Tenant's (renters) rand occupant's rights are powerful but may be easily lost by improper action. Merely because a law is on the books, does not mean that a tenant gets the automatic benefit of that law without any effort or action taken. Rights unprotected may be easily lost. Many tenants/occupants are shocked to learn that they have lost valuable rights.
To put things in perspective, there are many jobs available to people who are qualified to get them, but they must actually find and obtain those jobs. These opportunities exist but they are not automatic. We have the right to be successful and prosperous, but we must act to realize that right. You could own land that has a fortune in gold buried in it, but if you do not dig that hole, you will never see the riches waiting below. Many people do not act to get their rights and, as a consequence, never get the benefits of them.
The right to live in a safe dwelling, to be free from unlawful eviction, harassment, discrimination, retaliation etc., is on the books and is therefore available to you but, action must be taken to protect and benefit from those rights. Without appropriate and timely action, those rights are often easily and forever lost.
PROTECT YOUR RENTERS RIGHTS!!
How do tenants find ways to get protection? Research, information, education and obtaining specific legal advice and assistance. There are many information resources and research sites on the Internet providing a wealth of free information. (e.g. Useful links). Government agencies publish helpful materials for the public use at little or no cost. Some self help books provide valuable insight but we do not recommend using a book to handle legal matters.
Military Service Members have special protections afforded by the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act which includes protections regarding Leases and Evictions
EVICTION is a serious matter. When faced with eviction, PROTECT YOUR RIGHTS and if served with Eviction court papers, you must DEFEND THAT CASE
USE ONLY THE OFFICIAL LEGAL AID OFFICE IN YOUR AREA
Tenants who qualify for free assistance may call LEGAL AID. If their case is accepted, they should receive competent legal representation at little or no cost. HOWEVER, TENANTS BEWARE that there are people who list themselves in the phone book as "Legal Aid" when they are not affiliated at all with the non-profit public Legal Aid Society office you are looking for. They are not attorneys and they charge high prices (which they want you to blindly deposit in their bank) for untrained unlicensed persons to fill out important forms via facsimile without regard to protecting your rights. They do not even meet with you to review anything about your case If you qualify, be sure to only seek help from the appropriate official non-profit public Legal Aid office.
It is a violation of California Law (Business and Profession Code 6159.52) to advertise in a deceptive manner using the term "Legal Aid"
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California law for San Diego is applied in these pages. Such laws may or may not be applicable in other jurisdictions. The information provided herein is of a general nature and is not intended to be taken as specific legal advice. For legal advice in a particular situation, promptly consult with an appropriate attorney.