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What are my rights as a tenant?

If you currently rent a home in Santa Cruz, you’re no doubt concerned about your rights being respected. This is especially true when it comes to eviction, which not only requires you to change homes but can also impact your finances and ability to secure a rental in the future. Zillow.com breaks down your rights as a tenant when it comes to eviction, including instances when it’s not permitted.  

When Eviction Is Permitted

Eviction is almost always based on disobeying the terms of the lease. Reasons can include keeping a pet in the home when not permitted, criminal activity, smoking, having more people living in the home than allowed, damage to the home itself, subletting, or threatening other people who live in the home. When signing a lease make sure you understand the terms clearly to avoid breaking them inadvertently.

When It’s Not

There are also times when your landlord is not permitted to evict you. Once again, the key is the lease. As long as you’re abiding by the terms the landlord will have little recourse to make you leave. A landlord is also not permitted to evict you due to things like race, nation of origin, disability, or the fact that you have children (all of which are considered discrimination). If you’re disabled, your landlord should take steps to accommodate your disability.

How You Can Respond

Of course, it’s in your best interest to prevent the eviction from occurring should your landlord provide notice. How to respond typically depends on the reason for the eviction; for instance, if you damaged some part of the home it’s up to you to cover repairs. If you’re being evicted due to unpaid rent, providing back payments should be enough to allow you to remain. If your landlord fails to follow the laws (i.e. doesn’t provide written notice, doesn’t provide 30 to 60 days for you to vacated) you can appeal. If you appeal, securing legal assistance is recommended.

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