You have the right to reasonably restrict entry into your rental property under the Civil Code
. However, the landlord has the right to terminate your tenancy with 60-day written notice, unless your complaint to the landlord or to the government concerns the "tenantability" of the rental property. Civil Code 1942.5(a), and
the landlord states the grounds for the notice of the termination of tenancy in the notice itself -- and then proves those grounds at trial. Section 1942.5(e). Otherwise, the landlord must be denied the right to recover possession
, and the tenant is entitled to damages of up to $2,000.
The law protects the tenant from termination for 180 days, if the issue of tenantability is behind the retaliatory termination notice. Where this is not proved, however, there is no express time during which the tenant is protected. It would be up to the court to set a time period as injunctive relief to the tenant.
What all of this boils down to is a little war. You cannot seek injunctive relief in small claims
court. Nor can you seek the $2,000 punitive damages
in small claims. You would have to remain in the property until after the 60 days has run out, and then defend the unlawful detainer
on grounds that the landlord has violated Civil Code 1942.5. This is, obviously, a risky maneuver, because if you lose, then you have to move before the sheriff moves you -- and you would have a judgment of possession against you, which would make it difficult to rent elsewhere in the future.
I can't really tell you what to do in this circumstance. If it were me, I would have already made arrangements to move, because I don't like dealing with a difficult landlord (at the moment, I'm my own landlord, so if I cause any trouble, I get really mad at myself
The only other possibility would be to sue the landlord in regular civil court (or, arbitrate if you have an arbitration
clause in the lease
) -- which would preempt any unlawful detainer, so you would know where you stand, before the 60 days runs out. And, you could probably get a preliminary injunction from the court to prevent the landlord from trying to engage in an unlawful detainer action while the main civil action
That could keep you in the property for a long time, since civil cases can take up to a year or more to resolve. By then, there may be a new owner, who wouldn't care, the original landlord would have settled the case, and you would remain a tenant.
In sum, this is now a very complicated legal matter, and you are not going to get anywhere without a lawyer. If you can afford one, then for a referral, see this link.
And, if you can't, then see this link.
But, whatever you do, don't try to do this without a lawyer. Either vacate within 60 days, or have a lawyer and get ready to either sue first or defend in an unlawful detainer action, because your decisions will be necessary by no later than Sept. 30, 2013.
Hope this helps.