My Tenant Filed an Answer in an Unlawful Detainer Case. Help!


David PiotrowskiIf a tenant decides to fight your eviction case for whatever reason, the most common tactic is for the tenant to file an “Answer.” The tenant may answer, demur, file a motion to strike, and move to quash at the same time without making a general appearance. If the tenant files an Answer, you should hire an attorney.

If the tenant was served personally with the summons and complaint, the tenant has only 5 days to file the Answer. A longer time period applies if the tenant was not served personally. Additionally, a tenant has 5 days to file an Answer after their demurrer, motion to quash, or motion to strike is lost.

The tenant’s Answer must be verified. The same holds true for Complaints (the landlord must verify the complaint). A “general denial” in an Answer is not appropriate unless the complaint demands $1,000 or less.

If your tenant filed an Answer in an unlawful detainer eviction case, you should get help from an experienced attorney. A small mistake can cost the landlord time and money.

Read Attorney Piotrowski’s “Landlord Best Practices and Eviction Overview” book.

The Law Office of David Piotrowski represents landlords throughout southern California and can assist with a tenant eviction.

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