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Landlord - Tenant Disputes

The Attorney General's role in "Landlord-Tenant" disputes is limited. We are not authorized by law to provide legal advice or private legal services to individual citizens. We can, however, offer you general information which may help you to help yourself.

The California Department of Consumer Affairs offers a California Tenant Guide. The California Courts also provides information on landlord/tenant issues, including frequently asked questions, legal service programs in your county and help with the return of a security deposit.

There may be a local consumer protection agency in your city or county. Your local telephone book would include the telephone number and address of such an agency.

If your complaint relates to health or safety of tenants, contact your local health department or building department. The name, address and telephone number will also be found in your local telephone book under city or county government.

If you feel your grievance merits legal action, we suggest that you confer with a private attorney to discuss the merits of your case. If your dispute involves less than $10,000, you have the option of using the small claims court system. In small claims actions, individuals are responsible for explaining their positions to judges without being represented by an attorney. Individuals are also responsible for producing witnesses or documents which they feel are necessary to support their positions. For more information on this procedure, check with your small claims court, which is usually located in your county courthouse.

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View a checklist of significant California consumer laws

CA Dept of Consumer Affairs

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