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Tenants Using Small Claims

Tenants in landlord disputes reach out to lawyers when the tenant feels put on the defense. The legal protections afforded to tenants are not only used as shields. There are many reasons for tenants to heed the words attributed to George Washington: “offensive operations, oftentimes, is the surest, if not the only means of defense.”

Under California Civil Code Section 1942.5, it is considered landlord retaliation for any landlord to bring an eviction in court against a tenant who has made a previous complaint to the landlord. A tenant who diligently makes good-faith complaints to the landlord is a tenant who can claim retaliation against a landlord later trying to evict. Furthermore, a tenant who delays the eviction process also can sue the landlord for the tenant’s complaints.

It is from this perspective that tenants may consider going on the legal offensive and bring their complaints to the attention of a judge in small claims court. While some tenant complaints merit large dollar demands for damages, other tenant complaints are appropriate for up to California's jurisdictional limit of small claims, $10,000. 

A lawyer can usefully advise as to how to use small claims actions strategically in landlord disputes. Make a scheduled appointment today to learn more

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