California  |  Landlord & Tenant Law

Legal Question

Asked on: 8/20/13, 6:23 pm

I lost my job a few months back and have yet to find a new one which left me unable to pay rent once my savings accoubt dried up. I didn't file my response to the unlawful detainer in time so my landlord went to get a writ of possession which I assume he was granted. I am in the wrong because I can't pay so I'm not fighting it, but I have nowhere else to go so I am trying to stay as long as i can. This morning I woke up to find that the building manager had used her keys to let herself into my apartment and was in my living room with the landlord on speakerphone to inform me he was sending the sheriff my way. I have received no other documentation since the unlawful detainer, no copy of the writ of possession or a notice to vacate or a notice informing me that they intended to enter my apartment, she simply let herself in. Is this legal?

1 Answer

Answered on: 8/21/13, 7:15 pm by Robert F. Cohen

As long as you are in possession, you are entitled to peaceful possession. The landlord is permitted to inspect upon reasonable notice, usually 24 hours, but not to use a key to enter without notice. The sheriff cannot evict you until there is a judgment for possession and a writ of possession is issued. Most courts have websites, although eviction cases are "masked" for 60 days for the tenants' protection. You can go to your local courthouse to see your file to determine what actually is going on, legally, so that you don't have to take the landlord's word for anything. Obviously, the landlord has proved to be not trustworthy by entering your apartment unannounced.

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