07 Aug Landlord Harassment
Landlord Harassment, What Should You Do:
What is Happening
- Landlord harassment is when the landlord creates conditions that are designed to encourage the tenant to break the lease agreement or otherwise abandon the rental property that he or she is currently occupying. Your landlord—or anyone acting for your landlord—can’t harass you out of your home. Landlords cannot lock you out, shut off your utilities, forcibly enter your home without notice, remove your belongings, or harass you into leaving your home. Under California Civil Code Section 1940.2, state law gives tenants remedies if a landlord does any of the following:
- Engages in larceny or theft as defined by Pen C §484.
- Engages in extortion as defined by Pen C §518, such as obtaining, by the wrongful use of force or fear, property or anything of value including sexual conduct or images.
- Uses or threatens to use force, willful threats, or menacing conduct constituting a course of conduct that interferes with the tenant’s quiet enjoyment of the premises that would create an apprehension of harm in a reasonable person.
- Commits a significant and intentional violation of entering the premises without permission §1954
- Threatens to disclose information regarding the immigration status of a tenant, occupant, or other person known to the landlord to be associated with a tenant or occupant.
What is allowed Under the Code
- Section 1940.2 does not prohibit certain warning notices, explanations, and legally authorized acts of the landlord:
- A landlord may give an oral or written warning notice, in good faith, regarding conduct by a tenant, occupant, or guest that violates, may violate, or violated the applicable rental agreement, rules, regulations, lease, or laws. CC §1940.2(c).
- A landlord may give an oral or written explanation of the rental agreement, rules, regulations, lease, or laws in the normal course of business. CC §1940.2(c).
What You Can Do
- Keep a log of every incident of harassment. You may need this later if you go to court.
- Write a letter to the landlord demanding that the harassment be stopped. Keep a copy of the letter.
- Do not be afraid to call the police if you feel threatened.
- You have the right to file for a Restraining Order in Superior Court restricting when your landlord may contact you. Forms are available at the Superior Court Clerk at the Superior Courthouse.
- If the harassment doesn’t stop and gets worse, talk to an attorney about suing your landlord.
Contact the Law Office of Aaron Kohanim today to schedule a consultation. You can call us at (310) 861-7506. If you prefer to send a quick message, visit our Contact Us page.
The response above is not intended as legal advice. This response does not create an attorney-client relationship. Legal questions can only be fully answered through consultation with an attorney to whom you give full and accurate details. It is highly recommended that you seek advice from an attorney by setting up a confidential meeting. All who read this answer should not rely on the answer to govern their conduct.