If you have been living in a place for long enough; you will develop a longing for that place. But when suddenly you receive an eviction notice, it can be a very terrible experience. You may even want to rip it up and throw it away in frustration, but it won’t solve the problem if you get rid of the document.
To get rid of the problem, you have to fight in defense for the eviction in California. As a tenant, you have the right of defense in court. With help from Express Evictions lawyers, you can build your case. For that, you must submit a written answer of the complaint notice within five days. Here are some procedures for defending evictions in California.
Notice And Answer
After getting the eviction notice, you have only five days to submit a written answer. If the last day is a weekend or any other holiday, then you can send the answer on the next non-holiday. You also need to get a copy of that answer. You can obtain it from the clerk’s office where your landlord filled their eviction complaint. Your name and address should be on the eviction notice. The deadline for submitting the answer is only five days, and if you miss that deadline, you will lose your case. The court will give the default judgment against you.
You have to read your form very carefully to review any possible defenses. For building your case, you have to do some research on the “affirmative defenses” section of your form. Any tenants’ organization of your area can help you analyze the list of defenses on the answer form. Most landlords claim that the tenant violated the lease contract. To defend against it, you have to read your lease very carefully. If there is any need for warning before filing for eviction and your landlord did not give that warning, then you have a defense against the eviction notice. If your landlord knew that there is a need for repairs on the apartment, but he still did not repair that, or there are hazards around your residence, that can also be a defense.
Documents For The Case
To build a strong case, you have to gather all the documents related to your tenancy. You have to collect a copy of the lease contract, and copies of any other receipt that was used to communicate between you and your landlord. If there were any damages or safety issues in the condition of your apartment, then you can take some pictures of it. If the landlord sends you a three-day notice and you gave him the due rent, then you can use the bank statement to show that your rent has been accepted and use it as a defense.
If your defense is that your apartment is unsafe, then you have to testify to that in the court. You can ask any neighbors or friends to come to the court and let the court question them about that.
Most of the documents of your tenancy are in your landlord’s hand. There may be some documents that can help you in your case. So, you should request discovery. As the tenant, you have the right to request these documents. You will have to file a motion for discovery with your demands for documents.
If it is possible, then always make three copies of your original documents. You will need to give one copy to the judge, one copy to your landlord and one for yourself.
Negotiation or Settlement
You also have to think about negotiation or settlement. During the eviction process, you and your landlord may work out something mutually agreeable. The court always encourages people to find a mutually agreeable solution for the dispute. That’s why courts offer low-cost mediation services. If you are evicted formally, then it will stay on your credit report for seven years. Because of that, it will be challenging for you to rent an apartment later on. If you can make a deal with your landlord even if you move out of your apartment, you won’t have an eviction on your credit record.
It is not a good thing to get evicted. Always try to live by following the lease contract. If you wanted to do something extra, like paint the interior, then get permission from your landlord first.