How Tenants Can Prevent An Eviction At Civil Court

The landlord has to deal with many problems, and one of the most expensive and stressful issues of this is the eviction of the tenants. Ejections can cause a landlord to lose rent and increase the risk of property damage. Evictions create the worst situation for any landlord, property owner, or manager because there are costs associated with this process, including lost rent.

A landlord can evict the tenant for various reasons, but the most common reason is that they failed to pay the rent, and also the lease agreement has been breached. As a tenant, if you are facing eviction, you may have a defence mechanism that makes it legal to challenge removal in California’s civil court. Moreover, you will need a specific lawful reason for questioning the eviction in court, such as if the landlord did not serve the eviction notice correctly or he did not maintain the rental unit, etc. Here are the following tips on how tenants can prevent their Express Evictions through civil court. 

Understanding the Eviction Process

To legally evict you a landlord first give you a notice asking you to do something like pay rent, fix a lease violation or move out, etc. If the tenant does not do what their landlord legally wants before the notice expires, the landlord can sue you for eviction and collect past-due rent. When you receive a court summons, you must know that you should respond to the court within five days; otherwise, you will lose the case. If you want to challenge the eviction, you must show to the court that the landlord failed to properly serve you the notice or did not maintain the rental unit.

Notice Was Served Improperly

If a tenant delays paying the rent or breaks the lease agreement, the landlord can give him a three-day notice to “perform or leave.” That means you have three days to pay back the past due rent, correct the misconduct, or move out of the property. When a landlord gives you a notice of eviction, the landlord must provide specific rules for the reason of the eviction. However, the notice must specify how much due rent to pay or how it can be paid, and the notification must be handed to you personally. If the landlord does not follow the notice rules adequately, then you can protect against the eviction by claiming a lack of proper notice.

Landlord Did Not Maintain the Rental Property

A landlord should maintain his rental property to a minimum livable standard. For example, a landlord must ensure that the property provides and the roof does not leak. Moreover, if the property falls short of these or other standards, the tenants should stop paying the rent, and the rent will be deposited to an escrow account until the landlord repairs the problem. If a landlord wants to evict the tenants in such a situation, then the renter can file a lawsuit against the landlord.

Filing An Answer And Going To Trial

You must respond to the court within five days of receiving the court summons if you want to protest the eviction. If you believe the landlord did not serve you the eviction notice properly then file a motion to quash service and include dates and proof. For example, you can provide evidence that you paid the past due rent within a three-day notice period or show that you asked the landlord to repair the problem, and he did not. An unlawful detainer lawyer or other legal advice services can help you with the legal documents. Moreover, the judge listens to both the landlord and the tenant before the time of trial and judgment.

Alternatives To Court Action

If you are late with the rent or have done something that justifies an eviction, going to court will only delay the removal. The landlord can fix the improper notice process during this period and begin the eviction process with a new three-day notice. Moreover, it is best to end the dispute by talking and negotiating with the landlord without going to court. Many cities offer low-cost negotiation services that manage landlord-tenant conflicts. If you want, you can discuss any legal aid issues by visiting the Express Evictions website.