Epps v. Lindsey
Facts: A tenant enters into a fixed-term lease agreement for a residential property. Shortly afterward, the property is sold in a foreclosure sale and ownership is transferred multiple times. The end owner plans to use the property as their primary residence and serves the tenant with a 90-day notice to quit. The tenant refuses to vacate.
Claim: The owner seeks to evict the tenant from the property, claiming the owner has a right to occupy the property since title was legally transferred to them and they intend to use the property as a primary residence.
Counter claim: The tenant seeks to retain possession of the property, claiming the owner has no right to terminate their tenancy or evict them since the owner is not the immediate successor-in-interest to the original owner of the property who entered into the lease with the tenant, but rather several steps removed in the chain of title.
Holding: A California court of appeals holds the owner may evict the tenant from the property since the owner intends to use the property as their primary residence, and no requirement exists that only an immediate successor-in-interest may evict a previous tenant. [Epps v. Lindsey (March 27, 2017) _CA4th_]
Editor’s note — See the 90-Day Notice to Quit Due to Foreclosure – To Holdover Residential Tenant published by RPI (Realty Publications, Inc.). [See RPI Form 573]