Can a landlord give you notice to vacate for no reason?

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Can a landlord give you notice to vacate for no reason?

Renting a one bed room for close to a year. Verbal agreement. I’ve done nothing wrong and landlord wants to kick me out. What are my option seeing as I don’t want to live on the streets?

Asked on August 11, 2011 California

Answers:

S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

You can assert the defense of retaliatory eviction. Retaliatory eviction means the landlord is evicting you for something that is not a breach of the lease.  You can either assert retaliatory eviction as a defense or you can sue the landlord for retaliatory eviction.

If the landlord intends to go out of business and remove the property from the rental market, then the landlord can evict you and your claim of retaliatory eviction won't prevail.

If you assert the defense of retaliatory eviction and prevail, you will remain in possession of the property.

If you sue the landlord for retaliatory eviction, the landlord can be held liable for compensatory damages (monetary amount to compensate you) and you could also be awarded punitive damages in an amount not less than $100 nor more than $2000 for each retaliatory act by the landlord for which the landlord was guilty of fraud, oppression, malice.  Punitive damages are to punish the landlord for intentional and malicious acts. 

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

If you have no written agreement for a set term to rent your particular unit with your landlord and the verbal agreement for the rent has no specific time period, you are on a month-to-month oral lease for your unit.

As such, your landlord can end your lease by giving you at least thirty (30) days written notice of his or her intent to do so legally.

If you still desire to remain as a tenant, you should ask the landlord why he or she wants to end your lease. If a higher rent is the reason, perhaps you can reach an agreement to pay the higher rent. If you do, and want to have a lease beyond a month-to-month, you need to have a written agreement for a set term signed by you and the landlord.

Good luck.


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