My landlord changed the locks to the hous I was living in because the house was going through foreclosure / short sale. She indimidated me and gave false information even though I received letters from the bank station she had to give 60-90 notice . I called the police as soon as I found out and the new buyers were moving in before the close of sale and threw my belongings out and kept some of my furniture. Is what she did legal? It has been a year and a half since this happened is this too late to sue her??
I didn't have the money to pursue legal action at the time and was so distraught and being fed false information by her, her brother in law, the real estate agent and the buyer. I have a feeling that the buyer was not 'at arms length' and was somehow acting with the land lord to save her home from foreclosure and make sure the short sale went through. They told me it would not go through if I was still in the house. But they never filed for eviction or even gave me notice to get my stuff. They tried to claim they though it was " abandoned" but that is a lie they tried to use.
And the other reason she may have wanted me out is because I had notified her that there was a leak in the roof when it rains. But she and the real estate agent did not disclose this with the bank or the buyers.
She also took my mail and returned it to the post office even while I still lived there and had the new tenants mail sent there before the close of sale
2 Answers from Attorneys
It looks as though your former landlady did several things that are impermissible under California landlord-tenant law, including changing locks to carry out an improper eviction, mishandling of tenant property, failure to give proper notice, and so on. It is probably not too late to sue. The questions that might be aske here are "For how much, and is it worth it?" and "What defenses does she have?" I suggest since you cannot afford a lawyer that you go to a bookstore, in person or on line, and find one or more of the relatively common paperback self-help law books on (1) handling your lawsuit in California small-claims courts, and (2) tenant's rights. Make sure any books you buy are written for California, as our laws differ from other states'.
There are attorneys who take cases like that on a contingency basis.