How To Fight Against An Unlawful Detainer

by | Mar 25, 2014 | Legal Services

If a tenant receives a notice from his or her landlord, he has two immediate choices: to ignore it or to leave. A third option is also available but not always used by tenants. It is to fight the complaints of the landlord in court. This can occur five days following the filing by the landlord of an unlawful detainer in Los Angeles court.

The Unlawful Detainer

The unlawful detainer in and of itself is not a complex measure. It merely identifies the landlord as the plaintiff and the tenant as the defendant. It provides the tenant and landlord with such pertinent information as:

  • The time and date of the court case
  • The number of the case on the docket
  • The court’s name and location where the case will be heard

Immediate Actions

Once you receive the complaint filed as an unlawful detainer, you need to take the initiative immediately. You only have five days before you must respond to the accusations or complaints. Talk to a legal adviser and let someone with knowledge in landlord-tenant law help you prepare your case. It is possible, you may be able to fight against it using one of the following legal arguments

Legal Arguments To Stop Eviction

If you are going to use a legal defense to defend yourself against the complaints contained in the unlawful detainer of your landlord, the first thing you need to do is make sure they are valid. If they are, be quick to file the argument within your written answer to the Clerk of Court. This must be done BEFORE the fifth day is ended. Possible defenses include the following:

  • Te rental unit was not habitable, therefore it is in violation of the implied “warranty of habitability” i.e. it is not safe or healthy to love there
  • The three-day notice given to the tenant states an amount of rent that is greater than what is in fact due
  • The filing of the unlawful detainer was in retaliation by the landlord for some action by the tenant that supported tenants’ rights including complaining to building inspectors or health officials about the condition of the unit
  • The landlord did not properly comply with the tenant’s rights regarding the serving of notice, the unlawful detainer and other related actions.

How you approach the issue will depend upon you and your case. If you want to fight against an unlawful detainer in Los Angeles court, it would be best to consult a lawyer or at least a specialist in landlord-tenant issues. This will help you come up with a means to legally argue your defense effectively against the complaints laid by your landlord.

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