California Eviction Attorney
Getting Help from a third party
Many resources are available to help tenants and landlords resolve problems. Check which of the following agencies are available in your area, and call or write them for information or assistance:
- Local consumer protection agency. See the City and County Government listings in the white pages of the phone book or on the internet.
- Local housing agency. See the City and County Government listings in the white pages of the phone book.
- Local district attorney's office. See the County Government listings in the white pages of the phone book.
- City or county rent control board. See the City and County Government listings in the white pages of the phone book.
- Local tenant association, or rental housing or apartment association. Check the white (business) and yellow pages in the phone book.
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Many county bar associations offer lawyer referral services
"Unlawful detainer assistants" are non-lawyers who are in business to provide advice and assistance to landlords and tenants on unlawful detainer issues. Unlawful detainer assistants (UDAs) must be registered with the County Clerk's office in the counties where they have their principal place of business and where they do business. A tenant who signs a contract with a UDA can cancel the contract within 24 hours after signing it.
"Legal document assistants" (LDAs) are non-lawyers who type and file legal documents as directed by people who are representing themselves in legal matters. Similar registration and contract cancellation requirements apply to legal document assistants.
The fact that a UDA or LDA is properly registered with the County Clerk does not guarantee that the UDA or LDA has the knowledge or ability to help you.
Volunteer attorneys for low-income groups / Legal Aid
Legal aid organizations may provide eviction defense service to low-income tenants. Some law schools offer free advice and assistance through landlord-tenant clinics.
Tenants should be cautious about using so-called eviction defense clinics or bankruptcy clinics. While some of these clinics may be legitimate and provide good service, others are not legitimate. Some of these clinics may use high-pressure sales tactics, make false promises, obtain your signature on blank forms, take your money, and then do nothing.
These clinics may promise to get a federal stay of an eviction action. This usually means that the clinic intends to file a bankruptcy petition for the tenant. While this may stop the eviction temporarily, it can have an extremely bad effect on the tenant's future ability to rent property or to obtain credit, since the bankruptcy will be part of the tenant's credit record for as long as 10 years.