Four Tips to Winning an Eviction Lawsuit


In an unlawful detainer lawsuit to evict a tenant, both landlords and tenants can find the process alarming. Unlawful detainers are summary court procedures where the priority of justice is given more than most other civil actions because the issue of who should occupy the property can be determined quickly. Evictions laws must be followed strictly because they protect both parties.

Courts can typically rule against a landlord if legal procedures aren’t followed precisely, regardless of the intentions of the property owner in following the law.

Many of us know that eviction can be a very personal situation as it relates to a private home. If you rent a home or apartment and you get an eviction notice during that time, it can create a lot of emotion in you. So I suggest you pay close attention to the following four critical suggestions.

Know Your Rights

As a tenant, you should take some time to understand your rights. If you live in the Los Angeles area, then you are in one of the most tenant-friendly justice systems in the country. The law is the law, but statutes and codes have made Los Angeles more tenant-friendly than other parts of the country, including elsewhere in California. We no longer live in the Dark Ages of the Internet. In contrast, we live in a time where access to information is at our fingertips.

To be honest, it doesn’t take long to read the laws of your state and municipality and to have a minimum concept of your legal rights as a renter. It takes only 20 minutes to analyze to see what happens when a California landlord gives you notice to pay up or vacate the property.

Keep Good Records

As a tenant, keeping files of your rental history is essential, but renters often don’t keep records like landlords. Your actual lease is very important as it covers all your rights and duties as a tenant and represents a contract between the two parties. Also, ask your landlord for a copy of any additional documents you have signed. Or if you are a long-term tenant, ask for various changes in the agreement, such as rent increases, parking agreements, or any other legal agreements.

The second-most important documents to keep are copies of checks or other payment records related to your tenancy. Keep a copy of the checks you have sent to your landlord because it will make your life easier if there is a problem with your rent payment. Always keeps a record of all the payments, whether digital online or physical, that you make to your landlord for your own protection.

Make Sure Notice is Proper

Before a landlord can start an unlawful detainer eviction against you, he must first give proper notice to the tenant to fix the situation or get out.

The law requires the notice to allow tenants to remedy the problem which they are causing. You could be required to pay the rent or remove disallowed pets, for example. Or, you have more tenants than the lease allows, the landlord can act to rectify the situation with a notice to either kick out the extra tenants or move out.

A legal notice includes the amount of cash owed to the owner for rent, the specific purpose of the eviction, and also the address, times, and location where someone will report or show documentation of the claimed violation. It may also include any other evidence or data that is related to the eviction.

Also, remember that unless you have been personally handed a notice, the notice usually needs to be sent by certified mail. This will act as a confirmation that notice was truly, legally served on the tenant.

Providing the right notice to the tenant is an effective deadline that tells all relevant information on how the problem can be cured or resolved.

Talking to an Attorney

Tenants who are served eviction notices should consider consulting a lawyer who focuses on real-estate law. You may be facing legal problems with an unlawful detainer lawsuit. The justice system in California includes a self-help desk that helps tenants respond to unlawful detainer suits without legal representation. People have a better chance of negotiating a deal to stay in their homes if they avail themselves of the help of a lawyer or the self-help office.


If you do nothing wrong and keep a good record, it is usually difficult to evict a tenant, especially in Los Angeles. But going through an eviction situation is a stressful thing.