The California Civil Code, Chapter 2, Section 1951.4 allows for a landlord to continue to enforce a lease after a tenant abandons a rental property under the following circumstances:
Lease Must Provide this Remedy
The remedy described in this section is available only if the lease provides for this remedy. In addition to any other type of provision used in a lease to provide for the remedy described in this section, a provision in the lease in substantially the following form satisfies this section:
“The lessor has the remedy described in California Civil Code Section 1951.4 (lessor may continue lease in effect after lessee’s breach and abandonment and recover rent as it becomes due, if lessee has right to sublet or assign, subject only to reasonable limitations).”
Lease May Continue Without Termination
Even though a lessee of real property has breached the lease and abandoned the property, the lease continues in effect for so long as the lessor does not terminate the lessee’s right to possession, and the lessor may enforce all the lessor’s rights and remedies under the lease, including the right to recover the rent as it becomes due under the lease, if any of the following conditions is satisfied:
- The lease permits the lessee, or does not prohibit or otherwise restrict the right of the lessee, to sublet the property, assign the lessee’s interest in the lease, or both.
- The lease permits the lessee to sublet the property, assign the lessee’s interest in the lease, or both, subject to express standards or conditions, provided the standards and conditions are reasonable at the time the lease is executed and the lessor does not require compliance with any standard or condition that has become unreasonable at the time the lessee seeks to sublet or assign.
- The lease permits the lessee to sublet the property, assign the lessee’s interest in the lease, or both, with the consent of the lessor, and the lease provides that the consent shall not be unreasonably withheld or the lease includes a standard implied by law that consent shall not be unreasonably withheld.
Actions that Do Not Qualify as Termination
For the purposes of the subsection Lease May Continue Without Termination, the following do not constitute a termination of the lessee’s right to possession:
- Acts of maintenance or preservation or efforts to relet the property.
- The appointment of a receiver upon initiative of the lessor to protect the lessor’s interest under the lease.
- Withholding consent to a subletting or assignment, or terminating a subletting or assignment, if the withholding or termination does not violate the rights of the lessee specified in the subsection Lease May Continue Without Termination.
Amended by Stats. 1991, Ch. 67, Sec. 1.
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