If the landlord, manager or agent thinks the notice is not defective and tries to evict you using a court unlawful-detainer complaint process, then you must prove to the judge that the notice is defective. If the landlord, manager or agent violated Civil Code §827 or §1946, then he/she may be responsible for actual damages suffered by the tenant. The party who wins may also be entitled to recover attorney fees, if either party requests them at the beginning of the lawsuit and there is a written agreement providing for attorney fees.
OPTIONS FOR DEALING WITH A DEFECTIVE NOTICE
– You may contest the defective notice (30 day notice, rent increase, etc.) by using the sample letter enclosed. However, if your letter is unsuccessful, your landlord, manager, agent most likely will file an Unlawful Detainer action and you will have to contest the action in court. Therefore, use caution when using this option because even the best case has the possibility of being lost in court. With an unsuccessful Unlawful Detainer defense, the tenant has five (5) days to vacate after judgment. In addition attorney fees may be added to the judgment.
– You may bring up the issue of a defective notice to negotiate a more favorable timeline to move out.
– Another option is to comply with the defective notice (moving out, paying the rent increase, etc.) under “written protest” and suing later for your damages. Written protest is the act of writing to the landlord to let him/her know that you don’t agree with the action.