I believe landlord is simply harassing me and has filed a frivolous claim. But, since I have to show up to defend, have also filed a counter. Question 1: My final rent was paid 3-days late. LL claims a $25 late fee is required. No where in the rental agreement is there any language requiring late fees. My understanding from Consumer Affairs Dept. is he can't charge a late fee.
Question 2: I tried to avoid court by requesting LL to settle, claiming the above, but also asking him to pay me a portion security deposit he with-held (I have ample proof that he had no grounds to do so). His response: You must be joking, what evidence do you have...." Now, he is refusing SERVICE at his door (not answering). What happens if I can't serve him before the 5-days of our court date, as required?
You can contact a professional process server to perform service. If you prevail, you will likely get the cost returned in the judgment.
To answer your question, it is up to the court whether to proceed on the day of the hearing or continue the hearing to allow your LL to prepare for your counter suit.
My response to this question is never intended as legal advice and must not be relied upon as legal advice. I give legal advice only in the course of an attorney-client relationship. Exchange of information through Avvo's Questions forum does not establish an attorney-client relationship with me. That relationship is established only by individual consultation and execution of a written agreement for legal services.
Tru . Your landlord can't charge you a late fee if its not in your lease.
If you can show the landlord maliciously withheld your deposit, you can get back twice the wrongfully withheld amount under civil code section 1950.5.
1. Late fees have to be set forth in a written agreement between the parties.
2. Depending on the court, the matter is usually continued to allow for service. Get a registered process server to help you serve the documents if necessary.
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