What are my rights regarding an unlawful eviction?

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What are my rights regarding an unlawful eviction?

Landlord never filed or served me with unlawful detainer. While I was gone for 19 days he came in, discarded my property, vacated and re-rented. How should I proceed? I’ve been too depressed to deal with this.

Asked on August 14, 2011 California


FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 12 years ago | Contributor

California has very strict laws regarding evciting tenants. First, written a 30 day notice is required to end a tenancy in most situations. If the tenant is behind in rent and the landlord wants payment as opposed to ending the lease, a 3 day notice to pay or quit is required to be served upn the tenant.

In both of the above scenarios, if the tenant does not voluntary leave, an unlawful detainer lawsuit needs to be filed and the summons and complaint have to be served upon the tenant. This was not done in your situation.

Your former landlord seems to have violated the above statutory requirements in California. Worse yet, he or she used self help to evict you and improperly discarded your property.

If you have a written lease for your former unit, read it to see if there is mention of an attorney's clause for a dispute arising out of it. Most likely there is one.  Contact a landlord tenant attorney about what happened to you. The conduct that you reference against you by the landlord smacks of stautory violations of California law where you could obtain attorney's fees if you prevail in a lawsuit against your landlord.

From what you have described, many pro-tenant attorneys should be most willing to represent you in your dispute against your former landlord.

Good luck.


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