3 Steps To Handling An Eviction Notice As A Tenant

by | Mar 5, 2014 | Law

Renting a home or apartment from a property owner means you must follow the rules laid out in the lease agreement. If you fail to follow any of the lease guidelines, you are at risk of eviction. However, there are some situations where a landlord tries to wrongfully evict a resident and there are ways to prevent a wrongful eviction. If you live in the Long Beach or Los Angeles areas and feel that your landlord is trying to wrongfully evict you, here are some steps you can take to fight back.

Receive The First Notice

In order to start the eviction process, your landlord will need to serve you with a notice. This notice should inform you of why the landlord wants to evict you and if there’s anything you can do to prevent the eviction. If you owe back rent, pay it before the date on the notice to avoid further hassles. If the landlord is not providing you with a means to remain in the residence, than accept the notice and wait for it to expire. The landlord will then file an Unlawful Detainer claim against you.

Answering The Unlawful Detainer

You have about a week to answer the unlawful detainer claim. There is a specific form used that allows you to agree that some terms of the original notice are true but some are false. You can also deny all aspects of the original notice if none of the statements are true. If you have any requests to make of the plaintiff, the form will allow you to make those requests. Once you file this form with the courts, a judge will set a court date.

Going To Court

When you go to court, you will need to prove that what the plaintiff is saying is untrue. If you have proof that you paid rent, you will need to bring it. If the plaintiff is claiming damage to the property, bringing photographs or video could help you prove your innocence. Remember that the plaintiff has the burden of proof, but you still need to bring enough evidentiary support to prove that you should remain in the residence. Once the judge reviews all the facts, he or she will determine whether you must vacate the premises or have the right to stay.

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