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Does your lease deal with any of the issues you are experiencing here--such as whether the yard is considered common space and who has exclusive use or access to the garage and drive way?
Also, with regard to the Notice to Quit, was it a Notice to Perform Covenant or Quit or just a Notice to Quit? In other words, did your landlord say you had an opportunity to cure the breaches he is alledging? Why do you think he wants to evict you?
1. Lease does not state anything about the yard. However, during a hearing at the Santa Monica Rent Control, we provided evidence that the property was listed as: with a backyard. Also, landlord and I had correspondence about the back yard. Landlord states that now suddenly backyard is common, because they live in the front unit. I have not seen any legal documents about this. Are you familiair with Santa Monica law?
2. 3 day notice, to either break down the shed or leave the property. Landlord stated that he would break down the shed if we wouldn't. We prefer to not break it down, since we don't have any space. The landlord wants to evict us because they want to live in this unit. They first tried offering us money, then put 19.000 in escrow and evicted us. We were prepared and ready to go, and 3 weeks prior to took the money out and withdrew. Since then, they moved in the front unit and have been pestering us ever since (claimed the garage and drive way back, called police on my children (they thought they walk too loud), screaming at my door with my children around), and now they want to do the gardening in our backyard. Their garage allows access to the back yard, but their unit does not allow access. Only our unit, is surrounded with the backyard.
What do you advise?
As I mentioned before, you can't sue for harassment in in landlord/tenant dispute, but you can use harassment as a defense if you get sued OR you can file for an Order Against Civil Harassment, which is bascially CA's version of a non-domestic restraining order. You would just go down to your local county court house and fill out the forms for that.
There is nothing else you can really do at this point if the landlord is claiming you re-keyed the locks. If he is going to sue you for that, you will just have to defend yourself when the time comes.
Same with the yard. Take some pictures with a time stamp on them of the yard and the damages he is claiming so he cannot go wrecking the yard and saying you did it.
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