Group XIII Properties LP v. Stockman

Facts: A new owner of a residential rental property hires a property management company. The resident manager on the property posts a notice of the change of ownership and management notifying all existing tenants. The property management company later changes its name, and the resident manager posts a second notice. The second notice, unlike the prior notice, does not list the names and telephone numbers of any agent-for-service, manager or owner, or the office hours for service. A tenant delinquent in rent is served a three-day-notice to pay rent or quit and is evicted through an unlawful detainer (UD) action.

Claim: The tenant seeks to recover money losses resulting from the eviction claiming the owner was barred from evicting the tenant since the owner was not in strict compliance with notice procedures by failing to list the office hours or contact information for every agent authorized to manage the property within 15 calendar days of the effective name change.

Counterclaim: The owner claims the eviction was proper since they provided the tenant all required information between the two notices.

Holding: A California appeals court holds the residential tenant is entitled to recover their money losses due to an improper eviction since the owner needs to strictly comply with notices giving the names, phone numbers and addresses for all agents-for-service and managers within 15 calendar days every time there is a change to ownership or management before serving notices to pay or quit. [Group XIII Properties LP v. Stockman (2022) 85 CA5th Supp. 1]

Group XIII Properties LP v. Stockman

Editor’s noteIndividuals authorized to enter into leases need to be diligent when attempting to evict tenants. Failure to strictly comply with statutory notification requirements on the change of ownership or management may temporarily prevent eviction.

Related Reading:

Legal Aspects of Real Estate Chapter 11: Identification of property manager or owner – Change in ownership and management