Dealing with an Unlawful Detainer

Many San Francisco apartments are protected by Rent Control. For buildings built before 1979 with two units or more there is full rent control protection against illegal rent increases and eviction attempts. The key legal term is “possession” and this is what the landlord transfer to the tenant upon agreeing to rent.

A landlord may attempt to recover possession for various reasons, some legal and some not. It is important that both landlords and tenants know their rights and responsibilities. When landlords seek to recover possession they sometimes utilize a type of lawsuit called an Unlawful Detainer lawsuit.

Unlawful detainer lawsuits are meant mainly to obtain possession of an apartment.  Landlords typically utilize this procedure in an attempt to quickly regain possession.  To utilize this process, landlords must strictly comply with the rules and regulations under local laws and state laws.  This includes proper notice requirements of any lease violations before service of the 3 Day Notice.  It is important to note that if you answer an unlawful detainer lawsuit without pointing out these deficiencies you may waive these challenges.

Without a valid 3 Day Notice the entire unlawful detainer may be dismissed. It is imperative that you consult an attorney who has knowledge of these proceedings in order to afford you of all of your options when responding to an unlawful detainer lawsuit.

Another important note is that these lawsuits move very quickly so its important to talk to someone right away. There are many helpful resources including the Eviction Defense Collaborative, the San Francisco Tenants Union and the San Francisco Rent Board. There are also many smart attorneys here who can help navigate this area of the law, contact us today.

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