A Los Angeles constructive evictions lawyer can explain what constitutes an illegal eviction in detail.

What is an Illegal Eviction?

An illegal eviction is any attempt to evict a residential tenant for an improper purpose. Many jurisdictions, including Los Angeles, limit the grounds on which a residential landlord can evict you from your apartment or rental home.

In Los Angeles, the grounds that support a legitimate and lawful eviction are:

A. Tenant Is At-Fault:
1. You fail to pay rent (subject to Covid restrictions).
2. You violate a material term of your lease or rental agreement.
3. You or someone under your control (e.g., a guest or child) interferes with the comfort, safety, or enjoyment of other tenants or damages the property.
4. You use your apartment or rental home for an illegal purpose (e.g., selling drugs).
5. You refuse to renew your rental agreement or lease on like terms.
6. You refuse to allow your landlord access to your unit.
7. You move out and your landlord discovers that a stranger is paying rent.
8. You fail to cooperate with a valid Tenant Habitability Plan to make repairs to your unit.

B. Tenant Is Not At-Fault (Which Requires Payment of Relocation Assistance):
1. Your landlord legitimately wants to use your unit for a family member of a resident manager.
2. Your landlord wants to demolish your building or remove the building from the rental market.
3. The housing department, health department, or some other agency has ordered you to vacate.
4. Your landlord wants to convert the building for use as something other than an apartment building.
5. Your landlord wants to build affordable housing.
6. Your unit is owned by the federal government and the property is being sold.

Of course, all these situations require analysis and, depending on the circumstances, can be complicated. In the situations where you are not at fault, your landlord may be required to pay you relocation assistance. The amount of the assistance you receive is dependent on several factors including your age, whether you are on disability, and your income.

Illegal evictions also arise when uncaring and money-hungry landlords evict or threaten to evict you because of your race, sexual orientation, gender, immigration status or you are a member of another protected class.

What is a Constructive Eviction?

A constructive eviction arises when your landlord fails to make repairs to the point that your health and safety are at risk and you have no choice but to move out to protect your family and children.

In those situations, you can declare a constructive eviction, move out, and sue your landlord for your harm and losses. Constructive eviction damages can include any personal injuries you suffered because of your landlord’s negligence, your moving expenses, and, depending on the circumstances, any additional rent you may have to pay for a comparable apartment or rental home.

Do I Need an Illegal and Constructive Evictions Lawyer?

Is your landlord abusing you? Is your landlord taking steps to evict you for an improper purpose? Is your landlord failing to repair or eradicate cockroaches, bed bugs, or other vermin at your apartment or rental home?

If so, call us. We do not tolerate uncaring and abusive landlords and will always fight for you, your family, and your children.

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Frequently Asked Questions

When is an Eviction Illegal?

For your landlord to evict you, they must go to court to get an eviction order. Your landlord cannot prevent you from accessing your home without an eviction order. If your landlord evicts you without an order, that is against the law. Illegal eviction penalties can be held against your landlord with the help of an illegal eviction lawyer.

What if My Landlord Shut Off My Water, Changed My Locks, or Turned Off My Electricity?

If your landlord does any of these, they may have violated the law. You might be able to sue your landlord if they try to keep you out of your home by force or threats.

Can My Landlord Evict Me if I Have Kids?

Yes. Having children or dependents is not a factor in the eviction process. However, you cannot be evicted just because you have kids. If your landlord is evicting you because of your children, you may have a valid case.


If you believe you have been illegally evicted in violation of a local rent control ordinance, contact Riley | Ersoff LLP today to schedule a free consultation. Our experienced eviction lawyers in Los Angeles have a history of successfully litigating and taking illegal eviction cases to trial.

Call or contact us online today to schedule your free consultation.