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12 October 2006 @ 06:13 pm
Landlords are here today  
They periodically come and stay in the front unit. Their daughter lives in the back unit. So they've obviously missed the response to their notice that we mailed yesterday. We thought about this and decided to stick a copy on their mailbox while they were out. We prefer for them to read it before we talk about this situation.

I personally am leaning towards leaving anyway if they are going to be so hard core as to want to evict us if we don't throw our daughter and grandsons out. So whatever...

It's a pointed reminder that as a renter this isn't really my home. It makes me wonder once again if leaving this area and moving to a place where 2 bedroom homes don't cost over 700 K might not be a bad idea. I'd like to have a real home where I can invite anyone I damn well please to stay as long as I like.
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cindy_dutracindy_dutra on October 13th, 2006 06:48 am (UTC)
Playing armchair lawyer for a second, if you think they're really going to go through the legal proceedings to evict you, and you'd like to put that date off as far into the future as possible - give them as little information as you possibly can.

I highly recommend checking out one of the nolo press books on tenants rights. You may be in violation of part of your contract (having additional tenants temporarily), but they have to be able to prove this to have grounds for eviction. When you send them a letter explaining your situation, you're providing this proof *for* them. It may feel like you're extending an olive branch, but legally you may have just signed a confession of sorts.

Even so, legally they have to serve your eviction papers in some very specific ways, and after that you've got 30 days to either move or start the next phase of legal action. If they serve you incorrectly, and they don't KNOW they've served you incorrectly, that means it will be 30 days until they realize you're not moving out and that they'll have to serve you officially... and that gives you *another* 30 days to live there. At the end of this second set of 30 days you can contest the eviction, at which point they have to set up a court date, and while waiting for the court date to come around you still get to live there. If you take it to court and can't fight it, you can always just plead no contest - but you'll be able to live where you're living for months longer than they'd currently like you to believe.

The key, though, is if you realize they're not going to be reasonable and play nice - and you decide not to play nice in return - the first bit of legal advice any lawyer would give you is to keep your mouth shut and tell them NOTHING. Don't talk to them, and don't acknowledge anything not sent to you through registered US mail or served to you by an agent of the court.

Nolo Press will cover this more thoroughly than I can, but remember that even though this isn't "really your home", you really do have legal rights as a tenant beyond those your landlord willingly gives to you. They are asking you to do an unconscionable thing, and even if they ultimately have the legal right to kick you out you're under no obligation to make it easy for them.
Tapatitapati on October 13th, 2006 09:46 am (UTC)
We already sent the letter admitting that my daughter has been temporarily staying with us along with her children, so it's too late to take it back. However, the rental agreement says nothing at all about guests or the length of time they can stay. It says we can't sublet or assign the apartment, and we haven't done either of those things. We point that out in the letter.

I basically say we'll leave if they wish as long as we can get a good reference. The landlady before them is one we took to court to get our deposit back. We won that but we certainly wouldn't want two pissed off sets of landlords in a row. We're actually going to have to doctor our rental apps to omit her but any savvy person would look it up online and see the court case record. (We won 2500.00!)

I'll only make them do the formal eviction proceeding if we really can't find a place (since I am not employed right now).

Nolo Press rocks--thanks for bringing them up. I may get one of their books. The consumer affairs department also has a rental handbook online in pdf format: http://www.dca.ca.gov/legal/landlordbook/