Unlawful Detainer

Get Out of Victim Mode

The Unlawful Detainer Eviction Guide

Chances are, you’re panicked at the moment because the landlord has started the eviction process. You feel like a victim, like this guy. If you feel intimidated or threatened by the process, you’re normal. You don’t know what to expect, and the landlord acts like he’s holding all the cards. You’ve heard rumors about how it goes. It’s like walking in the dark, and things are hitting you in the head. You are in victim mode.

Snap out of it! You can’t win if you’re paralyzed by fear. Knowledge is power. Learn what to do. We’re turning on the floodlights, giving you a map, and guiding you along a safe path to where you want to be. You are about to take control, making things happen the way you want them to happen. By taking the right legal steps, in time, you will completely turn the tables on the landlord.

Your landlord is blinded by arrogance, as is his/her lawyer. Many of them are just grownup spoiled brats. They are so accustomed to bullying tenants who don’t know their rights, or have incompetent legal help, that they are sloppy, make foolish decisions, and fall right into our traps. I’ve been doing this for 40 years. I know. They never learn. It’s amazing.

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Their hallmark is the boogeyman approach: they’re “coming to get you.” It’s the old Wizard of Oz trick, but we are pulling back the curtain. Bullies are cowards. That’s why they’re bullies. They think like reptiles: predator or prey. You are now the predator, and they are your prey. Smug as they are now, by the time of trial, they’ll be shivering in their boots. Really.

The legal process is a game, despite all of its pompous and pious formality. You can’t just talk about anything, or bring in issues that are outside of the narrow scope of the lawsuit. There are tricks and pitfalls, skill and luck, cunning and foolishness, conditions and deadlines. There is a winner and a loser. Really, how is that not a game? What you are going to do is beat the landlord at their own game. You do it by converting it to your game, step by step.

Knowing that you will ultimately win makes the legal game all the more enjoyable. You may have a sense of unfairness about what is happening, but you don’t realize that the law actually backs you up. You may not even know or suspect defenses that you have, but you will, and then you can feel so much more confident in your position. Landlord tenant law is full of technicalities, so if the landlord or his lawyer slips up, they suffer the adverse consequences, including losing at trial and then being sued.

Read on to learn what to do next.