DLI Properties LLC v. Hill

Facts: A landlord who recently purchased rental property enters into a new rental agreement with an existing tenant occupying the property. The tenant falls behind on rental payments, and the landlord files an unlawful detainer (UD) action. The tenant remains in possession of the property.

Claim: The tenant seeks to retain possession of the property, claiming the UD action is invalid since the landlord, as a “successor owner,” did not make required statutory disclosures which would allow a successor owner to evict a tenant.

Counterclaim: The landlord claims the UD action is valid since a separate rental agreement under the new landlord does not inherit the rights and responsibilities of any prior agreement as it would in the case of a successor owner.

Holding: A California appeals court holds the UD action is valid and the tenant may be evicted since the landlord, as they negotiated an entirely new rental agreement with the tenant, is not a successor owner who would be barred from evicting a tenant without the proper disclosures. [DLI Properties LLC v. Hill (September 17, 2018)_CA4th_]

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