FAQs

  1. How can I find free or low-cost legal help in my area?
  2. Is this toolkit free?
  3. I am undocumented. Can I use this tool?
  4. I really want a lawyer but I don't have one. What can I do? Can you represent me or give me legal advice about my eviction case?
  5. How does the Eviction Answer Tool help me fight my eviction?
  6. Who can use The Eviction Answer Tool?
  7. How does the Rent Debt Tool help me fight my debt? Who can use it?
  8. What if I have not sent a declaration to the landlord about my financial problems caused by COVID-19?
  9. I’m facing eviction, but I don’t have a Summons and Complaint yet. What are my options?
  10. I’ve been keeping evidence to fight my eviction case, but this Tool won’t let me upload it. What should I do?
  11. I just submitted my documents through this tool. What happens next?
  12. I need to file my papers in person. How do I do that?
  13. How do I know how many days I have to file my UD Answer?
  14. I’m being pursued for rental debt. What do I do now?
  15. What is a Tenants’ Union? What is a Debtors’ Union?
  16. What will you do with my information? What is your data privacy policy?
  17. How can I help this effort?
  18. The landlord's lawyer and/or the judge in my case are saying that my Answer is defective. What should I say?
  • 1. How can I find free or low-cost legal help in my area?

    Visit our "Get Help" page here to find legal and organizing support.

  • 2. Is this toolkit free?

    Yes, all the Tools in the Tenant Power Toolkit are 100% free. The court typically charges tenants $240 to file a response to their eviction in court. If you receive certain public benefits or if your income is low enough, you can get that fee waived. We’ll walk you through that fee waiver process in the tool.

  • 3. I am undocumented. Can I use this tool?

    Yes. You can and should use this Tool to fight your eviction and your rent debt. Your immigration status does not affect your right to housing. Immigration status is not allowed as a topic of discussion in eviction court proceedings. Even if you fear your landlord wants to use your undocumented status against you, they are forbidden from doing that in the courthouse or in your eviction case.

  • 4. I really want a lawyer but I don't have one. What can I do? Can you represent me or give me legal advice about my eviction case?

    The Tenant Power Toolkit team worked with lawyers to create this comprehensive Tool to help all California tenants fight their evictions. But we are not a law firm. You can reach us at (323) 207-5854 or email tenantpower@debtcollective.org if you have Tool-related questions.

    Here is a link to help you find a lawyer and other support in your area. But you should know that there are not enough lawyers for everyone facing eviction in California, and this is a big problem. We designed the Tenant Power Toolkit to help tenants fight their eviction even when they can’t find a lawyer. Using this tool to respond to your eviction can help you stay in your home longer, giving you more time to find a lawyer.

    Remember, if an eviction case is filed against you, it is very important to respond within 5 days, even if you can’t get a lawyer or are planning to move out. If you don't respond to your eviction, you risk losing automatically, having an eviction on your record, and even getting a money judgment against you. This Tool helps you create a response to your eviction, called an answer, to avoid these problems and get more time to connect with a lawyer, find other resources, or negotiate with your landlord.

  • 5. How does the Eviction Answer Tool help me fight my eviction?

    This tool does two important things:

    • The Eviction Answer Tool allows tenants facing an eviction case (who have been served with a Summons and Complaint-Unlawful Detainer) to respond to their eviction by filing what’s called an “Answer.” If tenants receive a Summons and Complaint-Unlawful Detainer but don’t file a legal response in time, they can be evicted within weeks. This Tool is designed to keep people in their homes long enough to fight back. The Tool asks tenants questions about their housing situation so that the tenant’s relevant defenses can be raised in the Answer.

    • With consent, this tool gathers basic information about your eviction situation in order to link you with legal resources, tenants’ rights groups, and to inform our housing justice work, for example: to find super-evictor-landlords and slumlords, to negotiate repairs, fight for rent cancellation, eliminate tenant debt, and identify winnable legal cases to strengthen tenants’ rights. In order to do this work, we ask for tenant consent to share some information about themselves and their case with organizers, anti-eviction lawyers and researchers.

  • 6. Who can use The Eviction Answer Tool?

    The Eviction Answer Tool will work for tenants who live anywhere in California who have been served a Summons and Complaint-Unlawful Detainer.

    Tenants in LA County (if they qualify for a fee waiver and are within their filing deadline) will get the option to have their documents be filed electronically with the court. All other tenants will have to file the documents the Tool creates in person, at the courthouse listed on your Summons and Complaint.

    If you have received other eviction papers - a 60-day notice, a 30-day notice, a 3-day notice, the best thing to do right now is to try to find free or low-cost legal help and connect with tenant power organizations. You can find tenant organizations in your area here.

  • 7. How does the Rent Debt Tool help me fight my debt? Who can use it?

    Our Rent Debt Tool isn’t yet ready for primetime. But once it is ready to go live, everyone in California will be able to use the rent debt tool!

    The Rent Debt Tool can help you figure out:

    1. Exactly how much you owe
    2. If your landlord has been trying to collect the debt illegally
    3. If you should receive rental assistance from a government program, and if you didn’t, help you pursue that
    4. How to fight back in small claims court
    5. How to join a union of debtors fighting to cancel rent debt together

  • 8. What if I have not sent a declaration to the landlord about my financial problems caused by COVID-19?

