Tenant is witholding rent without cause

On July 3, 2013, I gave the tenant (Orange County Ca)  a 60 day notice that the lease, which expires on Sept 10, 2013, would not be renewed.  The July rent, due by the 12th, is being withheld.  The units in the neighborhood are in an HOA and repairs  to the exterior of the units  and fences are required before scheduled repainting of the units which will take  place later in the summer.  No repairs have been done to my unit yet.  The only thing done was the removal of trees in the yard. Their claim is that they are suffering "gross inconvenience" and should be compensated even though no work has actually taken place on our unit.  There is work being done on the unit attached to the property and on many other units in the area.  I don't feel they are entitled to compensation.  I have emailed them that they are late with the rent. They emailed me that they are looking for a place and will let me know the move out date and then they will settle up with me.  I have told them to pay rent and we will settle up when they leave.  I told them that there is no basis for withholding rent but if I serve them with a 3 day notice to pay or quit after already serving a 60 day notice are there any problems that might arise.  What is the best course of action at this point?

This is an interesting problem...

This is an interesting problem given that eviction is not a huge threat when an eviction would very likely take longer than the period they have remaining in the unit. Per your lease, my assumption is that you are not required to provide them with anything having to do with "conveneince" and that any work being done in the vicinity of the unit does not give them the right to any rent relief or compensation. In reality it seems that if you are concerned that they might never pay you, given them written notice again followed by a small claims court filing might be the way to go. Filing is simple and fast and they will get served within a short time frame. Even if you end up settling up with them, the claim and the Superior Court of California paperwork will at least let them know that you are serious about the situation. This is definitely not the mot cordial way of doing things but given the time cruch and your concern that they might not pay you, it might be a way to go.

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