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Landlord says to remove all exterior items or face eviction

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Junior Member
I'm a renter living in a 2nd story 1 bedroom apartment in Los Angeles, CA.

I received the following notice today:

The purpose of this note is to inform you that the owners have requested for all personal items to be removed from the exterior of the property. This includes all potted plants on ledges and porches, lights, the over turned glider, ladders, and any furniture (tables, chairs, benches, etc) on the porches and garden areas. For those of you with a balcony, please make sure all items on the balcony cannot be seen from the street. Please have everything removed by Tuesday, 1/13/2015. Any items that are left behind will be removed by maintenance personnel and unfortunately will be tossed on Wednesday morning, 1/14/2015. We sincerely apologize for any inconvenience.
In additon to this notice, I received a notice stating I either comply with this demand within 3 days or move out.

I have a balcony in the front which is shared with my neighbor. The balcony faces the street. We have plants, tables, chairs, and Christmas lights outside.

Downstairs, there is a patio/porch with benches, various potted plants and a couple outdoor rugs and front door mats. These items have been here for several years and they don't look trashy or messy - they give the place some charm.

Well the LL does not think so apparently, and collectively as tenants we want to know what our rights are. Can a LL tell me to remove items from my balcony? It seems insanely ridiculous. If I want items on my balcony... like a chair... or some xmas lights... can they really take this away? And more importantly, can they evict me over this? Seriously.:confused:

What is the best way to approach this issue? What can I do about it?

Thanks in advance.


Senior Member
( I get it as to why they would not want ladders or a glider to be out on porches /balconies ) Does your lease have any thing written that allows the LL to make any kind of changes at all to it with proper notice before the lease is actually up for renewal ? and BTW they can tell you in a notice to get out but bottom line if they would have to take you to court to make you move out if you stood your ground on this ( especially if the lease does not allow them to make any changes to terms or any other thing like creating new rules for the use of balcony space even if its shared ) so if you don't care if the LL will not renew your lease when its near the time its up and your lease does not allow them to make any changes re new rules for space you paid to use then ask them to show you what part of the lease says they can make new rules mid lease and ask them if they really want to risk looking very bad in court trying to show the court wich part of the lease let them make new rules ) last you if you decide to dig in on this then take pics of your property that's on the balcony and make sure you let maint know that if they take any thing you will name him in a theft report and if they do it make a police report ( if you can and then plan on suing them for a reasonable value for your property taken and again use your lease and the letter they sent against them.
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Senior Member
What does the lease or the community regs (CC&Rs) say about such things? If they are prohibited, then it sounds as if the management is merely providing notice that they now intend to enforce this provision of the rules.

Perhaps you and your neighbor - and some other tenants who think as you do - can speak to the management as a group.


Junior Member
Nothing in the lease agreement mentions anything about this subject.

It should be noted that we are living in a rent controlled building...

We suspect that the property mg. co. (who took ownership fairly recently) is trying to get us to leave, so they can charge more to new tenants. Right now we all pay under the market value for being in this particular "gentrified" neighborhood.


Senior Member
They could be liable at least civilly for any items they seize from your balcony areas if those are controlled by your lease. The are immediately in front of your apartment may NOT be subject to your lease, so you may wish to remove any specific items from there just to be safe.

I still suggest that the first response should be that you and your neighbors should speak with the management and ask what gives them the authority to modify the lease unilaterally. State your case clearly and without derogatory comment, and, perhaps, politely but firmly state that you believe you are under no legal obligation to remove items from a balcony that you and your neighbor share as part of your contract and have agreed upon a shared use upon.

However, management may be permitted to modify the property rules and regulations, and when you sign a NEW lease, you may then be subject to new conditions on those balconies. So, keep in mind that whenever your lease comes up for renewal you may very well have to remove the items in question even if you might prevail right now.


While you are hoping to lend the exterior areas "charm" with your belongings, the landlords may simply be trying for "uniformity" of the exterior. Particularly since "charm" is a subjective standard. In an apartment setting, your lease is most likely for the interior of your unit only and does not cover the exterior areas, so you cannot commandeer those areas for your use; a 2nd floor patio accessible only from your unit may be an exception, and you can check for that language in your lease.


Senior Member
Also please note any fire and safety hazards that may exist.

As was mentioned , when you want answers go for the jugular vein ( meaning try to get it from the source). Not always possible but that's a start .

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