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June 01, 1986|DOUGLAS RING and BUSTER SUSSMAN | Ring is a partner in the law firm of Howard, Ring & Chizever. Sussman is a free-lance writer. and

If you complain to the city about the way your landlord takes care of your apartment--can he evict you?


You've got two sets of laws protecting you.

The first is state law. Civil code section 1945.2 prevents a landlord from evicting a tenant for 60 days where:

1--The tenant has filed a written complaint with a government agency.

2--Because of a complaint, the city, or other agency, has inspected the apartment and cited the landlord.

3--The tenant has won a lawsuit from the landlord because of the landlord's failure to keep the apartment in liveable shape.

Specifically, what the landlord can't do is take any action against a "troublemaking" tenant such as evicting him, raising his rent or cutting services.

In addition to this state law, many cities have enacted "just cause" eviction ordinances.

These list a series of reasons for which a tenant can be evicted. In other words, a tenant can't be evicted on the whim of a landlord.

Both Los Angeles city and county have such ordinances as do cities such as Santa Monica and West Hollywood.

California is also considering the enactment of a "just cause" ordinance but if or when the state will act is hard to tell.

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