Lucky for you, California law requires certain requirements be met in order for a landlord to evict their tenants from a property. The steps the landlord must take in order to move forward with an eviction differ depending on the situation.
In California, tenants cannot file a countersuit against the landlord, but there are a number of other legal actions you can take. Below you’ll find a few different legal courses of action you can move forward with, depending upon your unique legal and housing situation.
Hire The Right Lawyer
As a tenant, you’re not required to hire a lawyer to move forward with your case. However, since the eviction process is fairly complex it can be beneficial to have a lawyer on your side. If you’re not going to hire a lawyer for your case, it can be very helpful to at least speak with a lawyer, so they can recommend the best course of action for your needs.
If you cannot afford to hire a layer there are all kinds of legal-aid services, which can help you find a suitable legal defense for your eviction.
Respond To The Tenant Notice
The notice is the document you’ll receive that outlines the terms of the eviction agreement. If you don’t meet the set terms within a specific time period, then you will be evicted from the premises.
If the tenant does not meet the requirements of the notice in the specific time period, then the landlord will file an unlawful detainer. This will essentially give the landlord immediate possession of the property, and will lead to the tenant being evicted.
Attempt To Delay The Eviction
Once the unlawful detainer is filed, the tenant must be served with a Summons and Complaint. If you feel that you haven’t been properly served by your landlord, then you can file a motion with the court clerk to quash this service.
If the court grants the motion, the landlord will have to re-serve the Summons and Complaint notice, and the eviction process will be delayed.
File A Demurrer
To file a demurrer you’ll need to have grounds that your landlord does not have sufficient reason for issuing an eviction in the first place. This document will explain why you believe the landlord doesn’t have enough evidence to back up their eviction claim.
The demurrer will not delay the eviction outright, but it will give the tenant enough time to potentially fight the claims in court, or satisfy the terms of the original document.
File A Defense To Claims
After the landlord has filed an unlawful detainer and served it, the tenant can respond with an Answer-Unlawful Detainer form. This will allow you to answer their landlord’s claims, provide their own defense, and ask the court for any requests.
Cite Special Circumstances
In some cases there will be special circumstances that grant you additional legal rights during the eviction process. If you believe you fall into one or more of these categories, it can be helpful to speak with a lawyer to get more information.
The eviction process can be very stressful. If you, or a loved one, is going through this process it can be helpful to consult with a legal professional.