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Forcibly Removed from my Apartment by Landlord – Can I Sue?

Forcibly Removed from my Apartment by Landlord Can I Sue liable lawyer attorney

Eviction and housing courts in California are overwhelmed with disputes between landlords and tenants, and as a result, it can take much longer than expected to evict a renter from one’s premises. This is undoubtedly frustrating for the property owner, but they are not allowed to circumvent the laws in order to speed up the process. Unfortunately, there are many incidents of landlords forcibly removing tenants from the apartment due to the eviction courts being backed up with complaints and scheduled hearings.

Have you been wrongfully evicted from your apartment through illegal means, like intimidation, being locked out, or having to leave because of dangerous conditions that your landlord refused to resolve? Landlords that fail to go through the eviction process can be sued by the tenant through the civil courts, but it can be difficult to navigate the legal system and succeed in a wrongful eviction lawsuit. Furthermore, tenants are often unaware of the damages that can be recovered if they are unlawfully evicted and end up settling for way less than they are entitled to.

The wrongful eviction lawyers of DTLA Law Group are ready to fight for you and the compensation you deserve as someone that was wrongfully displaced from their residence. Please contact our law firm and schedule a free consultation to learn about your rights and legal options.

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Examples of Wrongful Eviction in the State of California

Essentially, a wrongful eviction is engaging in unlawful conduct for the purpose of removing a tenant from the premises. Unfortunately, many landlords take the law into their own hands and violate state and local laws to force out tenants from the property. Here are some of the methods that are employed by landlords to wrongfully evict their tenant:

  • Changing the locks on the apartment
  • Removing the tenants’ belongings from the unit
  • Cutting off utilities like heat, water, and electricity
  • Failing to make repairs and making the place uninhabitable
  • Repeatedly calling the tenant or showing up at the apartment to demand that the tenant move out
  • Threatens bodily harm or intimates the tenant in some other way
  • Not allowing the tenant to move back in after major damage from an earthquake, fire, flood, etc.
  • Failing to move in within the required amount of time after an owner move-in or relative move-in eviction.
The Eviction Process under California Law

Now that we’ve gone over how a wrongful eviction works, let’s look at how an eviction is done legally. The steps below will provide you with a general idea of what has to be done, but keep in mind that the process can vary depending on local laws and the type of unit you are renting.

To evict a tenant, landlords must do the following:

  • Serve written notice to the tenant
  • File for the eviction with the appropriate court system
  • Give the tenant an opportunity to respond
  • Receive a judgment from the court, which allows them to remove the tenant.

Prior to an eviction, landlords must provide tenants with an opportunity to rectify the reason for the eviction, like non-payment of rent or repeatedly causing disturbances to the neighbors. If the tenant fails to remedy these issues, then the landlord can file the necessary documents with the court and have the eviction notice served to the tenant. This will include a formal complaint and summons, which gives the tenant a chance to defend themselves at a scheduled hearing.

If the tenant fails to appear, the judge will likely grant the landlord with a default judgement to remove the tenant. This is why it’s essential for renters to respond to the notice from the court and appear at the hearing to give their side of the story. While you can choose to represent yourself, consulting a California tenant-landlord attorney is highly recommended in order to build a strong defense if you are facing an eviction.

Average Value of a Wrongful Eviction Lawsuit

Wrongful evictions lawsuits can settle for anywhere from $20,000 to over $1,000,000, so it’s impossible to give an average settlement value for one of these cases. But payments for unlawful evictions in California are usually in the 6-figure range. This is not just based on direct monetary losses incurred by the tenant, like hotel bills and moving expenses. Being harassed, having your utilities cut off, damage or loss of your property, and other circumstances can cause significant emotional distress that result in physical and mental health disorders. Thus, a good deal of these settlements includes compensation for non-economic damages, like pain and suffering.

There are many other issues that will impact how much you can receive as a tenant that was wrongfully evicted. To find out the value of a lawsuit if you were forced out of your apartment, call us today.

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How Long Does it Take to Get Paid on these Cases?

Some of our cases for wrongful eviction take a few months from start to finish, while other cases take 2 or more years. This is due to a variety of factors, including the reason you were evicted, whether you were harassed or assaulted, and the amount of damages you are seeking due to the harm you’ve suffered. Overall, we are successful in reaching a settlement by negotiating with the landlord / leasing company and their legal representative. Thus, taking your case to trial is very unlikely, but if that becomes necessary, obtaining compensation from a jury verdict can take several years.

Statute of Limitations to Sue for a Wrongful Eviction

Generally, the time limit to file a wrongful eviction lawsuit is 2 years from the date of eviction. However, there are circumstances that can shorten or extend the amount of time you have to sue your landlord. That’s why you should contact a renters’ rights lawsuit attorney as soon as possible if your landlord unlawfully removed you from your apartment or rental unit. Our lawyers are here to help, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, so don’t hesitate to give us a call.

Contact a California Wrongful Eviction Attorney

Tenants who are forcibly evicted from their apartments are overwhelmed and confused about their legal rights. This is why advice and guidance from an unlawful eviction lawyer is so important, but most people are under the impression that they can’t afford an attorney.

You’ll never have to worry about the cost of legal fees when you sign with our law firm. We ask the party that you are suing to pay for the cost of representing you, and this is paid to us as a part of your settlement check. That means winning your case is how we get paid, and with the Zero Fee Guarantee, you owe us absolutely nothing if we don’t recover your settlement.

Contact the lawyers of DTLA Law Group to discuss your legal options if you were wrongfully evicted by your landlord.

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