They answered the complaint stating: The date of the 3 day notice was incorrect (it was a clerical error); and that they were home when the complaint was posted (they were not);
That they moved out, and then came back and cleaned the apartment a couple days later.
The complaint stated that the 3 day notice was served on Feb. 06, 2013, when in fact was was served on Feb 03, 2013 (a copy was attached to the complaint). Do I request a court date and explain the clerical error and agree that the tenants have moved? Or, do I submit an Amended Complaint to correct the 3 Day Notice service date and that they have vacated? I already have possession, so I am no longer requesting that. Also, what about their false claims, like they cleaned the property after move-out inspection? How do I respond?
If you have possession you have no unlawful detainer case. UD is a case for possession only. You can dismiss or covert the case to limited jurisdiction for money damages only. Regardless you need to amend to fix the pleadings. And because they answered you need to apply for leave of court. Absurd because you have possession!
So dismiss the ud and file a small claims action for damages (if you have any).
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I agree with my colleague's excellent answer, but I respond to add a caveat. If you do not know where your former tenants are now living, it may be easier to amend the pleading than dismiss the complaint, locate the tenants and re-serve them for the small claims action.
The false claim that the tenant cleaned the property after move-out inspection is a question of fact to be addressed when you seek damages or they seek to recover their security deposit. If you file in small claims, you can sue for unpaid rent, the cost of repairing non-wear and tear damage to the property and cleaning fees.