The Cross Law Firm's Landlord Law Blog

May 5, 2010

Serve a Notice for Rule Violation

This is part 7 of my blog series about dealing with threatening and violent residents.  Again, this blog series is targeted at owners of mobilehome parks (“communities”) which are subject to the Mobilehome Residency Law (Civil Code Section 798.1 et seq.) The notice requirements will differ for apartment owners and property management companies that manage apartments or other non-mobilehome/manufactured housing residential units.  The notices provided to dangerous tenants in apartment/rental units  are typically a 3 day notice to cure or quit or a 3 day notice to quit, instead of  a 7 day notice for a rule violation that is required under the Mobilehome Residency Law.

Image of 7-Day Notice being crumpledUpon an incident of a resident’s behavior becoming abusive or threatening, have your attorney send a 7-day notice to the resident notifying them that the behavior toward the management will not be tolerated and it constitutes a substantial annoyance and is a violation of the rules and regulations. Cite the specific rule prohibiting abusive, threatening behavior toward the employee in the 7-day notice. Again be specific in the notice as to exactly what was said by the resident, what actions were displayed, dates and witnesses.

Service of a 7-day notice for rule violation not only protects the threatened employee and sets up the resident’s file for an eviction, but it also protects the owner who is now taking reasonable steps to address a potentially dangerous situation.

* For specific inquiries regarding a threatening/violent tenant you may have, you’re welcome to visit my California Landlord – Tenant legal services page.

March 24, 2010

Zero Tolerance Policy: For Threatening/Harassing Behavior

This is the 2nd part of my blog series about dealing with threatening and violent residents.

Threatening TenantMost mobilehome communities already have a conduct or behavior provision in their rules and regulations prohibiting certain behavior by residents, including substantially annoying behavior, which is specifically addressed in the Mobilehome Residency Law.  This conduct rule typically does not specifically address harassing, abusive, threatening behavior towards community management or employees. I recommend placing a separate provision in your rules and regulations in addition to the more general “conduct” rule. This provision should state that any type of harassing, abusive, threatening or violent behavior towards management or other employees is prohibited, the community has a zero tolerance policy for violence against its employees and this type of behavior constitutes a substantial annoyance. This more specific provision in the rules is helpful if the community decides to serve the abusive resident with a notice for a rule violation or if/when the community terminates the resident’s tenancy based upon this behavior.

* For specific inquiries regarding a threatening/violent tenant you may have, you’re welcome to visit my California Landlord – Tenant legal services page.

March 17, 2010

Threatening and Violent Residents: Keeping the Workplace Safe from Violence (Part 1)

When a current client approached me about a violent resident in a mobilehome community a few days ago, I thought an appropriate topic to address in a blog series would be resident threats or abusive behavior towards management and other mobilehome community employees. Unfortunately this is far too common of an occurrence in our industry. With the employer having a legal requirement to provide a safe working environment for employees and the increasing liability for failing to protect employees from known or foreseeable dangers, community owners as employers cannot take any threat of violence or aggressive behavior by a resident towards an employee lightly.

This blog series is intended to assist owners of mobilehome communities in minimizing threatening situations towards employees as well as providing options to handle a threatening or abusive resident. The majority of this blog is applicable to all owners or managers of residential properties, but please keep in mind there may be some differences in the notice requirements and rule provisions between general landlord-tenant law and those that govern mobilehome tenancies.

Also keep in mind as you read this blog that every situation has a unique set of facts and which measures, if any, are appropriate, depends on the severity of the threat and the particular facts of that situation. Please consult your legal counsel with the facts of your particular situation to determine which of these options, if any, are appropriate. With that said, I will be posting weekly suggestions on ways to minimize threatening situations before they occur.

* For specific inquiries regarding a violent tenant you may have, your welcome to visit my California Landlord – Tenant legal services page.

January 20, 2010

The Unlawful Detainer: Land Mines of Delay Tactics and Affirmative Defenses

Many manufactured housing community owners and managers have been through the unlawful detainer process, but not all of them have encountered just how different and difficult one unlawful detainer action can be from another regarding time frames, discovery and even trial. If you are lucky, your encounter with an unlawful detainer action took approximately 3-4 weeks and ended nicely in a default judgment without the need to go to court. This article will walk you through the non-default unlawful detainer action and address some of the options that resident/tenants have to delay the process and to make the unlawful detainer action a long, expensive experience.

In discussing the difficult unlawful detainer trial, this article will address the delay tactics taken by residents (“resident defendants”) and/or their attorneys and the affirmative defenses that can be raised to complicate the issues, as well as post-trial motions and appeals that delay returning possession of the premises to the community owner (“owner”).

Please visit this link for the full article originally published in the WMA Reporter: Legal Lines – Delay Tactics.pdf

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