2009 California Civil Code - Section 1965 :: Chapter 4.5. Disposition Of Personal Property Upon Request Of Tenant

CIVIL CODE
SECTION 1965

1965.  (a) A residential landlord shall not refuse to surrender, to
a residential tenant or to a residential tenant's duly authorized
representative, any personal property not owned by the landlord which
has been left on the premises after the tenant has vacated the
residential premises and the return of which has been requested by
the tenant or by the authorized representative of the tenant if all
of the following occur:
   (1) The tenant requests, in writing, within 18 days of vacating
the premises, the surrender of the personal property and the request
includes a description of the personal property held by the landlord
and specifies the mailing address of the tenant.
   (2) The landlord or the landlord's agent has control or possession
of the tenant's personal property at the time the request is
received.
   (3) The tenant, prior to the surrender of the personal property by
the landlord and upon written demand by the landlord, tenders
payment of all reasonable costs associated with the landlord's
removal and storage of the personal property. The landlord's demand
for payment of reasonable costs associated with the removal and
storage of personal property shall be in writing and shall either be
mailed to the tenant at the address provided by the tenant pursuant
to paragraph (1) or shall be personally presented to the tenant or to
the tenant's authorized representative, within five days after the
actual receipt of the tenant's request for surrender of the personal
property, unless the property is returned first. The demand shall
itemize all charges, specifying the nature and amount of each item of
cost.
   (4) The tenant agrees to claim and remove the personal property at
a reasonable time mutually agreed upon by the landlord and tenant
but not later than 72 hours after the tender provided for under
paragraph (3).
   (b) For the purposes of this chapter, "reasonable costs associated
with the landlord's removal and storage of the personal property"
shall include, but not be limited to, each of the following:
   (1) Reasonable costs actually incurred, or the reasonable value of
labor actually provided, or both, in removing the personal property
from its original location to the place of storage, including
disassembly and transportation.
   (2) Reasonable storage costs actually incurred, which shall not
exceed the fair rental value of the space reasonably required for the
storage of the personal property.
   (c) This chapter shall not apply when disposition of the personal
property has been initiated or completed pursuant to the procedure
set forth in Chapter 5 (commencing with Section 1980) or the
occupancy is one defined by subdivision (b) of Section 1940.
   (d) A landlord who complies with this chapter shall not be liable
to any person with respect to that person's personal property that is
given to another person. In the event of conflicting demands, the
first timely request for surrender of personal property received by
the landlord shall prevail.
   (e) Any landlord who retains personal property in violation of
this chapter shall be liable to the tenant in a civil action for all
the following:
   (1) Actual damages not to exceed the value of the personal
property, if the personal property is not surrendered by the later of
either of the following: (A) within a reasonable time after the
tenant's request for surrender of the personal property, or (B) if
the landlord has demanded payment of reasonable costs associated with
removal and storage and the tenant has complied with the
requirements set forth in paragraphs (3) and (4) of subdivision (a),
whichever is later. Three days is presumed to be a reasonable time in
the absence of evidence to the contrary.
   (2) An amount not to exceed two hundred fifty dollars ($250) for
each bad faith violation of this section. In determining the amount
of the award, the court shall consider proof of matters as justice
may require.
   (3) The court may award reasonable attorney's fees and cost to the
prevailing party.
   (f) The remedy provided by this chapter is not exclusive and shall
not preclude either the landlord or the tenant from pursuing any
other remedy provided by law.


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