A landlord who wishes to terminate a periodic (month-to-month) tenancy may do so by properly serving advanced written 30-day or 60-day notices on tenants. The operative word is properly. The reality is that most “mom and pop” landlords are on cruise control and don’t know the “ins and outs” of landlord-tenant law, namely California Civil Code section 1946 et. Seq. Over the years I defended many tenants who were improperly served by the landlord – the result of which was a delayed end of the tenancy. By failing to properly serve notice the landlord will be surprised when they find out (usually at the end of the 30 or 60 day period) that they need to re-serve the notice thus resetting the calendar for another 30 or 60 day period.
Have you heard the old legal adage, “[I]gnorance of the law is no excuse”? Many landlords and property owners consistently violate the law without knowing it, but that does not excuse their ignorance or their potential liability. One of the most common violations occurs when a tenant has resided in a property for more than one year – they are granted certain statutory rights which can’t be waived related to tenancy termination. California Civil Code Section 1946.1(b) states in pertinent part that:
A landlord can end a periodic tenancy (for example, a month-to-month tenancy) by giving the tenant proper advance written notice. Your landlord must give you 60 days advance written notice that the tenancy will end if you and every other tenant or resident have lived in the rental unit for a year or more.
Many landlords and property owners have clauses in their rental agreements and leases that state “the landlord and tenant must give each other 30-day notice to terminate the tenancy.” The problem with this language is that it reduces the statutory minimum notice required by California Civil Code 1946.1(b). Even if a tenant unknowingly agreed to such language in a rental agreement or lease they would not be bound by it because it is a statutory violation.
A landlord who violates this law may be subject to several penalties including a significant delay in getting the property back from the tenant. Moreover, landlords who violate the law can be subject to statutory remedies, fines, potential damages, and reasonable attorneys’ fees – if the tenant can prove such.
Barron Park is the one Palo Alto neighborhood with the greatest range of types of construction and architecture all with a rural to suburban atmosphere. Many people are attracted to Barron Park because there is so much diversity in the housing stock. Barron Park is improving every day with newer homes being constructed with a Craftsman flair. This neighborhood might be for you if you enjoy a slightly slower pace of life with a well-regarded community association and friendly neighbors who make an effort to become your friend.
One of Palo Alto’s oldest and most recognizable neighborhoods – Downtown North Palo Alto – grew out of necessity during the construction of Leland Stanford Junior University – workers needed places to live, shop and eat. Downtown North Palo Alto, located between Alma Street, Middlefield Road, University Avenue, and San Francisquito creek, is a few hundred footsteps from University Avenue which one of the most dynamic, diverse and economically powerful streets in the Silicon Valley. The Downtown North neighborhood is the essence of urban living in Palo Alto, the hub of Silicon Valley. Dozens of wonderful and tempting restaurants, cafes, shops, a theatre, and prestige stores line University Avenue (the heart of Palo Alto) – all within minutes of walking from Downtown North Palo Alto. Jump on your bicycle, or throw on your walking shoes and Downtown North is also minutes from world renowned Leland Stanford Junior University and its sprawling campus. A few minutes walking in the other direction leads to Caltrain – and all points north and south.
Developed after World War II “Midtown” Palo Alto contains all of the essential elements necessary to be a classic desirable family neighborhood. Midtown is unambiguously located right smack in the middle of Palo Alto. At inception Midtown was supposed to be a prototypical track neighborhood designed to accommodate California’s state-wide post-War development boom that defined the start of suburban sprawl. Originally considered South Palo Alto, Midtown grew so big, so fast that the two separate neighborhoods – Midtown and South Palo Alto – were destined to be separated out of necessity. Today Midtown is a distinct, charming stand-alone neighborhood which epitomizes Palo Alto neighborhood living.
If one were to encounter a neighborhood crafted around the community gathering place a name like “Community Center” would be appropriate. Community Center Palo Alto is precisely that place. The Community Center neighborhood almost symmetrically surrounds the Palo Alto Children’s Library, the City of Palo Alto Main Library, the Palo Alto Children’s Theatre, the Palo Alto Junior Museum and Zoo, the Palo Alto Art Center, Rinconada Park (for swimming and tennis), and the Lucie Stern Community Center.
One of Palo Alto’s most sought-after neighborhoods is Crescent Park – in fact it is the Crown Jewel of Palo Alto. This neighborhood is home to many amazingly beautiful mansions which define classic beauty, elegance, prestige and old wealth along the San Francisco Peninsula. Pre-World War II homes divide up three distinct sections of Crescent Park’s Magnolia-lined streets; East of Middlefield Road, Prime Crescent Park, and Crescent Park Addition. This neighborhood has many different architectural styles all of which are on display in each section of Crescent Park. Just east of downtown are bungalows which began sprouting up in the early 1900s through the 1920s. Many of these bungalows show architectural details and other craftsmen laid surprises not found in modern residential construction. Tudors, Spanish Colonials, Spanish Revivals, and Monterey Colonials can be found throughout all sections of Crescent Park. To appreciate all of the architecture one must just venture street-by-street, block-by-block.
Wealthy individuals, famous high-tech entrepreneurs, worldly investors and knowledgeable property collectors all know that Old Palo Alto is one of the most desirable neighborhoods in all of the United States, not just California and not just the SF Bay Area.
Mature, blossoming magnolia trees provide a hovering canopy throughout the perimeter of Embarcadero Road, Oregon Expressway, Alma Street and Middlefield Roads – which is commonly known as Old Palo Alto. Old Palo Alto is by far the wealthiest and most expensive neighborhood in Palo Alto – Crescent Park a close second. No two homes are alike amongst the rich collection of Tudors, Moorish and Spanish Colonials, English traditional, Eichlers, Craftsman, and the recent Post-Modern designs which provides a unique experience for the first time visitor as they travel the streets and marvel at the large lots and expansive beautiful homes. The first time one visits Old Palo Alto you recognize that it is a different neighborhood than most.
Once you have made the decision to give up control of your rentals or investment property you need to hire a professional to manage it for you. The costs or fees of property management are sometimes believed to be excessive or exorbitant until one understands all the tasks and time associated with properly managing a property. Property management fees from a qualified, competent, diligent company are worth their weight in gold. Comparing the scope of services, the quality of those services, and the quality of the personnel delivering the services is a very good idea before hiring a property management firm. The company or individual you end up hiring will be marshalling one of your biggest assets in your personal portfolio and you would like to have a competent person doing that – at least that is the conventional wisdom.
Wouldn’t you expect a name like Professorville to be something out of a Hollywood movie? Well Professorville Palo Alto could very well be in a movie. Professorville is one of the smaller Palo Alto neighborhoods which is found between Addison, Kingsley, Ramona and Cowper streets in downtown Palo Alto. The first homes were built in Professorville in the late 1880’s. During this period Leland Stanford was building out other portions of Palo Alto and Stanford University campus and some of the adventurous professors sought to build their own homes – on land they could actually buy which wasn’t owned by Stanford.