Landlord Tenant

Our Attorneys Are Highly Experienced in Landlord and Tenant Law Matters.

landlord and tenant law

Negotiating and preparing commercial and residential lease agreements in California requires a thorough understanding of the state’s landlord and tenant law.  At Cuttone & Associates we have experience representing businesses and individuals who need expert legal counsel to effectively manage their investment properties, including negotiating and preparing leases, managing the property and the tenant, and termination of the tenancy.  As long time licensed real estate brokers and practitioners in the San Joaquin Valley real estate market, we know how to navigate the complexities of lease agreements and landlord-tenant relationships.

Commercial Leases

Lease agreements for commercial properties have a unique character that requires a good attorney’s insight and experience.  Many of the legal and consumer protections extended to residential tenants in California do not apply to commercial leases, although contractual rights and obligations must still be honored.  Some of the key aspects of commercial leases include:

  • No implied warranty of habitability for the tenant
  • Limited privacy protections from landlord entry
  • No rent control laws
  • More flexible eviction processes
  • No requirement that the lease be “fair”
  • Landlord can restrict use of property
  • The lease is treated as typical business contract

All of these items underscore the reality of commercial leases as business contracts that can be negotiated and drafted based on the parties’ needs and expectations.  Since there is no “standard” commercial lease, the contract must be prepared with the client’s business interests in mind.

Depending on the client’s needs and budget, a standard form contract may be used, with appropriate modifications, such as the form contracts from the AIR Commercial Real Estate Association and the California Association of Realtors.  For more complex transactions, we draft custom commercial lease agreements from our form and provision library, which we customize to each client’s specific needs.

Your attorney at Cuttone & Associates will prepare your lease to suit your business and legal priorities, and give you an enforceable contract to protect your financial interests in the property.

Residential Leases

Residential landlords in California face a wide array of state and federal consumer and tenant protection laws, and there may also be municipal ordinances in your jurisdiction, that also apply to a residential rentals.  For this reason, it is important that your attorney assist you in drafting an enforceable lease that can be used for the tenants in your specific property.  We will never restrict your options to standard form leases, which are often unenforceable and not drafted by attorneys, and we will make sure that your lease agreements and addendums comply with state and federal landlord and tenant law.  While many statutes are designed to protect tenants from unfair treatment, there are also many statutes that make remedies available to landlords.  Common issues in residential leases include:

  •      Non-payment or late payment of rent
  •      Property damage by tenants and use of security deposits
  •      Eviction processes and notice periods for lease violations
  •      Abandonment of tenant property
  •      Landlord failure to make repairs or insisting on excessive rent increases

Because residential leases are for the tenant’s home, there are more tenant protections extended for privacy, maintenance, and unfair eviction.  Some of these protections cannot be negated in the lease, and you should be aware of your rights as a landlord in the event of a tenant dispute.

Cuttone & Associates: Your Landlord-Tenant Attorneys

At Cuttone & Associates we understand that the nature of the landlord-tenant relationship can be challenging, and we will work to make sure that your investment property and rental business has the legal and management support that you need.  From the start, we will help you in assessing your property’s lease requirements, establish proper screening criteria, and then prepare an appropriate lease agreement, customized for each tenant.  If there are lease or tenant disputes, we will be ready to represent you to resolve any conflicts and keep your rental business running smoothly.  Please contact us so we can show you exactly how we can be your legal counsel and rental business advisors.