Situations When a Landlord Cannot File for Eviction

 Situations When a Landlord Cannot File for Eviction


When a person wants to rent a property, he has to make an agreement with the landlord about the terms and conditions for using the property. Eviction is a system that is used when the tenant has broken terms or conditions of the lease agreement. If the landlord wants to evict a tenant for personal reasons, he cannot because he has to prove a legal reason behind the eviction. If the reasons are valid, but the tenant refuses to obey the eviction notice, then according to the Unlawful Detainer California rules, the landlord can file a case in court. But there are a few situations when a landlord cannot file for eviction against the tenant.

Retaliatory Eviction

A conflict between a landlord and a tenant is not uncommon, but this conflict is not always grounds for an eviction. If you have a grudge with the tenant because he made you angry by reporting you to the housing authority, then you cannot evict the tenant to get back at them. If the tenant goes to the court, then you have to prove the reason for eviction. An action of the tenant that you do not approve of is not a valid reason to evict. An eviction that is based on the retaliation of the tenant is called retaliatory eviction. According to the landlord-tenant law, retaliatory eviction is illegal.

Discriminatory Eviction

It is a human right to be free from discrimination, no matter what race, color, gender, religion, origin, familial status, or disabilities the person has. An eviction that is based on the discrimination of the tenant is called discriminatory eviction. A landlord cannot evict a tenant just because they do not like the color of the tenant’s skin, where they came from, or their religion. For example, if you are white, and an  African-American tenant rents in your apartment, but you do not like black people, then you cannot evict that tenant. This is discrimination based on the tenant’s skin color, so the eviction is discriminatory eviction, and it is illegal. Usually, the Federal Fair Housing Act protects seven classes of people. These classes are:

  1. Race
  2. Color of the skin
  3. Gender
  4. National origin
  5. Religion
  6. Familial status
  7. Disability

Protected Tenant

Depending on the state laws, there could be certain tenants that are protected by the law. In some of the states, if a tenant lives at a property for a specific period of time, then he could be classified as a protected tenant. In most cases, this period is about ten years. There are also some states that classify a tenant protected when the tenant is over a certain age. This age limit could be around 60 to 70. Even if the reason for eviction is valid, it will be problematic to file the eviction against the protected tenant.

Safety or Health Issue

If a tenant is withholding the rent until a safety or health issue is fixed, then you as the landlord, cannot file for eviction. Under normal circumstances, you can file for an eviction if the tenant is not paying the rent, but in this case, the tenant has some more rights. According to the law, a landlord is completely responsible to make sure the tenant has access to utilities. If you do not pay the gas or electric bill for the rental apartment, then for their use, they have to pay it themselves. So when the time comes to pay the rent, they will deduct the part that they paid for the utility bills. Since your nonpayment of utility bills threatened their safety and living standards, then they can withhold the rent. In these cases, you cannot sue for the remaining rent or file for eviction to get back at them because they did not pay for the full rent.

Laura Daniel