ESCALATION OF UNLAWFUL DETAINERS (UDS)
What is an Unlawful Detainer? An unlawful detainer means that the landlord has started a legal process in court. Through this process the landlord asks the judge to order the tenant to move out.
RESPOND TO Unlawful Detainers (UDS) WITHIN 5 DAYS
Causa Justa has a counseling hotline in San Francisco that assists tenants in defending their housing rights, such as seeking repairs or responding to evictions. In recent months, we have seen an increase in evictions without the tenant being able to effectively respond to them. There has been some confusion since COVID eviction protections have been in place, where renters think they do not need to respond when they receive an unlawful detainer. This is NOT the case. As tenants, when we receive an unlawful detainer we must respond WITHIN the first 5 days, though it is best to respond as early as possible.
WHAT TO DO WHEN FACING AN EVICTION
If your landlord tells you they are evicting you by text message, email, phone call, or verbally in person, THIS IS NOT A LEGAL EVICTION and you do NOT need to leave your home.
If you receive papers that say “3-day Notice to Pay / Cure or Quit” or a “30/60/90/120 Day Notice,” you do NOT need to leave your home within 3 days. However, you DO only have 3 days to respond in writing to address the issue with your landlord.
WHAT TO DO WHEN FACING AN UNLAWFUL DETAINER
If you receive papers that say SUMMONS or COMPLAINT – UNLAWFUL DETAINER, you MUST file paperwork (an “ANSWER”) in court within 5 DAYS (excluding Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays) to prevent your eviction.
STEPS IN THIS PROCESS INCLUDE:
- Filing an ANSWER with the court on time. If you do not do this, your landlord may be able to evict you just because you did not respond.
- Having someone deliver a copy of the ANSWER to your landlord (“Proof of Service”)
- Filling out a Fee Waiver-001 form.
- If you can get legal help within 5 days to respond to a SUMMONS or COMPLAINT-UNLAWFUL DETAINER, that is best. If not, //tenantpowertoolkit.org/ explains how to respond (in English & Spanish).
Other resources to help you respond to SUMMONS or COMPLAINTUNLAWFUL DETAINER paperwork: //www.ac-housingsecure.org/ evictions y//selfhelp.courts.ca.gov/ eviction-tenant/respond
REMEMBER: You have rights as a tenant, and you are not alone! There are many resources available to help you stay in your home.
TO GET HELP IN SAN FRANCISCO:
Causa Justa::Just Cause tenant hotline: 415-487-9203 (inglés y español)
San Francisco Tenants Union: //sftu.org/drop-in-clinic/, ayuda en español: 415-606-3160
Housing Rights Committee of San Francisco: //hrcsf.org/hourslocations/, (415) 703-8634
Eviction Defense Collaborative: (415) 659-9184, firstname.lastname@example.org
TO GET HELP IN OAKLAND:
Oakland Tenants Union: (510) 704-5276, email@example.com
Centro Legal de La Raza: 510-437-1554, firstname.lastname@example.org
East Bay Community Law Center: (510) 548-4040 ext. 201
The landlord or master tenant is responsible for maintaining a habitable and safe unit for their tenants, including running water and heat. We recommend documenting any request for repairs in writing, as well as taking photos of needed repairs.
For San Francisco
If you are in a legal unit, we recommend that you call the Department of Building Inspections (DBI) (628) 652-3200
If you live in an illegal unit, we advise you do not call DBI and instead, call the Department of Public Health to report the issue (415) 554-2500
For repairs in legal units, call:
Building Inspection Department (628) 652-3200
Oakland Vector/Pest Control (510) 567-6800
Oakland Public Health Dept (510) 267-8000 1000
For repairs in illegal units, file a petition with the Oakland Rent Board (510) 238-3721