Likely not. Landlords have a statutory right to a trial within 20 days after you answer the Complaint. Your best bet is to hire counsel to defend you. If the defense is good, the landlord may be willing to settle with you for extra time to move and a waiver of past and future rent. This is only likely if you are represented by counsel.
If you do not file an answer to an unlawful detainer, then the landlord will obtain a default judgment against you. This takes a couple of weeks. After that, the landlord can obtain a writ of possession, which is the document that allows the Sheriff to lock you out. The Sheriff will post a 5-Day Notice to Vacate before locking you out.
I really suggest that you hire a lawyer to deal with this issue. You do not want to have a judgment for unlawful detainer on your record--you will find it...
The landlord is required to make repairs to the premises you rent. You can have it fixed yourself, and deduct it from the rent, but it would be safer to make the repair yourself and sue the landlady in small claims court for the cost of the repair.
However, realize that there is no rent control where you are, and the landlady will probably evict you for suing her. This is illegal too (it's retaliation) but sooner or later she will get you out.
You need to take your money to a place...
No, absolutely not. You need to pay your rent. To my knowledge, a landlord does not have to have a business license to rent property (unless your landlord is a property manager only, in which case he or she needs a broker's license). Not paying your rent is a great way to get evicted.
First, there is no "max payment" for slander. Your damages are whatever you can prove. No attorney can really tell you your chances of winning any certain amount. However, it seems you do have good evidence.
I disagree with the other commenting attorney that you can obtain a civil harassment restraining order on these facts--you are not being threatened with violence. However, as part of the lawsuit for defamation, you can ask for, and will probably receive, a restraining order preventing...
It is ABSOLUTELY the landlord's responsibility to ERADICATE the bedbugs in the apartment building. See Civil Code sections 1941 and 1941.1. In an apartment building, a landlord cannot fix a bedbug problem by spraying only one unit--they travel through walls, ceilings, walk across the hall, etc. If the landlord sprays in one unit, they move to the surrounding units and, guess what, they will be back. The landlord makes the problem worse by having a single unit treated.
Also, a lot of...
I'm so sorry, but because you are not in a rent-controlled jurisdiction, the landlord is under no obligation to renew your lease. This is true throughout California, except in cities that have rent control.
16 years is a good run. You should have no trouble finding a new place to live.
If you have not amended before, then you can simply file a First Amended Complaint, and the demurrer becomes moot. It is not required, but you might (immediately) file a "Notice of Intent to File First Amended Complaint" so the Court Clerk does not begin working up the demurrer. You can file your First Amended Complaint any time before the hearing date set for the demurrer.
Ms. Marsh is correct. However, you should also call the Los Angeles Housing Department (LAHD) at 866-557-RENT, since you are in Los Angeles, and ask for a code enforcement inspection. The LAHD has the authority to order your landlord to make repairs to the premises, including exterminating bed bugs. Unfortunately, if you get rid of the bed bugs only in your apartment, they may come back if the rest of the building is not treated. That's why you need to call the authorities....
Contact the County Health Department RIGHT NOW. They will order the landlord to make repairs within 24 hours.
County of Los Angeles Department of Public Health
5050 Commerce Drive
Baldwin Park, California 91706 Click here for map to our facility
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