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Eviction Defense

If you are being evicted, you face the possibility of losing your home. In many cases, that means you not only finding another place to live, but also dealing with the costs of moving, disconnecting and reconnecting utilities, and coming up with a security deposit. That’s why eviction proceedings are critically important. If you think you have not violated your rental agreement or your landlord is wrongfully evicting you, fight back — but don’t do it alone. Evictions are complex legal proceedings. To ensure you’re prepared to deal with them, it is important that you consult experienced legal counsel.

Habitability Problems

Each year, illness affects an estimated 48,000 people living in slum conditions. Exposure to mold, rats, roaches, and bedbugs (chinches) can devastate a person’s health — causing illnesses such as asthma, bronchitis, and rashes. BASTA forces slumlords to repair their buildings or sell them to responsible landlords, as well as pay compensatory damages to low-income tenants who suffer under slum conditions. In the past 5 years, BASTA has obtained more than $5,000,000 on behalf of over 300 families. We know your housing rights.

BASTA Universal!

BASTA launched an ambitious pilot program that will provide full-scope legal representation, free of charge to tenants, in every courthouse in Los Angeles County handling eviction cases. “We call this new pro bono program BASTA Universal! and upon launch, we will be the only non-profit organization in the County to offer universal, county-wide coverage to unlawful detainer defendants,” explained Ned Harris, Director of the Homelessness Prevention Project at BASTA.


ASTA’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.

Housing Rights and Community Outreach

In addition to direct legal representation, we support tenant rights across the entire spectrum of community needs including:

  • General housing advice

  • Dealing with administrative agencies such as local housing departments (e.g. HCID), Department of Building and Safety, and Department of Environmental Services (e.g., health department)

  • Coordinating tenants for collective action at properties

  • Working with government agencies and court-appointed receivers to repair dilapidated properties and eliminate substandard housing

  • Supporting tenants with Los Angeles’ Rent Escrow Account Program (REAP)

  • Coordinating with constituent offices of elected representatives regarding individual tenant issues or problems

  • Attending and organizing protests and vigils at strategic locations whether city council meetings or the homes of landlords

You can always find us in various resource fairs, schools, and other events throughout Los Angeles County. In 2018, BASTA became a proud partner with Los Angeles Public Library to provide tenant rights advice and assistance in conjunction with the New Americans Initiative, which is sponsored by the Office of Mayor Eric Garcetti. We are stationed in various Los Angeles Public Libraries once a month where you can meet one of our volunteer attorneys. We always encourage you to come into one of our offices but if you cannot make it, the public library is another option. Most of the public library sessions take place between 4:30pm-6:30pm. Please contact the library directly to schedule an appointment.

Other Projects

Because BASTA recognized the desperate lack of resources for tenant services, we embarked on a path of expansion to help tenants comprehensively. Over the years, BASTA grew and evolved into so much more than a nonprofit that defends evictions. Culminating in a strategic re-organization in 2017, BASTA transformed itself into an all-inclusive tenant rights organization that handles a broad variety of tenant-related litigation. BASTA provides direct legal representation for:

  • Eviction defense

  • Building-wide breaches of habitability (known as “mass actions”)

  • Impact litigation and class actions challenging laws and government programs

  • Illegal rent increases

  • Unauthorized dwelling structures (for example, converted garages or warehouses converted to apartments/lofts)

  • Landlord retaliation

  • Fraudulent relocations and Ellis Act displacement

  • Constructive eviction and illegal lock-outs

  • Prosecuting violations of rent control ordinances in civil court

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