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Retaliatory eviction and improper notice?

Hermosa Beach, CA |

We have had a major plumbing problem since December 20th when our downstairs neighbors place flooded because of old plumbing. We were unable to use our kitchen sink, bathroom and bathroom sink for many days between the 20th until January 2nd. We also have not been able to use the washer or dryer or park in our garage. The landlord has been been slow to do the necessary repairs and we withheld $650 of our rent (of $2650) on January 1. The Landlord responded by giving us 30 days notice. Our lease is month to month and we have been here more than a year. Is 60 days required under 1946.1? He told us the lease agreement states 30 days is sufficient. Also, isn't this textbook retaliation? Thanks in advance for your help.

Attorney Answers 1


  1. It is not necessarily textbook retaliatory eviction. Given the relatively short time period you describe, this would not necessarily constitute retaliatory eviction. For a discussion on this topic, see:

    http://www.dca.ca.gov/publications/landlordbook/retalitory-actions.shtml

    As you can see from the discussion, the defense of retaliatory eviction is a bit tricky in terms of what the tenant and the landlord have to prove, and is usually difficult to assert without the assistance of counsel.

    Pursuant to Civil Code section 1946.1, the landlord must give 60 days advance written notice that the tenancy will end if you and every other tenant or resident have lived in the rental unit for a year or more. Thirty days notice may be sufficient if any tenant or resident has resided in the dwelling for less than one year, or if the lease agreement provides so (Civil Code Section 1946).

    Frank W. Chen has been licensed to practice law in California since 1988. The information presented here is general in nature and is not intended, nor should be construed, as legal advice for a particular case. This Avvo.com posting does not create any attorney-client relationship with the author. For specific advice about your particular situation, please consult with your own attorney.

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