31 March 2007
Just when you thought the waters were safe, a bill that is sponsored by an apartment association is proposing to substantially change the law making it easier for tenants’ to answer unlawful detainer actions.
AB 481 (Tran) would allow every tenant who files an answer to an unlawful detainer action alleging non-payment of rent of less than $2500.00; the tenant would be required to file a general written denial, in lieu of a demurrer or other formal answer. Today, tenants are only permitted to file a general denial where the dispute of the amount owed is $1000 or less. Thus, if the bill becomes law, most every tenant would be able to file a general denial to unlawful detainer cases where the case claims the tenant did not pay rent. Many landlords observe that this change in law will substantially complicate and drive up the cost of most every unlawful detainer case.