The tape recording wouldn't be admissible as evidence in a civil trial.
The landlord cannot recover "pain and suffering" as damages in an unlawful detainer action or in a breach of lease action.
Any late fee must be expressly stated in a lease or rental agreement, and must be reasonable. In a residential lease, a 3-day notice to pay rent or quit normally cannot request late fees (only unpaid back rent).
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.
Did the landlord know he was being recorded?
NOTE: (1) I may be guessing and/or not even licensed in your state; (2) We have not established an attorney-client relationship; (3) Sometimes you get what you pay for; and (4) If you want to send me a gift, my favorite color is orange.