Landers, CA asked in Landlord - Tenant for California

Q: My question is in the detail

I was evicted from my house after almost 10 years with this company 3 years in this house the rest in my first place I rented from this company. I have recieved this letter in the mail one night from San Bernardino Sheriff saying something about an eviction and that the reality place won in court over default of me not showing up but the problem I'm having is. I NEVER was served anything NOT in Person and Nothing by mail ever. The following day I get off work to find my door opened and my girlfriend meeting me at the door in tears. Telling me the cops were just here and let themselves in with a locksmith and the sheriff's putting a red paper on my front window. Saying everything needs to be out that same day. With no warning of anything just up and leave everything behind after all these years. I've been paying my rent faithfully for 10 years except recently this last month I've been cut hours so I've been paying my renter with 200 l dollar money order one week and 400 the next Friday

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2 Lawyer Answers
James L. Arrasmith
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  • Landlord Tenant Lawyer
  • Sacramento, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: I'm very sorry to hear about your situation. It sounds like a difficult and stressful experience to go through, especially after nearly 10 years renting from the same company.

Based on the details provided, there may be some issues with how the eviction process was carried out:

1. You mention never being properly served eviction notices, either in-person or by mail. Landlords are legally required to provide adequate notice to tenants before proceeding with an eviction. The exact notice requirements vary by location.

2. It's concerning that the sheriff's office claims you lost the eviction case by default because you didn't show up to court. If you were never properly notified about the court proceedings in the first place, that would not be a lawful reason to rule against you.

3. Typically, even with a court-ordered eviction, tenants must be given some reasonable time period to vacate the premises. Forcing you to leave and remove all your belongings the same day the notice was posted, with no prior warning, seems highly irregular.

Here are a few suggestions for next steps:

- Document everything carefully, including photos of the notices posted, records of your rent payments, and detailed notes about all interactions with your landlord, the sheriff, etc. This documentation may be important evidence.

- Consult with a tenants rights organization or housing attorney in your area. Many communities have free or low-cost legal aid services for situations like this. They can advise you on whether the eviction followed proper legal procedures in your jurisdiction.

- If the eviction was not carried out lawfully, you may have grounds to file a wrongful eviction claim against the landlord. A housing lawyer can evaluate whether you have a case.

- Look into emergency rental assistance programs in your area. Many states and communities have funds to help tenants who have fallen behind on rent due to COVID-related hardships.

Again, I'm so sorry you're dealing with this unfair situation. Please don't hesitate to seek out legal guidance and housing support services. Wishing you all the best moving forward.

Delaram Keshvarian
Delaram Keshvarian
  • Landlord Tenant Lawyer
  • Orange, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: Thank you for your question!

Most rental properties are somehow under rental protection statutes or local rules, so a good cause is required for eviction.

If you were paying your rents, and occupied the property in a lawful manner compliant with the lease, the landlord should have provided you reasons for eviction with proper notice.

Also, when the complaint was filed, you must have been served properly.

It seems you were not served properly and did not receive any notice. You can file a motion to set aside the default judgment, and defend the eviction (before its time passes). If you are already evicted, you can bring damages lawsuit against the landlord.

This is merely a discussion of general laws and not legal advice. For legal advice, more specific facts and investigations are needed. I recommend you consult with an attorney for more details.

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