North 7th Street Associates v. Constante

A landlord whom a local ordinance bars from collecting rent due to building and housing code violations in the rented premises also cannot evict the tenant for non-payment of rent.  Landlord rented the premises to defendant on an oral month-to-month tenancy in violation of the Los Angeles Rent Stabilization Ordinance, inspectors having found that the premises violated various building and housing code provisions.  Because of those violations, LARSO barred the landlord from collecting any rent for the premises.  So the landlord’s 3-day notice to quit necessarily overstated the amount of past rent due—as legally none was due.  Therefore, the trial court correctly granted the defendant summary judgment not only as to past due rent but also as to possession of the premises.

Los Angeles County Superior Court, Appellate Division (Dymant, J., sitting by assignment); November 16, 2016; 2016 WL 7636897

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