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Eviction Defense | Top Attorney for Tenants | Martinez Law Center

Eviction Defense

Eviction Defense are emotionally traumatic, financially straining, and all around difficult to endure. All of that is compounded when you have been wrongfully evicted. In the state of California, landlords are responsible for the habitability of their properties, and for honoring the lease contract fully. Failure to do this can result in a wrongful eviction case.

Mark Martinez has experience in defending tenants against wrongful evictions, and can help tenants across Southern California to exercise their rights as tenants.

Eviction Defense
Our First Step
Documenting How the Landlord Failed in Their Responsibilities

In California, landlords are required to follow the letter of the law in order to evict someone lawfully. If they offer you improper notice of eviction, accept partial payment of rent (even when the tenant is noncompliant with the lease agreement), or fails to maintain the premises, they have failed in their responsibilities as a landlord.
Similarly, California landlords are responsible for maintaining a habitable environment for their tenants. Insufficient weather protection, failure to provide heating and hot/cold running water, unsanitary conditions, failure to keep the building or unit in good repair, and insufficient electricity are all responsibility failures. If your former landlord has failed in any of these areas, you may have a valid wrongful eviction case on your hands.

Our Second Step
Calculating Damages

If you have in fact been wrongfully evicted, as a part of your defense Mark Martinez will seek proper damages. These may come in the form of monetary compensation, emotional distress damages, and payment of future rent. Eviction Defense is a difficult thing to endure. Mark Martinez will work tirelessly to make sure you are compensated for that unnecessary trauma.

Do not face Eviction Defense alone. Call Mark Martinez today to discuss the details of your potential case.

Eviction Defense

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To Each Client Regardless of How Severe Your Case May Be. Contact Us for An Informative Consultation

Eviction moratorium extension 2023 in California

California has extended its eviction moratorium through February 28, 2023. This impacts unlawful detainer lawsuits for nonpayment of rent due to COVID-19 hardship.
✅ The extended moratorium prevents landlords from evicting residential tenants for nonpayment of rent due to COVID-19 financial impacts.
✅ Tenants must declare in writing that they cannot pay due to COVID-19 within 15 days of receiving a notice to pay rent or quit.
✅ The moratorium extension does not forgive rent owed. Tenants must pay back rent to avoid eviction after the moratorium ends.
✅ Landlords in Orange County must follow state unlawful detainer laws and allowable eviction reasons during the moratorium.

What the Extended Moratorium Means for Landlords and Tenants

✅ Tenants impacted by COVID-19 have extended protections from eviction for unpaid rent through February 2023.
✅ Landlords cannot evict for nonpayment of rent due to COVID if tenants provide a valid declaration.
✅ Tenants still owe back rent and must pay once the moratorium lifts to avoid eviction.

Navigating the Orange county eviction process in California

The eviction process in Orange County follows the general unlawful detainer process and laws in California. There are precise steps landlords must take to legally evict a tenant.
✅ It starts with serving an appropriate notice to quit, like a 3-day notice to pay rent or quit.
✅ If the tenant does not comply, the landlord can file and serve an unlawful detainer lawsuit.
✅ Tenants have only 5 calendar days to submit a written response after being served.
✅ No response can lead to a default judgment and quick eviction by the court.
✅ With a response, the case either goes to trial within 20 days or both parties attempt settlement first.
✅ If the landlord wins at trial, the sheriff will forcibly remove any tenant who doesn't leave voluntarily within 5 days.

Understanding the Steps for Landlords and Tenants

✅ Landlords in Orange County must follow the state's laws around notices, filing, and serving unlawful detainer lawsuits.
✅ Tenants must adhere to the strict response deadlines after being served an eviction lawsuit.
✅ COVID-19 eviction moratoriums in the county impact current allowable eviction reasons.
✅ Both parties can benefit from legal representation and guidance during the eviction process.

What is the Orange County Eviction Moratorium?

