Where do I serve an owner of a rented dwelling?

faqWhat Should a Landlord Provide When Initiating a Rental Agreement?

An owner or landlord of a dwelling structure is required under Civil Code Section 1962(a)(b) to disclose in a rental agreement:

  1. Name, telephone number, and usual street address where service can be performed

Example: If a manager is appointed to manage the premises, then the above information for the manager should be disclosed as well.

  1. Usual days and hours the owner or landlord will be available to receive payments.
  2. Disclosure of forms necessary to make rent payments
  3. If the landlord wants the rent to be deposited into an account, the landlord must provide a the account number as well as the name and the address of a financial institution within five miles of the rental property

-This includes: Disclosure of information necessary to establish an electronic funds transfer procedure

  1. If there is a change in owner or manager, he or she must provide the above information, in writing, to the tenant within fifteen (15) days

An owner is allowed to post the above information in (1) an elevator on the premises; or (2) In at least two conspicuous places if an elevator is not present, in EACH dwelling.  (Civil Code Section 1962.5)

What if the Landlord does not comply with Section 1962(a)(b) and Section 1962.5? What can I do?

In the event that the landlord is not compliant with Section 1962(a)(b) and Section 1962.5, the tenant may use Section 1962.7 to serve the owner or landlord at the location where rent is paid. In a situation where a landlord was initially compliant with Section 1962(a)(b) and later fails to comply with said policy, Section 1962.7 comes into effect by allowing the tenant to serve the address where rent is paid. Service must be done through certified/registered mail to the location where rent was paid.

Example: If the landlord/owner provided the location of the financial institution (e.g. the bank) at which the rent must be paid, then the address of the bank can serve as a valid service location. For more information on how to serve, refer to our fact sheet on How to Serve the Defendant.

Declaration

In order to get a default judgment, a tenant must inform the judge how service was performed by filing a Proof of Service (SC-104).  Since this is an unusual situation, you may want to write a Declaration stating the reasoning and citing the legal code allowing for service at the location where service was performed.

A sample copy of the declaration can be found on the page below.

For more information or assistance you can contact:

Small Claims Advisory Program
Legal Aid Society of Orange County
2101 N. Tustin Ave.

Santa Ana, CA 92705

Phone: (714) 571-5277

www.ocsmallclaims.com

Code of Civil Procedure:

www.leginfo.ca.gov/calaw.html

Revised 06/12