You raise a number of concerns but your post doesn't ask a specific question. For general information regarding a tenant's rights and remedies in California, see:
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.
It sounds like your landlord issue probably is the least of your concerns right now. My wife was a social worker and I was really surprised to learn about the really good quality referrals that the Department of Social Services would give out. Because you are struggling with so many challenges right now, I am including a link to the County Health and Human Services for the South Lake Tahoe area. They should be able to provide you with enough referrals for your area to really make a difference.
Kevin A. Spainhour, Esq. Spainhour Law Group www.slglawyer.com.
The other two attorneys have given you some very good advice and referrals. Use them.
My name is Stephen R. Cohen and have practiced since 1974. I practice in Los Angeles and Orange County, CA. These answers do not create an attorney client relationship. My answers may offend I believe in telling the truth, I use common sense as well as the law. Other state's laws may differ.. There are a lot of really good attorneys on this site, I will do limited appearances which are preparation of court documents it is , less expensive. However generally I believe an attorney is better than none, but many will offer a free consultation and a face to face meeting generally will be better, I like my clients to write a short one page history of the fact and questions they have prior to meeting with them, so nothing is forgotten.