Landlord-tenant relationships can quickly become stressful if there is a problem. California landlord-tenant laws are complicated and can vary depending on the circumstances. With the help of Davis, CA, eviction lawyers, however, you can try to prevent issues before they have to go to court or resolve them through the judicial process.
The experienced lawyers at Pakpour Banks, LLP understand the many problems that can arise in a landlord-tenant relationship. Our landlord-tenant lawyers understand California landlord-tenant law inside and out. We represent landlords and tenants, so we know all sides of a landlord-tenant dispute.
Our Practice Areas
California landlords and tenants regularly encounter legal problems. Fortunately, we are here to support you during a challenging time. Our landlord-tenant law attorneys can help with:
- Pre-Court Notices (e.g., a 3-day notice to pay rent or quit),
- Unlawful detainer proceedings,
- Eviction defense,
- Repairs and habitability issues, and
- Wrongful evictions.
Our skilled Davis attorneys can help you resolve all types of landlord-tenant disputes. Since we’ve represented both landlords and tenants, you can rest assured that we can handle your needs, whatever they may be.
We represent landlords in situations involving problematic tenants, including unpaid rent, unlawful detainer proceedings, and evictions.
Legal Basis for Eviction
A new California law requires landlords to have “just cause” to evict a tenant who has lived in the rental housing for at least 12 months. The law provides different rules for at-fault and no-fault just cause reasons for eviction.
At-fault reasons are when the tenant does something wrong. At-fault reasons include:
- Nonpayment of rent,
- Misuse of the property causing damage,
- Breach of a lease term,
- Criminal activity in the rental property, and
- Improper sublet of the property.
Landlords must go through specific notice and unlawful detainer procedures if they want to evict the tenant for an at-fault reason.
No-fault causes for eviction are where the tenant did nothing wrong, such as if the landlord wants to move a close relative in or the government requires the tenant to vacate. In these situations, the landlord must give the tenant either one month’s rent or waive one month of rent.
This recent law doesn’t apply to all housing in California. For example, the law may not apply to new construction, some single-family homes, or other housing types. The landlord-tenant lawyers at Pakpour Banks can help you decipher the law that applies to your situation.
Before a landlord can start an eviction case in California, they must serve notice on the tenant. The notice must give the tenant between 3 and 60 days to move, depending on the reason.
You must use the proper notice before you file your eviction case. Otherwise, a court may dismiss your case. You should contact our landlord-tenant attorneys immediately to learn what type of notice you need.
Unlawful Detainer Case
An unlawful detainer proceeding is California’s eviction proceeding. An unlawful detainer proceeding is the only way a landlord can legally evict a tenant in California. It is illegal for a landlord to lock a tenant out of the property without a court order.
For an unlawful detainer proceeding, the landlord must prepare a complaint and a summons, which gives the tenant information about the claims and notice of the court date. Then, the landlord will have to arrange to serve the summons and complaint on the tenant.
The tenant has five days to answer the complaint. They can raise defenses in their answer. The tenant may agree to move out, or the parties will go to trial. There, the judge decides whether the tenant must move.
A landlord must get every legal detail correct to obtain an eviction. But you don’t have to figure out the unlawful detainer process alone. The Davis eviction lawyers at Pakpour Banks are experienced in bringing and fighting unlawful detainer cases.
We understand that tenants experience excessive anxiety if their living situations aren’t what the landlord promised. We help tenants fight for repairs, assert legal rights in eviction cases, and bring claims against landlords who take illegal action.
Repairs and Habitability
Landlords owe a duty to tenants to keep the rental property habitable and liveable. To be habitable, the rental property must have:
- Working plumbing;
- Weather protection;
- Heating utilities;
- A kitchen that functions, including appliances;
- A unit free from rodents, pests, and garbage; and
- Well-maintained common areas.
California law provides many other habitability requirements for rental properties.
If a landlord fails to make repairs, a tenant has several options. They can do the repairs themselves and deduct the cost from the rent. Tenants can also withhold their rent until the landlord repairs the issue. In extreme cases, a tenant can leave the rental. You are wise to consult an attorney before taking any action.
Even when tenants exercise their rights, they may have to defend themselves in court. For example, if a tenant repairs a faulty heating system and deducts this from the rent, a landlord may still bring them to court for failing to pay rent. Although the tenant has a defense, they’ll have to fight it out in court.
Trying to sift through the law to determine defenses to an unlawful detainer case is often stressful and confusing. That’s why you can turn to our Davis eviction attorneys. We’ll assert your defenses and fight for your rights.
A landlord must comply with the unlawful detainer procedures to legally evict a tenant. However, landlords are sometimes impatient and simply change the locks when they don’t get rent on time. This is illegal.
A tenant who’s been illegally evicted can bring a civil case against the landlord and recover damages, including:
- $100 per day of the lock-out,
- $2000 penalty, and
- Damages incurred from having to find alternative accommodations or damage to their personal property.
Bringing a civil lawsuit against a landlord can be overwhelming, especially if you now have nowhere to live. You should immediately speak with an experienced landlord-tenant attorney to help assert your rights.
Contact Our Davis Landlord-Tenant Attorneys Today
Pakpour Banks understands the stress that a problematic landlord-tenant relationship can bring. We are committed to trying to resolve your dispute before it goes to court. However, we are also fully equipped to file and fight your case in court. Contact us today. Se habla español.