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Bebawi v. Channel Point Apartments

Judgment is for the plaintiff Sabri Bebawi

17DWSC06361

Plaintiff signed a 13 month lease for the term from July 17, 2015 to August 16, 2016. The monthly rent was $2295

and the security deposit was $700.

Plaintiff vacated the apartment on February 18, 20 16, having paid February s rent through the end of the month.

It is unclear from the ev idence when the defendant was notified by the plaintiff , but it appears they were on notice

as early as January 8, 2016. The evidence indicates the defendant acknowledged plaintiffs notice to vacate.

According to Ms. Scheiwe, official notice was given on January 24 , 2016 with a vacate day of February 29, 2016 .

The defendant then took steps to gain control of the apartment in order to obtai n another tenant. It shoul d be noted ,

the plaintiff offered to pay the monthl y rent until the defendant could find another tenant.

Ms. Scheiwe stated a renter was found for the apartment on March 3 , 20 16 with an agreed upon move in day

sometime in June. This renter backed out of the agreement sometime thereafter and the apartment remained vacant

for the months of March, April and May to June~ , 2016 , when another tenant signed a new lease.

During the months the apartment was vacant , the defendant remodeled the apartment. This remodel consisted of

new kitchen cabinets , new flooring throughout , painting and cleaning. The apartment was unavailable for rent

while the remodel was taking place.

Per the lease agreement, the plaintiff would have been liable to the defendant for rents during the entire remainder

of the lease term , less mitigation , the costs of processing a replacement resident , paying locator , cleaning and

make ready costs.

However , in this case the plaintiff was able to find a replacement tenant on or about March 3 , 2016. The fact the

renter was not able to fulfill the tenancy is not the fault of the plaintiff. Nor is the plaintiff responsible for the loss

ofrents during the months of March , April, May and up until the new tenant moved in on June 18, 2016.

The defendant had a duty to mitigate by finding another tenant. Instead , the defendant chose to take this time to

remodel the apartment thus making it unavailable for occupancy .

Having heard and considered the evidence , and researched the applicable law , the court finds the defendant

voluntarily chose to remodel the apartment instead of continuing to seek a new tenant and therefore is not entitled

to the rent for the months it was unoccupied , nor for the $750 concession fee as it appears this was not mentioned

in the February 8, 2016 email from Gabriela acknowledging the plaintiffs intention to vacate , nor in the

February 11, 2016 email discussing the balance due on the day of move out. Further , the court finds the plaintiffs

deposit of $700 was not returned to him within the required 21 days. The plaintiff is responsible for the $9.84

utility bill. Thus , judgment is for the plaintiff for $690. 16. + Costs

May Santos , Commissioner :FILED

Superior Court of California

September 11, 2017

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