Anaheim, CA asked in Landlord - Tenant for California

Q: How do I regain entry to my apt if my landlord illegally changed lock?

I have lived at my place for 10 months. I was recently told by LAPD I had an invalid lease but the owner would be returning with eviction papers. I waited and waited but got nothing. One day, I come "home" to the management company on my property. They had shut all my utilities off, changed my locks and boarded up my windows. I had to find someone to watch my cats and could only grab a few things because I have no car to carry anything. I'm already scraping by so I can't even afford a room and now sleep by buildings on the sidewalk with no blankets or pillows. What do I do now?

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1 Lawyer Answer
Maurice Mandel II
Maurice Mandel II
  • Landlord Tenant Lawyer
  • Newport Beach, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: Very sorry to hear about this. You probably qualify for a Court Fees waiver. You should file an action against the landlord and the management company for "Forceable detainer" which is illegally locking you out of the apartment without going through any eviction process or notices to pay rent or quit. Landlords can be liable for triple damages for such actions, but you have to show the amount of your damages. Then contact a local legal aide society for pro bono assistance.

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