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Motion for relief from forfeiture of lease in California

A motion for relief from a forfeiture of a lease or rental agreement in California is the topic of this blog post. Code of Civil Procedure section 1179 is the statute that authorizes a court to relieve a tenant against a forfeiture of a lease or rental agreement in California on the grounds of hardship.

Code of Civil Procedure section 1179 states in pertinent part that, “The court may relieve a tenant against a forfeiture of a lease or rental agreement, whether written or oral, and whether or not the tenancy has terminated, and restore him or her to his or her former estate or tenancy, in case of hardship, as provided in Section 1174. The court has the discretion to relieve any person against forfeiture on its own motion.”

Anyone considering filing a motion for relief under section 1179 should be sure to include detailed facts supporting their claim of hardship, and that any breach was not wilfull or in bad faith. For instance a tenant who failed to pay their rent due to losing their job but who now has the money to pay all of the back rent and all other damages and costs included in any judgment has a good argument for relief from forfeiture, particularly if they can show that they had always paid their rent on time before losing their job and that they are now employed again and plan to pay their rent on time from now on.

A noticed motion for relief from a forfeiture of a lease or rental agreement must be served and filed at least five (5) calendar days before the hearing.

A California Court of Appeal has ruled that a court has broad equitable discretion to relieve a tenant from forfeiture and restore them to their former tenancy in cases of hardship. The Court must impose statutory conditions such as full payment of the rent that is due or full performance of all conditions and covenants of the lease or rental agreement.

The law abhors forfeitures. Reed v. South Shore Foods, Inc. (1964) 229 Cal. App. 2d 705, 713.

Relief from forfeiture is most likely to be granted if the lessor can be placed in the same position as if the breach had not occurred. The principal reason for this is that the penalty of forfeiture is essentially designed to secure the payment of a certain sum of money. If that money is paid with interest, the true purpose of the forfeiture is satisfied.

And courts can exercise their equitable powers and balance the equities taking into account all of the relevant circumstances such as whether the breach by the tenant was wilfull or in bad faith, whether the landlord has acted in good or bad faith, etc.

Obtaining relief from forfeiture can be very useful to a tenant who would suffer grave hardship if they were forced to move.

Attorneys or parties in California who would like to view a portion of a sample motion for relief from forfeiture of a lease sold by the author can see below.

Attorneys or parties in California that would like more information on a California eviction litigation document package containing over 25 sample documents including a sample motion for relief from forfeiture of lease can use the link shown below.

http://legaldocspro.net/california-eviction-litigation-document-package/

The author of this blog post, Stan Burman, is an entrepreneur and freelance paralegal who has worked in California and Federal litigation since 1995 and has created over 300 sample legal documents for California and Federal litigation.

*Do you want to use this article on your website, blog or e-zine? You can, as long as you include this blurb with it: “Stan Burman is the author of over 300 sample legal documents for California and Federal litigation and is the author of a free weekly legal newsletter. You can receive 10 free gifts just for subscribing. Just visit http://freeweeklylegalnewsletter.gr8.com/ for more information.

Follow the author on Twitter at: https://twitter.com/LegalDocsPro

You can view sample legal document packages for sale by going to http://www.legaldocspro.com/downloads.aspx

DISCLAIMER:

Please note that the author of this blog post, Stan Burman is NOT an attorney and as such is unable to provide any specific legal advice. The author is NOT engaged in providing any legal, financial, or other professional services, and any information contained in this blog post is NOT intended to constitute legal advice.

The materials and information contained in this blog post have been prepared by Stan Burman for informational purposes only and are not legal advice. Transmission of the information contained in this blog post is not intended to create, and receipt does not constitute, any business relationship between the author and any readers. Readers should not act upon this information without seeking professional counsel.

 

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