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I am an attorney with 30 years of experience; I hope to provide you information that will help you in resolving your question.
Let's try to address these issues one at a time:
1) The Lease:
This is a little good news bad news situation here. The landlord is not obligated to renew your lease. He is obligated to give you sufficient notice to move. Also he can not engage in self help to remove you. If you overstay the lease, the landlord must bring an eviction action against you to force you out. That process takes time. Also if you dispute the eviction that process takes additional time.
You do not need an attorney to fight an eviction, simply respond in writing to any summons and complaint that you receive and request a hearing and go to the hearing. It may be that you will lose the eviction, in which case you may be liable for the court costs. But it will gain you a significant amount of time to find a new home.
This article will give you detailed instructions on the process and step by step directions:
Here is a link to the law:
This is more complicated by far than the eviction process.
You can file a claim for the defamation. But the Court that handles evictions can not handle Defamation claims. You would have to bring a separate matter in Superior Court. This is a more complicated process, and you would likely require an attorney to manage it. However here is a link to the Court's self help materials:
To prove defamation you will need to plead and prove that the landlord is making false statements about you to other persons and show how those statements have damaged you.
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Please note: Information is educational and not given as legal advice. Only your local attorney can give legal advice. I can't establish or accept an attorney-client relationship with you. All posts are available for public viewing.