We exclusively represents Tenants. Whether you are fighting for your home or your business, we support you.
Before a landlord can start an eviction proceeding, called an unlawful detainer, he or she must first serve you with a notice that tells you why you are being asked to move out. The most common notices are a 3 day notice to pay or vacate, a 10 day notice to comply or vacate, and a 20 day notice of termination of tenancy. Although you do not have to respond to a notice, it is a good idea to contact an attorney if there is any dispute.
If you do not do what the notice asks you to do, the landlord can then start the unlawful detainer. He or she must personally serve you with a summons and complaint unless the court gives permission to serve you by mail.
IMPORTANT: You MUST respond even if there is no case number. It is still a legal document and if you do not respond you may be evicted by default.
If you are unable to agree on a resolution, the landlord will schedule a Show Cause Hearing. This is a court hearing where you must present your defenses and show the court why you should not be evicted. Most cases are resolved at the hearing, but there is a chance the court will set the case for trial. An eviction is on an expedited trial schedule, so you will likely have a trial within 30 days. If you want to stay in the house pending trial, the court will usually order you to pay a bond. The bond amount is usually the amount of money the landlord claims you owe. If there is no money owed, it will probably be set for an amount equal to one or two months’ rent.
Most evictions end in an agreed resolution. Your chances of resolving the issue without litigation are better if you contact us earlier in the process. The main reason tenants want to resolve the case without litigation is because if the landlord prevails you have to pay the landlord’s attorney’s fees and court costs. Usually we can get these fees waived if you can come to an agreement.
So, do not wait. Call us as soon as you think there is a problem. Eviction defense starts at $800 and increases depending on the complexity of your case. This includes all legal services including the show cause hearing.
If the case is set for trial, you will be billed at our hourly rate of $300 per hour and it will require an advanced fee deposit of $8,000.