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Suing landlady for unreturned rent - need advice

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#1
I was told I had to leave a room I was renting in early December of last year for having an overnight guest without my landlady's permission and need to take her to small claims court to try to recover the money she owes me for the remainder of December's rent and final month's rent ($1500 total). I really just need to know what "grounds" I have for suing her, what legal term I need to use when filing the forms for small claims court as well as what my chances are of recovering anything. The room rental was month-to-month and there was no written lease agreement. I was also given verbal permission to have overnight guests over occasionally when I first moved in. I was not evicted but rather was told I had to leave at noon the day after she discovered I had an overnight guest. I did not know at the time that legally I didn't have to leave.

Thanks in advance for any advice/information.
 


Zigner

Senior Member, Non-Attorney
#2
What US state?

In any US state, you don't need the "legal term" for a small claims suit. You simply need to state that the LL owes you unreturned money from your security deposit and lay out why. Have you even waited long enough?
 
#3
What US state?

In any US state, you don't need the "legal term" for a small claims suit. You simply need to state that the LL owes you unreturned money from your security deposit and lay out why. Have you even waited long enough?
Thanks for your response. I'm in California. Do I need to wait a certain amount of time before I can sue her? It's been less than a month.
 

Zigner

Senior Member, Non-Attorney
#4
Thanks for your response. I'm in California. Do I need to wait a certain amount of time before I can sue her? It's been less than a month.
You will need to ask her for the money before you can sue. This doesn't have to be in writing, but it helps. She has 21 days from the date you left to send you an itemized statement along with any remaining money due. In my opinion, this is a mutual agreement to terminate the rental relationship, so she owes you the prorated rent from the time you moved out in December as well as any security deposit that is not used to pay for damages, etc.
 
#5
You will need to ask her for the money before you can sue. This doesn't have to be in writing, but it helps. She has 21 days from the date you left to send you an itemized statement along with any remaining money due. In my opinion, this is a mutual agreement to terminate the rental relationship, so she owes you the prorated rent from the time you moved out in December as well as any security deposit that is not used to pay for damages, etc.
Thanks a lot for your reply. Much appreciated.
 
#8
That's just part of the equation in this situation. The OP also needs to be aware of the applicable landlord/tenant rules/laws.
I just tried to help the OP with his actual question "I really just need to know what "grounds" I have for suing her, what legal term I need to use when filing the forms for small claims court "
 
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