HOUSING

COVID protections, Section 8, eviction, HUD, discrimination

Frequently Asked Questions

Four reasons a landlord might keep your deposit

1. Unpaid rent
2. Damages from the tenant besides normal wear and tear
3. Cleaning the rental unit to the level of cleanliness as when they moved in
4. Possibly replacing furnishings if the lease requires it

Within 21 days after the tenant moves out, the landlord must mail or give the tenant a list of items the landlord deducted from the security deposit and return any remaining money from the deposit. If the landlord keeps some or all of the security deposit for the four reasons listed above, the landlord should also send the tenant bills and invoices explaining the charges.

If your landlord wants to evict you, they must file a court case against you called an “unlawful detainer.” The landlord must have someone serve you (give you) the court papers called a “Summons” and “Complaint.

You, the tenant, only have 5 court days after the date you received the court papers to respond to the court. To count the 5 court days, start counting the day after you receive the papers. Do not count Saturdays, Sundays, or court holidays.  If you want to defend yourself in the eviction, it is important that you file a response (called an “answer”) on time. If you have not filed a response by the end of the 5 days, the landlord can ask the court for a “default judgment.” This means that the landlord automatically wins the case and gets the rental home back from you. If this happens, you will not get a chance to go in front of the court and tell the court your side of the story.

No. It is illegal for a landlord to lockout a tenant (renter), remove a tenant’s belongings, cut off utilities (such as water or electricity), or remove outside windows or doors in order to force a tenant to leave.

No. It is illegal for a landlord to lockout a tenant (renter), remove a tenant’s belongings, cut off utilities (such as water or electricity), or remove outside windows or doors in order to force a tenant to leave.

When a landlord wants to evict a tenant, the landlord must go through the court eviction process. A tenant can stay in the home until the end of the court eviction process.

If you live in a county covered by the state rent relief program (housing.ca.gov) the agency will review your application to see if you qualify for the program. If you qualify, the agency can cover up to 18 months of rental debt and utilities assistance from April 2020 to March 2022. Any debts from April 1, 2022, or later will not be covered.

If you live in a county covered by the state rent relief program (housing.ca.gov) the agency will review your application to see if you qualify for the program. If you qualify, the agency can cover up to 18 months of rental debt and utilities assistance from April 2020 to March 2022. Any debts from April 1, 2022, or later will not be covered.

If you live in a county covered by the state rent relief program (housing.ca.gov) the agency will review your application to see if you qualify for the program. If you qualify, the agency can cover up to 18 months of rental debt and utilities assistance from April 2020 to March 2022. Any debts from April 1, 2022, or later will not be covered.

If you live in a county covered by the state rent relief program (housing.ca.gov) the agency will review your application to see if you qualify for the program. If you qualify, the agency can cover up to 18 months of rental debt and utilities assistance from April 2020 to March 2022. Any debts from April 1, 2022, or later will not be covered.

If you live in a county covered by the state rent relief program (housing.ca.gov) the agency will review your application to see if you qualify for the program. If you qualify, the agency can cover up to 18 months of rental debt and utilities assistance from April 2020 to March 2022. Any debts from April 1, 2022, or later will not be covered.

Tips

• A verbal eviction is not valid
• A Notice IS NOT an eviction
• As soon as you receive a Notice, get legal advice
• You cannot be legally evicted until a court orders it. If you have not had a judgment entered against you either at trial or by default, you are still considered a legal tenant.

• When you make a payment, specify what it is for i.e., May’s rent, Security Deposits, June’s late fees, etc.
• If you pay in cash, get a receipt. You can always keep a record of payments even if you gave the landlord the original. Get a receipt for payments, no matter how you pay.
• Try to have a written lease. If not, write down the terms as you remember them. A verbal contract is still a contract, but a written lease is better protection.

• Make copies of communications between you and your landlord
• Before you move in, do an inspection, make a checklist of issues, and take pictures
• Talk to an attorney before withholding rent for habitability reasons
• Talk to an attorney before choosing to go to trial.

If you want free legal information or advice,
contact us today.

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