California Valley Properties LLC v. Berlfein

Facts: A provision in a tenant’s rental agreement with a landlord states only the tenant and their child will occupy the apartment unit. A local rent ordinance bars an eviction when an additional tenant is an adult tenant and the landlord’s approval is unreasonably withheld. The tenant marries and their spouse moves in and the child moves out. The tenant never informs the landlord of the change in occupancy. The landlord serves the tenant with a notice to quit and files an unlawful detainer (UD) action to evict the tenant due to the breach of the occupancy provision in the rental agreement.

Claim: The tenant claims the landlord’s eviction notice is invalid under the local rent ordinance since the landlord never stated why they reasonably disapproved of the new occupant.

Counterclaim: The landlord claims the notice of eviction is valid since the tenant violated the rental agreement provision that barred more than one adult and one child as occupants of the apartment.

Holding: The California appeals court holds the notice of eviction was invalid since the landlord failed to establish reasonable grounds for disapproving an additional tenant under the local ordinance. [California Valley Properties LLC v. Berlfein (March 20, 2020)_CA6th_]

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