What can I do to stop my eviction?

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What can I do to stop my eviction?

We were late with rent but told our landlord that we would be. Now we tried to pay it but they are just refusing to accept it. They are also claiming that we own them a $1500 deposit, but our lease says that we owed $500 and that we paid. Also, one would think that a deposit would be due upon move-in. We’ve lived here for 9 months and this is the first we’re hearing about it. What can I do? Is this all legal?

Asked on September 8, 2010 under Real Estate Law, California

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

You should speak with an attorney with landlord-tenant experience; you may have some rights and recourse.

1) As a general matter, if the reason for the eviction is non-payment of rent, if the tenant comes up with the money prior to the  eviction, the landlord must accept it and allow the tenant to stay. The tenant must come up with the full  amount; there are exceptions is the tenant has chronically defaulted in the past; and if there are other reasons for eviction, this would not help. But usually, if the issue is money and the tenant has it, the landlord must accept it.

2) If the lease requires a deposit of a certain amount, you have to pay it, notwithstanding that the landlord did not ask for it earlier. Failure to do so would be a breach which would allow you to be evicted. If there's a written lease and the lease does not mention a deposit--or lists a smaller  amount--you're only liable for what the lease calls for; a landlord may not, during the middle of a lease term, increase the deposit beyond what the lease requires.

 


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