In Boston LLC v. Juarez, (2016) 245 Cal.App.4th 75, the court held that it was not proper for a landlord to terminate a residential tenancy and evict a tenant under a three-day notice based on the fact that the tenant failed to obtain renter’s personal injury and property damage insurance, as required by the lease. The court further held that in order to enforce a forfeiture provision in a lease, the tenant’s breach must be “material”, i.e., substantial, even if the forfeiture provision does not require a breach to be material. In this case, the court reasoned that the breach was not material because the insurance requirement only protected the tenant’s interests, not the landlord’s, and because the landlord otherwise failed to prove how it was harmed by the tenant not obtaining renter’s insurance after having lived at the premises for 15 years without this term being enforced.
The Santa Cruz Sentinel recently reported on the Santa Cruz City Council’s approval of a new 32-unit condominium project to be constructed at 1800 Soquel Avenue at the intersection of Hagemann Avenue, which is the current site of May’s Sushi Bar & Grill. (Santa Cruz Council Green Lights New Condo Development, 4/13/16.) The article described this project as, “a test case for the city’s in-development “Corridor Plan,” calling for increased density of residential and commercial growth along major city roads….” The project consists primarily of one-bedroom and studio units, and will provide much needed relatively affordable housing in the City.
The Santa Cruz City Council and the Santa Cruz County Board of Supervisors have already decided, as a matter of land use policy, that the best places to add the substantial amount of new housing that is needed in Santa Cruz are along the four main thoroughfares – Mission Street, Water Street, Soquel Avenue/Soquel Drive, and Ocean Street. The basic idea is to site new, dense residential development near bikeways and public transportation routes in hopes that a significant amount (10%? 20%?) of new residents will bike and/or take the bus instead of driving (at least some of the time), in order to minimize traffic and other impacts in the urban boundary area overall.
CASE UPDATE: Court Affirms Coastal Commission’s Authority to Issue Cease, Desist and Restoration Orders Regarding Extensive Development in the Coastal Zone Conducted Without Coastal Development Permits..
Hagopian v. State (2nd Dist. 2014), 2014 WL 265517, involved a challenge to Coastal Commission permitting and enforcement authority brought by egregious Coastal Act violators. The plaintiffs purchased undeveloped coastal zone property in the Santa Monica Mountains in Los Angeles County (“Parcel 24”). At the time, L.A. County did not have a certified Local Coastal Program, and so the Coastal Commission was the coastal development permit issuing authority.
CASE UPDATE: Court Affirms Statutory Residential Tenant Protections Even After Premises Is Foreclosed On.
In Nativi v. Deutsche Bank National Trust Company (6TH Dist. 2014), 2014 WL 255587, the tenants were evicted from their rented garage by the foreclosing bank, even though the tenants had several more months remaining on their one-year lease. The trial court held that the foreclosure sale extinguished the lease pursuant to California state law generally providing that the nonjudicial foreclosure of a dominant deed of trust extinguishes subordinate interests, including leases.
In City of Pasadena v. Superior Court (2014) 228 Cal.App.4th 1228, the court held that the City of Pasadena might have liability for damage to a house caused by a City-owned street tree that fell during a storm. On November 11, 2011, hurricane-force winds blew down or damaged 5,000 trees in the City, which damaged many homes. The insurance company of one of the damaged homeowners sued the City under negligence and inverse condemnation theories.
CASE UPDATE: Coastal Permit Condition Requiring Beach/Coastal Access Easement Lacked Rational Nexus With Inland Construction Project.
In Bowman v. California Coastal Commission, (2014) —Cal.Rptr.3d– (2014 WL 5390057), the court held that the Coastal Commission and the trial court erred in imposing a lateral coastal access easement as a condition of approval of a coastal development permit (CDP) for the reconstruction of a barn, the remodel of a house, and installation of a new septic system. This case involved two, successive CDP applications to make certain improvements at a single, 400-acre coastal property in San Luis Obispo County.
In Huntington Continental Townhouse Assoc., Inc. v. Miner, (2014) 230 Cal.App.4th 590, the court held that a homeowners’ association (HOA) must accept an owner’s partial payment toward a delinquent HOA assessment balance. In this case, the owner (Miner), stopped making monthly assessment payments and eventually incurred a balance of approximately $6,400.00 in assessments, penalties, fees and costs. The HOA imposed a lien against the owner’s property, had the lien recorded, and then filed a lawsuit to foreclose on the lien.
CASE UPDATE: Deficiency Judgment Not Allowed Because Bank Failed To Include All Properties Securing Loan In Judicial Foreclosure Sale.
In First California Bank v. McDonald, (2014) 2014 WL 6675937, the court held that a bank/ secured lender could not maintain an action for a deficiency judgment because in the underlying judicial foreclosure action the bank only included one of two properties securing the loan.
The bank made the subject loan to a husband and wife secured by two properties, the “Wasco” property, which was community property, and the “Shafter” property, which was the wife’s sole and separate property. After the husband died, the loan went into default. The bank and the wife agreed to a private sale of the parcel that was her separate property (Shafter), and then the bank filed a lawsuit to foreclose on the remaining parcel and obtain a deficiency judgment. The trial court granted a decree of judicial foreclosure stating that the bank was entitled to obtain a deficiency judgment against the representatives of the husband’s estate, but the court of appeal reversed.
CASE UPDATE: Court Affirms Dismissal Of Quiet Title Claim Even Though Plaintiff’s Name Was Fraudulently Omitted From Prior Deed.
In Lin v. Coronado (2014), 2014 WL 6398772, the court dismissed the plaintiff’s quiet title claim finding that a change that was made to a revised version of a deed that omitted plaintiff’s name was immaterial, and thus, no basis to void the altered deed. The plaintiff, Helen Lin, alleged that she contributed $150,000 toward a $250,000 purchase of property at a trustee sale with two other partners, River Forest and Elevation Investments; that the original version of the trustee’s deed named the transferees as “RIVER FOREST FINANCIAL LLC 75%, ELEVATION INVESTMENTS 25% HELEN LIN”; that the version of the trust deed that was subsequently recorded was altered to omit HELEN LIN from the named transferees (unbeknownst to Lin); that River Forest then quitclaimed its entire interest in the property to Elevation, which then sold the property to the defendant in this case, Mireya Coronado.
CASE UPDATE: Court Rules That A Water Retention Basin At Northstar Ski Resort That Is Causing Water Damage To Nearby Buildings Is A Nuisance, Granting An Injunction..
In Aspen Grove Condominium Assoc. v. CNL Income Northstar LLC, (2014) 231 Cal.App.4th 53, the court of appeal affirmed a trial court order requiring the owners of the Northstar Ski Resort to remove a 20,000 cubic foot water retention basin. Northstar constructed the basin as part of a major expansion of buildings, driveways and parking lots. Despite the fact that Northstar had numerous other areas of its property on which to build the basin, Northstar the basis along a lower boundary if its property, close to neighboring buildings, and apparently without sufficient geotechnical or soils analyses.