If you are a tenant in a rental property and are either experiencing or living in fear of domestic violence, there are laws in place to protect you. In this article, victims right lawyers address what these are.
Your victims rights attorney will have access to the laws currently in place in California under Cal. Civ. Code §§ 1941.5, 1941.6, 1946.7; Cal. Code Civ. Proc. §§ 1161,1161.3. These are:
• Restrictions on rental clauses. Landlords may not require abused tenants to pay for calls to emergency services, nor can they terminate a tenant’s lease for doing so. The landlord does reserve the right to terminate a lease for nonpayment of rent, however.
• Ending a lease early. If the victim of a domestic violence situation provides sufficient notice to the landlord, he or she may be let out of the lease. A protective or restraining order against the abuser will usually be needed in order to establish that a domestic violence situation does exist.
• Eviction protection and anti-discrimination laws. A landlord is not permitted to discriminate against domestic violence victims in that they cannot end a lease or reject a tenant on those grounds. The existence of domestic violence can serve to defend the victim if the landlord initiates an eviction suit.
• Section 8 cases. A domestic violence victim in Section 8 housing who has observed all the applicable provisions of such housing may be able to leave early, especially if it is to escape the violence or there is genuine reason to fear additional harm. (Violence Against Women and Department of Justice Reauthorization Act of 2005, 42 U.S. Code § 1437f(5).)
• Changing locks. A victim of domestic violence is within his or her rights to have the locks changed on the leased property.
• Eviction of the abuser. While the landlord may not evict the victim except under certain circumstances, the abuser may be evicted through bifurcation of the lease.
The National Domestic Violence Hotline can be accessed online or by calling 800-799-SAFE. WomensLaw.org is also available to you. These resources can direct you to where you can find assistance and can point you towards the state laws that apply in your situation.
You will need someone to fight for you. Contact the victims right lawyers at the Law Office of Michael Fell today at (877) 262-2430. Don’t suffer alone. Call now, and let us help you.