Experienced Real Estate and Unlawful Detainer Attorneys

Serving San Joaquin, Ventura, and Northern Los Angeles Counties*


Willbanks & Wood PLC is pleased to offer Real Estate services including:

  • Retail and restaurant leases
  • Shopping mall leases
  • Unlawful detainer actions
  • Fraudulent transfers, including mortgage fraud
  • Breach of contract
  • Lease-option agreements
  • County or city ordinance proceedings
  • Adverse possession actions
  • Foreclosure matters

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Disputes over real estate transactions are more common than you may think. These disagreements often arise when one party doesn’t perform according to the terms of an agreement. Our office exclusively represents landlords and property owners, so you always know whose side we’re on.

Landlord-Tenant Disputes

One of the most common real estate disputes is between landlords and tenants. At Willbanks & Wood, our team of attorneys has experience in handling a wide variety of landlord-tenant matters for both residential and commercial landlords.

Residential Disputes

Most people only hear about the laws that protect the tenant, but there are also a host of protections and rights for landlords, if you have the right team to guide you. Some aspects of California residential rental laws that landlords should be aware of include:

  • Rent control – California has statewide rent control laws, but some counties and cities have stricter ordinances. It’s important to know the rent control ordinances for the location of your rental property.
  • Application and screening – As a landlord, you may charge a non-refundable application screening fee. You also must be sure to follow the Fair Housing Act and California laws when you are screening potential tenants.
  • Security deposits – You may charge a security deposit for your rental, but the amount of the security deposits is capped by law. Once your tenant vacates, you must return the remaining amount of the security deposit and provide a statement detailing how the security deposit was used if it was not returned in full.
  • Disclosures – Certain information, such as the availability of utilities, mandatory environmental disclosures, and others by jurisdiction, must be disclosed to your tenants.
  • Rent – As a landlord, you are not required to give your tenants a grace period for rent payments, and you may charge your tenants a reasonable fee for late rent payments. While Tenants have certain rights, such rights are always subject to proper procedure on the part of the Tenant.
  • Termination and eviction – This is an arena in which Willbanks and Wood excels.  We are well versed in the proper method of notice, and the applicable types procedures available to our clients.

Commercial Disputes

Commercial tenants are those who use the property for business or commercial purposes. Commercial tenants are considered more sophisticated bargainers, so California law offers them fewer protections than it does residential tenants.

Evicting a commercial tenant can often be a much simpler process than evicting a residential tenant. Under California law, payment of rent is key. Generally, however subject to several conditions, if a commercial tenant does not pay the full rent due, the landlord can keep that partial payment and still evict the tenant. Commercial tenants may also be evicted for failure to follow the lease agreement.

Any rights held by the commercial tenants will be detailed in the tenant’s lease agreement. If rights are not provided for in the agreement, they do not apply. Commercial tenant rights are frequently limited. Some common arguments made by commercial tenants in disagreements include:

  • Failure to properly evict
  • The landlord is in breach
  • Discrimination against the tenant by the landlord

Dispute Remedies

There are many different ways a landlord-tenant dispute can be resolved:

  • Arrange a meeting between the tenant and landlord to come to a settlement.
  • Use a third-party mediator to negotiate and discuss the issues.
  • Hire an arbitrator to hear evidence and testimony and provide a resolution.
  • File a lawsuit and take your case before a judge.

The experienced real estate attorneys at Willbanks and Wood  can help you determine which of these options is in your best interest, and assist throughout the process.



How Our Real Estate Lawyers Can Help You

When landlord-tenant conflicts arise, our office can help protect your interests and assist you in navigating complex legal issues in a wide range of matters, such as breach of contract, lease-option agreements, adverse possession actions, foreclosures, fraudulent transfers, county or city ordinance proceedings, and much more. We also provide legal expertise for retail and restaurant lease issues and shopping mall lease issues.

If you operate a property management company or are a property owner and need an experienced real estate attorney on your side, we invite you to contact us.

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By submitting this form, you hereby consent to receive SMS responses to your inquiry. Willbanks & Wood PLC does not advertise via SMS. See TERMS for more information.