner seeks to retain possession of the property, claiming the notice to quit and subsequent UD action are invalid since the buyer was not the owner of record for the property when they served the notice to quit, as they had...

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May a buyer of foreclosed rental property serve a tenant with a notice to quit prior to perfecting title?

Dr. Leevil, LLC v. Westlake Health Care Center Facts: A landlord defaults on the mortgage encumbering their commercial property. The property is occupied by a tenant under a lease containing an automatic subordination clause. The property is later sold to a buyer at a trustee’s sale. The buyer serves the tenant with a three-day notice to quit prior to recording the transfer with the county and perfecting title. The tenant holds over and is evicted in an unlawful detainer (UD) action. Claim: The tenant seeks to regain possession of the property, claiming the notice to quit and subsequent UD...

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Is the minor child of a tenant entitled to relocation pay under a local rent ordinance?

Danger Panda, LLC v. Launiu Facts: A landlord removes a residential unit occupied by a tenant and their minor child from the rental market. As required by a local rent ordinance, the landlord provides relocation pay to the tenant, but not to the minor. Claim: The tenant seeks compensation for the minor, claiming the minor is entitled to relocation pay since the minor is a lawful occupant of the unit. Counter claim: The landlord claims no compensation is owed to the minor under the local rent ordinance since the minor is not a tenant under the rent ordinance, as...

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Zestimates are great conversation starters with sellers and buyers. Zillow has done more for our bottom line than NAR ever has or will. Don’t fight the current of the river, learn to run with it. Disruption is inevitable in any industry that is fragmented or inefficient. Granted, it does feel like armchair experts and platforms are plentiful in real estate these days, but when the tide rolls out we will see the value proposition of the truest professionals in this industry shine once again.

Justin Bonney, on Zillow’s impact on the real estate industry

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