Tenant Defense Project
We know how to end homelessness: make sure people don’t lose their homes in the first place. Every day, 207 people in Los Angeles County move out of homelessness. But, every day, 227 others take their place. That is why the number of people experiencing homelessness continues to climb despite substantial investments in additional services.
At Inner City Law Center, we routinely see low-income tenants illegally evicted for daring to complain about slum conditions. We see families losing their homes because of a single late rent payment. We see long-time tenants—even seniors—forced out when a new building owner wants to raise rents to maximize profits. Without legal representation, most of these tenants end up evicted and many of them end up on our streets.
Inner City Law Center’s Tenant Defense Project fights to preserve safe and decent housing by standing up for low-income tenants threatened or in imminent danger of homelessness due to eviction.
Have you been served an eviction notice or unlawful detainer from your landlord?
Are you at risk of losing your home and need legal help?
Each year, ICLC’s Tenant Defense Project recovers more than $1.2 million in relocation and rental benefits and helps more than 1,400 people facing eviction to avoid homelessness.
Without a lawyer, tenants are almost always evicted.
“Ninety percent of tenants facing eviction do not have representation from an attorney [and] many tenants do not bother asserting defenses to eviction, even where the eviction is clearly illegal.”
– California Evictions Are Fast and Frequent, Tenants Together, 2018
Having a lawyer makes a tremendous difference in an eviction case. While landlords overwhelming have legal representation in court, the vast majority of tenants facing eviction cannot afford a lawyer. A study by ICLC Advisory Board Member and UCLA Law Professor Gary Blasi followed 151 tenants at the Los Angeles Superior Court who did not have lawyers and found that not a single one of them won at trial. Tenants who are represented by counsel have a much greater chance at staying in their homes. And even those who ultimately have to move out, are far more likely to do so in a way that avoids homelessness.
Shriver Housing Project – Los Angeles
ICLC participates in the Shriver Housing Project, an eviction defense collaborative with Neighborhood Legal Services, Public Counsel, and the Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles. Together, we keep people in their homes and off the streets by providing legal representation to low-income tenants facing eviction at the Stanley Mosk Courthouse in Downtown Los Angeles.
Know Your Rights
Protecting your rights as a tenant is more important than ever before. ICLC is standing up for you and providing important resources for renters facing unlawful evictions.