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May I have landlord remove section that states the tenant pays for the Landlords attorney fees

1 Answers. Asked on Mar 16th, 2017 on Real Estate - California
More details to this question:
I read that in CA it is standard for each party in a rental lease agreement to pay their own attorney fees in the event of a dispute. My landlord has included in the lease agreement , that I the tenant will be responsible for all expenses incurred and attorney's fees. I'd like to know if I have the right to ask for this to be removed or altered to say I am not responsible but that each will be responsible for their own, before I sign?
Answers Showing 1 out of 1
Answered on Mar 17th, 2017 at 12:04 PM

Yes, the American Rule is that in a lawsuit, each side pays its own attorney fees, unless there is a contract or statute which allows attorney fees to the prevailing party. In California, Civil Code 1717 provides that if there is a contract which says one side is entitled to recover its attorney fees, then the prevailing party is entitled to recover its attorney fees from the non-prevailing party. It makes all one-sided attorney fees clauses reciprocal.

You can ask, but the landlord does not have to agree. Even if it says only the landlord can recover attorney fees, if you win, the landlord will have to pay your attorney fees. If that is acceptable to you, then you can leave the issue alone.

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Real Estate
Real estate attorneys can help individuals, families and small business with all property-related legal issues. Buyers and sellers of residential and commercial real estate should work with an attorney to negotiate the terms of agreement; draft and review the contract; review related paperwork (such as loan agreements); clear existing liens on a property; and attend the closing. Lawyers can also assist property owners with addressing zoning/rezoning issues and appealing property tax assessment. Landlords and tenants should work with real estate law firms to draft and review lease agreement, handle eviction proceedings and resolve landlord-tenant disputes.
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