Do I file a criminal or civil complaint if someone destroys/damages my property if I let them live there?

Asked about 2 years ago - Los Angeles, CA

If I rent out a property to someone behind my home and that person destroys or damages the property/fixtures etc. can I file a civi action and is there a form online I need to use?

Attorney answers (3)

  1. Ross Carl Goodman


    Contributor Level 15


    Lawyers agree

    Best Answer
    chosen by asker

    Answered . I think you could also file a criminal/incident report given the property damage. It would be up to law enforcement to forward it to the prosecutor's office for prosecution. If a criminal charge is filed, part of any negotitation would be restitution for the damaged property

    The information presented here is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. The... more
  2. Robert Jan Suhajda

    Contributor Level 17


    Lawyers agree

    Answered . You cannot file a criminal charge only a civil claim.
    There are four ways to file court papers at the correct courthouse:
    • In person
    • By mail
    • Online
    • By fax
    File form SC-100
    To file online, do the following:
    1. Log on to Los Angeles County’s Superior Court website at and have your credit card ready. There is an additional $10 fee to e-file your case.

    Disclaimer of California Attorney. Laws differ from state to state. Although the above response is believed to be... more
  3. Nicholas Basil Spirtos

    Contributor Level 20

    Answered . Assuming you did file a complaint with the police, they will more than likely tell you that it is a civil matter. No harm in trying.
    If you will be satisfied with $10,000 or less, you can file in small claims court.
    If the damages are higher, you need to go to superior court.

Related Topics

Residential property

Residential property is real estate that has been developed or zoned to be used for living, such as single family houses, apartments or mobile home parks.

Real property ownership

Several different kinds of property ownership exist, including joint tenancy, tenancy in common and more. The right one for you depends on your circumstances.

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