What Are the Steps for Tenants Suing Landlords?


Quick Answer

Suing a landlord involves amassing evidence to support the case, filing the case in the court, arguing the case and waiting for the judgment, according to SFGate. Be sure to file the case in an appropriate court that has jurisdiction over the case.

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Full Answer

Evidence backs up the claims that a tenant levels against the landlord, making the case strong, notes SFGate. Cancelled rent checks, a written lease agreement, witnesses and a photograph showing the condition of the premises may constitute the evidence. Filing the case involves obtaining the filing forms from the court and completing the forms, taking care to describe the complaint as needed. After completing the forms, the tenant pays the filing fee, which varies with the compensation amount that the tenant demands from the landlord.

Arguing the case involves first preparing, which may involve writing important points of the argument on paper, states SFGate. To avoid running short of time during the argument, the tenant should express his points in a concise manner. The tenant should support his argument with the evidence. A strong argument may include citing certain lease agreement clauses and verbal agreements. Remaining calm and sober throughout the argument despite inflammatory remarks from the defendant may portray the tenant's good character to the court.

Waiting for the judgment requires patience and may occur after a couple of weeks following the trial, explains SFGate. One way to know when the court plans to make the judgment is to inquire from the court clerk, taking care not to pester the court.

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