i filed an answer to an unlawful detainer. i have not received a court trial date. i will have the rent and late fees and i will have vacated the property by the time i get a date. can i pay these fees at the time of the trial?
It's not clear that you have to pay any late fees, depending on whether you lease converted late fees into rent or now...
Clearly, however, once you vacate (before the trial date -- I would still show up to tell the court you have vacated so no JUDGMENT will be entered), the sooner you pay the overdue rent the sooner the case will be dismissed...but you shouldn't pay it without a promise that the case against you (and your family?) will be dismissed.
If you move out (surrender) of the premises prior to the unlawful detainer trial date, the case converts into a regular civil case for damages (i.e. unpaid rent, and holdover damages). You can pay the rent and late fees any time, but the sooner you do so, the sooner the unlawful detainer lawsuit will be dismissed.
Frank W. Chen is licensed to practice law in the State of California. The information presented here is general in nature and is not intended, nor should be construed, as legal advice. This posting does not create any attorney-client relationship with the author. For specific advice about your particular situation, consult your own attorney.
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