Hello and welcome to JustAnswer. Please note: This is general information for educational purposes only and is not legal advice. No specific course of action is proposed herein, and no attorney-client relationship or privilege is formed by speaking to an expert on this site. By continuing, you confirm that you understand and agree to these terms. I am sorry to hear about this situation. If you feel that this is true, then technically you can pursue him for fraud. The necessary elements of fraud are: (1) misrepresentation (false representation
, concealment, or nondisclosure); (2) knowledge of falsity (scienter); (3) intent to defraud (i.e., to induce reliance); (4) justifiable reliance; and (5) resulting damage. (Seeger v. Odell (1941) 18 Cal.2d 409, 414 [115 P.2d 977, 136 A.L.R. 1291]). However, there is the "catch." Lawsuits are meant for actual and punitive damages
. If you get a judgment for the actual damages he owes you as part of the eviction, then there is really no reason to pursue him for fraud (small claims
court does not award punitive damages, anyhow). However if you do not get a judgment for the amount he owes as part of an eviction, you can pursue him for a separate case of breach of contract. If so, you can add fraud to it as a secondary action (same suit). But in the end, the Court will likely award only what the contract breach was - I doubt that the fraud action itself will bring any additional benefit. I hope this helps and clarifies. Please use the SEND or REPLY button to keep chatting, or please RATE when finished. You may always ask follow ups at no charge after rating. Kindly rate my answer as one of TOP THREE FACES/STARS and then SUBMIT, as this is how experts get credit for our time. Rating my answer the bottom two faces/stars (or failing to submit the rating) does not give me credit and reflects poorly on me, even if my answer is correct. I work very hard to formulate an informative and honest answer for you; please reciprocate my good faith with a positive rating.