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Stopping Landlord Retaliation

When a landlord retaliates against you, it can put you and your family at risk of losing your home. However, there are laws in place to protect you from antagonistic behavior from your landlord.

In this blog post, we explore landlord retaliation and what you can do to stop it. If you have questions about your specific situation, and call 310-957-2700 to start fighting back with a tenant’s rights attorney at your side.

What Is Landlord Retaliation?

Landlord retaliation occurs when a tenant’s legitimate complaint leads to recourse favoring the tenant’s position and the landlord subsequently:

  1. Takes steps toward ending that tenancy prematurely,
  2. Declines to renew the tenancy,
  3. Raises rent,
  4. Decreases essential items and services (i.e. electricity, heat, water, and so forth), or
  5. Takes an eviction action.

How Can I Stop Landlord Retaliation?

When you are attempting to stop your landlord’s retaliation, you could be dealing with municipal, city, county, or statewide ordinances, depending on the facts of your case. The best thing you can do is to align yourself with an attorney who knows these laws and stays on top of new legislation to effectively litigate your rights to keep you and your family safely in your home.

In California, there are anti-harassment statutes that also define retaliatory acts. Your attorney can start by sending a letter to the landlord to let him or her know you know that their behavior is unlawful and you intend to assert your rights. It is also possible that you might also be able to obtain a restraining order, or file a lawsuit against your landlord. What is right for your case depends on the facts of the situation.

How Does Suing A Landlord For Retaliation Work?

When you are suing a landlord for retaliation, your attorney will file a lawsuit in small claims court. Then, both sides will gather evidence and witnesses before the case is brought before a judge. If your case is successful, you may be awarded compensation in the form of damages.

The burden is on the landlord, who will need to show that there was another valid, non-retaliatory motive for their actions. The process for enforcing your rights in court can take anywhere from three months to a year. 

Is It Time To Hire A Tenants Rights Attorney?

When you are dealing with landlord retaliation, it can feel as though you have little to no control over the situation. However, you have powerful rights as a tenant that you can assert against your landlord. At Schwimer Weinstein, we work with tenants throughout Southern California to ensure that their voices are heard, and their rights are recognized.

We are committed to fighting back on behalf of our Santa Monica, CA clients by holding their landlords accountable for violations of the law and for their mishandling of any number of important housing issues.

If you have any questions, or if you are ready to schedule your initial consultation with our team, get in touch today via our online form, or call us at 310-957-2700 to get started.

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