Legal Work at Every Level
BASTA’s comprehensive purview expands to all levels of the litigation process. BASTA’s direct representation work and legal prowess does not merely stop at the trial level.
From all the other tenant rights organizations, BASTA boasts one of the most prolific and successful appellate departments in the state. Our attorneys consistently change the law for tenants in California — strengthening your rights and your ability to fight successfully to protect them.
We are defending or prosecuting 20+ appeals at any given time.
As of September 17, 2018, BASTA’s attorneys claimed an impressive eight published appellate decisions.
Appellate Division, Superior Court, California., Los Angeles County. September 17, 2018 29 Cal.App.5th Supp. 1 240 Cal.Rptr.3d 306
During the foreclosure crisis, tenants faced considerable challenges in paying rent, because the owner and managers of the properties changed repeatedly and the tenants were not informed of who had the right to demand and collect rent. As a result, the Legislature passed an amendment to Civil Code § 1962, which prevents a tenant from being evicted for nonpayment for rent that accrued during a period in which the landlord failed to provide the tenant information about who is the owner or manager and who is authorized to demand rent and act on the landlord’s behalf. Although the Appellate Division of the Superior Court of LA (incorrectly) held that the particular landlord in this case was not a “successor owner,” this case clarified the obligation of landlords to strictly comply with Civil Code § 1962 and has already resulted in many families winning their cases.
Appellate Division, Superior Court, California., LOS ANGELES COUNTY. October 26, 2016 6 Cal.App.5th Supp. 6 211 Cal.Rptr.3d 152
Slumlords who ignore orders to repair their properties must pay a tenant’s attorney’s fees when they engage in the process of litigation by attrition by filing and then dismissing cases against the tenants who dare assert their rights.
Intelligent Investments Corp v Gonzales (Published)
Appellate Division, Superior Court, California., Los Angeles County. June 14, 2016 1 Cal.App.5th Supp. 1 204 Cal.Rptr.3d 676
Tenant was the prevailing party and was entitled to an attorney fee award under LA’s Rent Escrow Account Program where the landlord voluntarily dismissed the unlawful detainer action to recover possession of the property that was subject to the Program.
Under LA Municipal Code 162.09, a tenant who prevails in an unlawful detainer action brought concerning property that is (or within the last year was) subject to the Rent Escrow Account Program is entitled to an award of attorney fees. This provision of the ordinance is in addition to any right to attorney fees under the lease and Civ. Code 1717, so section 1717’s provision stating no party prevails on a voluntary dismissal does not apply.
The tenant was not required to allege that fact as an affirmative defense in order to recover attorney fees. With the voluntary dismissal, tenant was the prevailing party and so the tenant was entitled to an award of attorney fees.
Crasnick v Marquez (Published)
Appellate Division, Superior Court, California., Los Angeles County. May 24, 2016 248 Cal.App.4th Supp. 1 203 Cal.Rptr.3d 613
In this matter, the trial court properly denied the landlord the right to offset damage awards it had obtained against the tenant in later suits against an attorney fee award the tenant had recovered in the landlord’s first, unsuccessful suit.
Foster v Williams (Published)
Appellate Division, Superior Court, California., Los Angeles County. September 09, 2014 229 Cal.App.4th Supp. 9 177 Cal.Rptr.3d 371
Landlords cannot evict tenants unless the tenant is told how to pay the rent.
Garcia v Cruz (Published)
Appellate Division, Superior Court, California., Los Angeles County. November 06, 2013 221 Cal.App.4th Supp. 1 164 Cal.Rptr.3d 408
Tenants do not lose their right to a jury trial for failing to pay rent into an escrow account during an unlawful detainer action. Courts cannot require tenants to pay back rent into an escrow account during an unlawful detainer action.
Significance: People get jury trials without a financial burden.
Munoz v Silva (Published)
Appellate Division, Superior Court, California., Los Angeles County. May 23, 2013 216 Cal.App.4th Supp. 11 157 Cal.Rptr.3d 889
Tenants have a right to a jury trial.
Tenant contended that the trial court deprived her of her constitutional right to a trial by jury. The Court stated that the right to a jury trial is guaranteed by the state constitution and this right is specifically granted in unlawful detainer cases.
ABCO, LLC v Eversley (Published)
Court of Appeal, Second District, Division 5, California. February 14, 2013 213 Cal.App.4th 1092 152 Cal.Rptr.3d 812
The court held that a conventional house is exempt from the Los Angeles Rent Stabilization Ordinance as a “dwelling, one-family.” Mixed-use buildings that happen to contain only one dwelling unit are ordinary “rental units” subject to that ordinance.