If my landlord sued me in small claims and won but he did not have a business license to operate, can I contest?

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If my landlord sued me in small claims and won but he did not have a business license to operate, can I contest?

I was evicted for having a pet after I was told by a leasing agent I could. Then 3 days after moving in they said I couldn’t and tried to evict me. I moved and eviction dismissed however he sued in small claims court and won the years rent he would have gotten from me if I had stayed. I now find he has no business license to operate his many rental properties (mostly apartments) in my city. Can I protest the judgment due to the fact he was operating illegally at the time?

Asked on April 4, 2012 under Real Estate Law, California

Answers:

MD, Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

You can certainly try to protest the judgment but keep in mind that if the apartment is in his name, and not in a company name, then he may not need a business license to operate tenancies. You need to check with a local business incubator about the requirements. If he won in small claims court for the years rent, seems to me this would be over the small claims amount. Have you considered appealing the judgment based on the previous decision by the landlord tenant court? You may wish to pursue this on the ground of a previous court's ruling but ultimately, if you left the apartment despite the dismissal, then the issue still lies with you.


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