Orange County, California currently has an eviction moratorium in place through February 28, 2023. This prevents evictions for nonpayment of rent due to COVID-19 hardship if tenants provide declaration.
✅ The moratorium does not forgive unpaid rent - tenants must pay back rent to avoid eviction when it expires.
✅ Landlords can still evict for lease violations or other reasons besides COVID-19 missed rent payments.
✅ Tenants should review the moratorium orders to understand their rights and responsibilities.

The California Eviction Process from Start to Finish

✅ The eviction process starts with the landlord providing proper written notice to quit, like a 3-day notice to pay or quit.
✅ If the tenant does not comply, the landlord can file and serve an unlawful detainer lawsuit.
✅ The tenant must respond within 5 calendar days of being served the court papers.
✅ No response can lead to a default judgment against the tenant and quick eviction.
✅ With a response, the case proceeds to settlement talks and/or trial within 20 days.
✅ If the landlord wins at trial, the sheriff will forcibly evict any non-compliant tenant.
✅ An eviction judgment negatively impacts a tenant's rental history and credit report.

Do I Have to Pay Rent After Receiving an Eviction Notice in California?

Receiving an eviction notice does not necessarily exempt a tenant from paying rent in California. Tenants should continue paying rent per their lease if possible to avoid further legal action.
✅ After receiving a notice to pay rent or quit, tenants should make every effort to pay the rent owed within the notice period.
✅ Failure to pay can lead to an unlawful detainer lawsuit and eviction. Tenants can still face these consequences even if they moved out upon receiving the notice.
✅ If a tenant cannot pay, seeking legal aid or negotiating with the landlord may help avoid eviction. But rent is still legally owed.
✅ Tenants are responsible for rent payments up until the tenancy officially ends by court order or other agreements.

The Unlawful Detainer Process in Orange County

✅ If a tenant does not comply with a notice, the landlord can file and serve an unlawful detainer complaint.
✅ The tenant must respond within 5 calendar days of being served. No response can lead to a quick eviction.
✅ The case will either settle or proceed to a trial within 20 days if the tenant responds.
✅ At trial, both parties present evidence and testimony before the judge rules on the eviction.
✅ Orange County has an eviction moratorium through February 2023 for COVID-19 related nonpayment of rent.

Finding an Affordable Eviction Defense Lawyer

Getting served with an eviction notice can be stressful and scary. You may be tempted to represent yourself in court to avoid legal fees.
However, having an experienced eviction defense attorney on your side can greatly increase your chances of reaching a favorable outcome. Here are some tips for finding affordable legal representation:

Qualities to Look for When Hiring an Attorney

✅ Specialization in landlord-tenant law. Look for lawyers who focus specifically on eviction defense cases. They will be the most knowledgeable about relevant laws and defenses.
✅ Courtroom experience. Prioritize lawyers who regularly appear in eviction courtrooms. Familiarity with local judges and processes is invaluable.
✅ Passion for defending tenants. Look for genuine commitment to protecting renters' rights. This ensures your case is a priority, not just a paycheck.
✅ Responsiveness. Your lawyer should be available for consultations and quickly return calls/emails. Eviction cases move fast, so responsiveness is crucial.
❓ Can I speak with past clients about their experiences?
Good lawyers should readily provide references.
❓ What should I be gathering to build my defense?
Get advice on evidence gathering.
❓ What defenses might apply in my case?
A competent lawyer can suggest potential defenses upfront.
❓ What is your strategy for my particular case?
Avoid lawyers who give generic, one-size-fits-all approaches.
❓ How quickly can you file paperwork to delay the eviction process?
Timeliness is critical.
❓ What backup plan is there if I lose in court?
Understanding all options brings peace of mind.

Other Options to Explore

✅ Legal aid organizations for low income residents
✅ Law school clinics supervised by professors
✅ Unbundled legal services a la carte rather than full representation
✅ Attorney recommendations from local tenant advocacy groups
Eviction Defense