Commercial & Residential Landlord Tenant Lawyer in Orange County
At the Law Offices of Edwin Fahlen in Orange County, we advocate for the rights of landlords, property owners, managers and tenants in both Commercial and Residential matters. For our clients —Landlords or Tenants— we bring 27 years of legal experience with an focused knowledge of Real Estate Law. Because of our experience, we can often advise our clients how to work out landlord tenant disputes without resorting to court. That said, when circumstances require we no strangers to the courthouse.
Mr. Fahlen is a Real Estate Attorney & a Real Estate Broker
Attorney Edwin Fahlen is a licensed Real Estate Broker —and— a licensed Real Estate Attorney which brings his clients the experience and wisdom of two professional in one. Ed has the unique perspective of a real estate lawyer, but as a broker/Realtor® where he has become intimately familiar with other real estate professionals including landlords, property managers, owners, and tenants.
Legal Advice & Representation for both Tenants and Landlords – As a young law student balancing work, school and “life,” Ed had many experiences as a tenant and to this day has compassion for the issues that lessees and renters face. Now, later in life, as a successful real estate lawyer, real estate broker and Realtor®, Ed has now decades of experience as a landlord and can relate to other landlords and property managers with their problems, objectives, concerns and legal needs.
Landlord Tenant Laws – affect both the person who leases and the person who rents property. Landlord-tenant disputes are governed by state and federal contract and property laws. Trying to interpret these laws yourself can lead to large, court-imposed fines if you’re the landlord, or bad marks on your credit report if you’re a tenant. It is always a good idea to hire an experienced real estate attorney to explain your rights and represent you in these matters.
Lease and Rental Agreements in Orange County
The typical landlord-tenant dispute revolves around the lease or rental agreement. The lease usually has: the name or the landlord, the name of tenant, the term of the lease, the amount of rent that must be paid, what happens during “default,” the duties and responsibilities of the landlord, and the requirements of the tenant with regard to maintenance, and what happens at the end of the term of the lease.
Some rental and lease agreements and contracts include provisions that explain who must pay attorney fees in a lawsuit, if the tenant can have house guests, if the tenant can have a pet, the number of persons who may reside in the property, and oftentimes what happens if the building is sold during the life of the lease.
California Laws are Very Tenant Friendly
While leases are sometimes specially written for residential or commercial tenants, state and local laws are applied mainly for residential leases because the tenant is usually deemed not as educated in the law. Landlords may try to add special clauses to a standard lease that are acceptable, but often times landlords insert illegal clauses in their lease agreements because they did not have an attorney assist them in drafting. A landlord-tenant attorney will be able to interpret your contract and determine if it follows all applicable laws be you the landlord or the tenant.
Property Maintenance and Repair Disputes
Under most common leases, the landlord is responsible for maintenance of the rental property. He must fix any defects or problems. According to local laws, landlords must also deliver a rental property that complies with housing codes, and must maintain compliance with the housing codes.
If a landlord doesn’t comply with this responsibility, the tenant must notify the landlord in writing, and give the landlord a reasonable amount of time to remedy any situations needing attention. If no action is taken in a “reasonable amount of time,” the tenant may hire a repairman to make the repairs, pay the repairman, and deduct the cost of the repair from the rent. Of course, taking that action may affect the relationship to where the landlord will be looking to replace the tenant at the earliest opportunity. You could call Ed before you go down this path.
When the landlord is derelict in his or her duties to an extreme, he or she may create a constructive eviction situation. If the defects are bad enough where the tenant can no longer live in the rental property, it creates a situation where the tenant is actually evicted. In order to claim constructive eviction and forgo paying rent, the tenant must inform the landlord in writing, and keep adequate records and pictures should proof be required that the landlord was derelict in their duties. If the landlord doesn’t correct the defects in a reasonable amount of time, the tenant can move out and any lease might be void. You could call Ed before you go down this path.
Tenants Faced with an Uninhabitable Unit
You should always consult an attorney before taking any such action as moving out based upon repairs not being made. Making mistakes on any notice letters may hurt your chances should your landlord decide to sue you for breach of contract. Orange County Landlord Tenant attorney Edwin Fahlen will be able to help you decide on the best course of action.
Eviction: Fact and Fiction
A landlord cannot just show up at a tenant’s door and say: “you are evicted – leave!” In order for a tenant to be evicted, the landlord must go through a specified legal eviction process, including various notices and going to court where they can attempt to prove that the tenant has violated the lease. If the court agrees, a eviction notice will be issued, and the local sheriff or police department will enforce the tenant’s eviction.
Landlords – Are Your Rental Agreements in Order?
We work with many ethical and diligent landlords who have a huge financial investment in their Orange County real estate and have a reasonable expectation that their tenants will respect their property. We can review landlord’s lease agreements and advise you as to unique situations that need to be addressed in your leases and rental agreements. Many agreements are unique because of the complexities or uniqueness of your rental property. We can carefully tailor a rental / lease agreement that meets your unique properties requirements or more closely dovetails with your style of managing your rental property.
We Can Advise about these Landlord-Tenant “Hot Topics”
- Lease or rental agreement disputes
- “Repair and deduct from rent”
- Constructive eviction
- The eviction process
Consult with an Orange County Landlord-Tenant Attorney
By consulting with Orange County Landlord-Tenant Attorney Edwin Fahlen early on in a Landlord-Tenant dispute, he can often help you resolve the matter quickly and efficiently, without the stress, and expense of protracted litigation. That said, we will always be prepared to defend your interests in the courts when necessary. Your best interests are our priority at all times.
Free Introductory Meeting
I encourage you to reach out to make that free introductory meeting with me by calling (714) 395-5605. There is absolutely no pressure whatsoever. Typically, people will want to sit down with a real estate lawyer to discuss their current opportunity or dilemma. I am pleased to offer this complementary legal service to residents of Orange County and beyond.
If it is late at night or inconvenient to call me, please email me using my CONTACT US form on the left side of the screen. This form comes directly to my desk. I will contact you the minute I see it.
Conveniently located in Fountain Valley
We are located off the 405 Freeway. Here is a picture of my office building and a Google Map to get your bearings.