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 "The purpose of the law is
to prevent the rich from always getting their way."
 - James Madison,, 1787

What our clients say about
California Tenant Law: AVVO

Welcome to
California Tenant Law
The Renters' Rights On-Line Legal Help Clinic

Legal advice by attorney Ken Carlson, celebrating his 36th year
in landlord-tenant law, protecting California renters' rights. 

Free Information

Read free clear explanations of your rights, including:

unlawful detainer (eviction)

security deposits 

landlord intrusions 

repairs needed 

property for sale

rent control 

commercial tenancies 

mobilehome disputes 

breaking a lease

late fees 

temporary leave

general tenant rights

Toxic Mold
               and more!

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Paid Legal Services

You have 4 choices to get information from Ken Carlson, depending on your needs.

1. Hotline
The Hotline lets you talk to Ken right now [during business hours, assuming he's not on another call already].  Use this for quick questions and emergencies only. You pay by card in advance, like a payphone. The rate is $5/min.

2.  Buy a  Legal Kit
Buy an inexpensive Legal Kit,  for evictions, security deposits, and trial preparation for $20-$120. You immediately download the kit like an e-book.

3. Consult Ken Carlson
This is a scheduled consultation with Ken Carlson. You pay $100 for 1/2 hour in advance, download and submit some initial forms and paperwork, and get the next available time.

4. Legal Services "Shopping Cart"
If you need more than the initial consultation, here is the full range of services. Advice, writing legal paperwork, coaching, and even contacting the courts and lawyers when you need it.  For each service, you pay in advance, saving hundreds and thousands of dollars for the same services to the usual law office.

Click your Choice and get started.

Directory of Other Tenant Lawyers
  If you want a lawyer to be in court with you, don't have the time or confidence to represent yourself, or just want to shop around for local lawyer to handle everything, here is the short list of recommended California tenant lawyers [rates vary]. They are NOT FREE.

 A directory for the Legal Aid type clinics is also provided here,  if you can't  afford a lawyer.

What Are Your Rights?

     Landlords often bully and lie to you to prevent you from knowing or using your rights. Rumors of rights abound, making you unsure of what to do.  Some laws are unclear, or apply in one city but not another. Many lawyers don't know what to do, so they tell you to just give up. That's no answer.
What can you do?
    a. Find out how things are supposed to be, so that you can
    b. Identify where the real problems are, and then
    c. Take effective action to correct them.

    The purpose of this website is to clear the air, take away those clouds of trouble and doubt, and help you achieve what you want.  The law is not a place to guess. You need to know.  It is also not a place to "wait and see."  Taking the right steps as early as possible is critical to your goals. If you wait and see, the "light at the end of the tunnel" could be the headlight of an oncoming train.

   This website provides free information for you to review, as well as paid legal services and links. You are encouraged to review the free information before you have a consultation, so that you understand the background of the issues you face and can better focus what you need to know.

your Landlord 

 A humorous review   

(in case you thought it was YOU  who was crazy)


Who is Ken Carlson?  

More about the lawyer 
who brings you this website

Your AVVO comments are appreciated.

Self-Help Center

Check out the Judge
Who's hearing your case? It makes all the difference.  See what others have to say.

Find the Statutes If you know the Code and Number of the law, look it up here, or search by keywords. 

Just the Forms These are the official "Judicial Council" forms, used statewide. Your local courthouse may require additional forms that only they provide, which may be on their website.

Find your  Landlord 
Want to complain about the manager, sue the landlord, or just talk things over?  Landlords are findable.

Get Useful Forms
  Habitability checklist, Repair and Deduct assessments, Termination Letters, and more.

Register to Vote
Landlords are only 2% of the entire population. Tenants are a 66% majority. Why are the laws so one-sided in favor of  landlords?  It's no mystery: only about 5% of tenants vote.  Why should a politician protect tenants when he can get huge campaign contributions from the landlords if he helps landlords, instead?

Change that.  When politicians see the voter registration numbers change, so will the laws.  If you were registered at your old address, you need to re-register at your current one. Don't be part of the problem; be part of the solution. Register to vote, on line, right now.  It only takes a minute to complete. Do it for your own sake. And vote!

Take Action

    Tenants can no longer trust that the legal system will be fair to them. Corruption in the courts is rampant and getting worse every year. Really!
    Laws strongly favor the landlord, ignoring tenants' rights. It's not just you who are suffering here, it's every tenant. Tenants working together can bring the landlord to his knees, and turn politics around. If you don't, it will always be the schoolyard bully picking on the little kids. Do you want that?  Then stop it.
   Learn what YOU can do. You'd be surprised.


This website is presented by Carlson Law Office, PO Box 2417, Idyllwild, CA 92549 

All materials on this site except the graphics are copyrighted by Kenneth H. Carlson, 1999-2016 all rights reserved. You may print pages for your own use.

Last updated 2/14/16