• Tenants cannot be evicted for ANY rent they were unable to pay starting in March 1st and through August 31st, 2020. However, landlords can take you to small claims court for the owed rent during said time frame begining August 1st, 2021.

Lockouts

Your landlord, or anyone acting for your landlord, cannot lock you out, change your locks, plug the hole in your lock, remove any part of your door or windows, remove your property, or in any fashion try to block your entry to your home if the purpose is to harass or evict you illegally.

What You Can Do:

  1. Keep a record of all such incidents.
  2. You have a right to regain entry to the premises even if you have to break in.
  3. Call the police. The landlord is guilty of violating California Penal Code Section 418 and is liable for arrest.
  4. Write a letter to your landlord stating that you are aware of your rights as a tenant, that s/he is in clear violation of the law, and that you want the situation remedied with no further harassment. Mail the letter with proof mailing and keep a copy of the letter; it will be good evidence if you have to take the landlord to court later.
  5. Sue under Prop M and under California Civil Code Section 789.3 for up to $100 per day, but not less than $250, for damages, plus attorneys fees. You can hire a lawyer to bring suit or file suit in Small Claims Court.
  6. You can ask for a court order to keep the landlord from locking you out again.
  • Eviction process

Landlord Stalking

In some instances, the harassment from your landlord can turn into proper stalking. If your landlord is relentless and keeps verbally abusing you in person, online or via harassing phone calls, these can be the grounds for stalking claims. 

Stalking can be anything from the landlord keeping track of your movement or contacting your friends and family. Things can get even more difficult for you if stalking is interrelated to sexual advances on the landlord’s side or threats of physical violence. 

While DoNotPay can help you stop a stalker, you should know that you can always report such incidents to the police or even start the procedure to get a restraining order against your landlord. Situations like this can often occur after you reported initial harassment to authorities as a form of landlord retaliation.

Landlord Entry

Under California Civil Code Section 1954, except for emergencies, a landlord or agent of the landlord can enter your home without your consent only by giving you at least 24 hours written notice and only in the following situations:

  • To make necessary or agreed-upon repairs or improvements.
  • To show it to prospective tenants, buyers, mortgage holders, or workers.
  • By court order.

What You Can Do:

  1. Write a letter demanding these illegal entries be stopped. Demand 24 hours written notice for future entries. You can also demand that these visits be made only during normal business hours. Open houses, however, are allowed on weekends.
  2. Keep a list of all known entries. Talk to your neighbors. You can serve as witnesses for each other.
  3. Change your locks. There is no law that states a landlord must have a key to your home, however, you must allow entry for proper reasons (above). If your rental agreement has a clause forbidding alterations to the premises, talk to the Tenants Union before you take this step.
  4. Sue.

Tenant Guide

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