Your landlord cannot legally evict you without following specific steps, such as first giving you a notice to fix the problem. To understand the legal process for eviction in the City of Los Angeles, click here. To understand the legal process for eviction in incorporated Los Angeles County, click here.

If you do receive an eviction notice (called an Unlawful Detainer—Summons and Complaint), you have five (5) business days to file your Answer with the court. Day 1 starts the day after you are served the eviction notice. Do not count weekends and court holidays.

You should aways file your Answer with the court. If you do not, your landlord may automatically win the eviction lawsuit against you without a trial. Answering buys you some time and a court date!

To file your Answer, you can either:

  1. Go in-person to one of the court houses listed here. Staff in the Self-Help Center can give you the Answer paperwork and tell you how to file it. They may also help you complete it.
  2. Complete your Answer paperwork online here. When you are done, the website will also file your Answer with the court if you are low income and qualify for a court “fee waiver.” Note that the people who made this website are not part of SAJE, and we cannot guarantee that this answer tool will work or make any claims as to the quality of services.

Here are some additional resources to help you fight an eviction:

  • SAJE hosts a Tenant Action Clinic on the first and third Tuesdays of each month. Our staff is available from 4:00 p.m. until 6:00 p.m. to answer your questions and help you understand your rights. You can either come in person or call (213) 745-9961. SAJE is located in South Central Los Angeles at 152 W. 32nd Street. You DO NOT need an appointment.
  • Stay Housed LA provides Los Angeles County residents with information and resources to fight eviction and keep people in their homes.
  • The Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles holds an Eviction Trial Workshop every Thursday afternoon. To sign up, click here or call (888) 694-0040.
  • The Eviction Defense Network holds an Eviction Trial Workshop every Saturday morning at 9:00 a.m. and Monday and Wednesday evenings at 6:00 p.m. Visit this link to join by Zoom. If you cannot access Zoom, call (214) 485-8112 on Saturday at 9:00 a.m. to join by phone.


Your landlord cannot evict you without a qualified reason, also known as a “just-cause” reason for eviction. Just-cause reasons include:

  • Failure to pay rent. In the City of Los Angeles you cannot be evicted for owing less than one month of Fair Market Rent (FMR) for your unit. To check what FMR is in your area, click here. Remember: never pay rent in cash. Buy a money order, or pay with a check or online. Receipts and electronic records are your only proof in court.
  • Failure to fix or address a violation of your rental agreement
  • Causing damage to your rental unit
  • Using your rental unit for an illegal purpose (such as manufacturing or selling drugs)
  • Failure to renew a substantially similar rental agreement when the term of your lease is up
  • Failure to provide the landlord reasonable access to your rental unit. Remember: landlords and property managers must provide you with written 24-hour notice prior to entering your unit.
  • The person at the end of the lease term is a subtenant not approved by the landlord

Your landlord may also be able to file an eviction for the following “no-fault” reasons:

  • The landlord or their immediate family members (spouse, children, parents, grandchildren, or grandparents) will move into the rental unit
  • An on-site manager will move into the rental unit
  • The rental unit is being demolished and permanently removed from the housing market
  • There is a government order to vacate the rental unit because of dangerous conditions 
  • HUD is the owner of the building and wants to sell it 
  • The rental unit is being converted to affordable housing

If you are being evicted for a no-fault reason, you may be eligible for relocation assistance. For more information, click here.