A further blow to California landlords: Tenants may litigate warranty of habitability and retaliation defenses in an Unlawful Detainer case, even if they did not check these boxes on their Answer. So long as a tenant identifies a breach of the warranty of habitability or of retaliation somewhere in their answer and discusses this at the unlawful detainer trial, the court will allow a tenant to litigate these issues. This is true even if a landlord is evicting a tenant under a valid 30 day or 60 day notice to terminate tenancy.
This ruling further erodes the landlords ability to evict tenants in California.
The full opinion of the court is below.
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