May Legal Questions Part 2

6. Question:
Is the procedure for evicting a tenant from a garage any different than for a tenant who lives in a
residential unit? Is delivering a notice to a post office box legally acceptable?


The eviction process is the same. The notice should be mailed to the post office box and
another attached to the door of the garage the same day. Even though it may not be delivered,
send another notice via mail, same day to the garage, since the code literally requires mailing
and posting to the rented premises.

7. Question:
Is there any way to impose a rent increase on tenants with a lease or do you have to wait until
the lease is expired? Can you raise rents on specific units and not all units?


You have to wait until the lease expires unless the lease term contained an automatic rent
increase. If there is an objective business reason, you can raise rent on some units and not
others, as long as it does not violate fair housing laws. Many owners increase the rent on the
tenants’ anniversary dates.

8. Question:
I have a tenant who has been late with the rent on a number of occasions. I charge him a late
fee and he pays it. When his lease expires, do I have to renew?


Unless you are in a rent-controlled city, you are not required to renew a tenant’s fixed term
lease and do not need to have or state a reason for non-renewal.

9. Question:
We want to give notice to vacate to a renter of a garage who has been in occupancy for over
one year. Can we give a thirty-day notice or does the sixty-day notice rule apply for garages as


You can give a thirty-day notice. Sixty-day notices are only required for residential property
when the tenant has been in possession for one year or longer and the rental agreement is

10. Question:
My tenant fixes his motorcycle in the living room of his apartment. I have warned him that he
did not have a right to use our apartment as an auto repair shop. He says as long as he leaves
the apartment clean, he has the right to work on his motorcycle. What should I do?


You should review your lease to see if he is breaching any particular condition of promise. If
not, and you are on a month-to-month tenancy, you could threaten to serve him with a thirty-day
notice to quit, or to change the terms of tenancy. If you are not on a month-to-month tenancy,
you must find a breach and serve a three-day notice to comply. If he fails to meet the demands
of the notice, the eviction lawsuit may be filed.

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