    There are some state and local protections for tenants who have financial problems because of COVID-19. In some places, in order for these protections to apply to you, you must provide a declaration (a document signed under oath) to the landlord. If you should have sent a declaration to the landlord based on the facts of your case, this Tool can create one for you to file.

  • 9. I’m facing eviction, but I don’t have a Summons and Complaint yet. What are my options?

    If an eviction case was filed against you, but you were never served with the SUMMONS and COMPLAINT-UNLAWFUL DETAINER:

    You have to be served these documents before you are required to file an answer. You can wait to be served and then come back to this Tool. If you are worried your landlord will lie and say you were served, you can go to the courthouse and get copies of the SUMMONS and COMPLAINT-UNLAWFUL DETAINER in your case. You need these documents to use the Tool.

    We also want to let you know that you are not alone. Hundreds of thousands of households in California and millions of households across the country are facing eviction right now. Alone we are vulnerable, but together we are powerful. We want to work with you to stop all evictions, cancel rent, lower rent going forward, and improve our living conditions.

    If you have received other eviction papers—a 60-day notice, a 30-day notice, a 3-day notice—the best thing to do right now is to try to find free or low-cost legal help and connect with tenant power organizations. You can find legal and organizing support here.

  • 10. I’ve been keeping evidence to fight my eviction case, but this Tool won’t let me upload it. What should I do?

    That’s great that you’ve been keeping evidence to fight your case! Keep doing that, because you will need it later in the process. This Tool helps you with the very first step in fighting your eviction - filing your answer. At this early stage the court actually will not let you submit evidence. But keep collecting it! You will need it later, for example during the discovery process or trial, after you’ve successfully filed your answer with the court.

  • 11. I just submitted my documents through this tool. What happens next?

    First, congratulations! You’ve just taken the first step in fighting your eviction. Please consider telling your neighbors and other family members about this Tool, sharing it on social media, and sharing it in the communities you are part of.

    If you choose to electronically file your documents through the Tool - please check your phone and email regularly in case we need to reach you. We will attempt to file your paperwork or will reach out to you (if there are issues with your documents) within two business days. We do prioritize based on how quickly your deadline to file is coming up.

    Next steps:

    1. The first and most important step you need to take right now is to try to find free or low cost legal services in your area. You will still need legal help with your eviction case as it moves through court. You can find more information about free or low-cost legal help in your area here.

    2. You will be notified about the next steps in your eviction case by mail. It is very important that you check your mail regularly, and open everything that you receive. A few legal documents might come next:

      • You may get a Request for Trial Setting, which is a document the landlord files to get a date for a trial in your case. It is very important that you attend any hearings that are scheduled in your case.
      • You may get forms that are called “discovery.” These are usually forms titled "Interrogatories" and/or "Requests for Admission". PLEASE DO NOT IGNORE THESE FORMS. YOU HAVE ONLY FIVE DAYS TO RESPOND TO THEM.

    Now is also the time to start working together to fight our evictions collectively. To do this, you should connect with your local tenants union! You can find organizing efforts in your area here. Organizing with your neighbors and a tenants union can help you:

    • Get educated about your rights.
    • Form a tenants’ association in your building or on your block.
    • Negotiate with your landlord to make repairs, cancel rent debt, or rollback rents.
    • Put public pressure on your landlord to meet your demands.
    • Block illegal lockouts and protect against harassment.
    • Connect with other people experiencing the same crisis.

    For more information about next steps in your eviction case, please go here

  • 12. I need to file my papers in person. How do I do that?

    This is a step-by-step guide on how to file the Unlawful Detainer Answer papers you’ve filled out with our tool with the court. Basically, you will need to take two sets of signed papers to the court in person, and get some help to mail another set to your landlord’s lawyer (or your landlord, if the landlord has no lawyer).

    [CLICK HERE TO PRINT THESE DIRECTIONS]

    PREPARING YOUR PAPERWORK

    You will need to make copies of all the documents the Tool created. If you don’t have a printer, you can go to a public library or copy place. Local tenant organizers can also help you with this. Find their contacts here.

    • Step One: Download and print your documents:
      • Download the forms you made using the Tool. We have also emailed the same forms to the email address you provided.
      • Make the following number of copies of each document. You may not have created all of the documents below (it depends on the type of case you have and your responses in the Tool) - just make the right number of copies of each document you downloaded from the Tool.
      FORM NAME FORM NUMBER NUMBER OF COPIES
      Answer-Unlawful Detainer with Attachment 3w UD 105 3 copies
      Proof of Service by First Class Mail - Civil POS-030 3 copies
      Demand for Jury Trial (if you requested a jury trial) 3 copies
      Cover Sheet for Declaration of COVID-19- Related Financial Distress (if applicable) UD-104 3 copies
      Attachment - Declaration of COVID-19- Related Financial Distress (if applicable) UD-104(A) 3 copies
      Request to Waive Court Fees (if you are asking for a fee waiver) FW-001 2 copies
      Request to Waive Additional Court Fees (if you requested a jury trial and are asking for a fee waiver) FW-002 2 copies
      Order on Court Fee Waiver (if you are asking for a fee waiver) FW-003 2 copies

    • Step Two: Sign your documents.
      • Each document you printed, except the Order on Court Fee Waiver (FW-003), must be signed in pen by you.
      • You will see the signature lines next to your printed name, typically at the bottom of the first page of each document. The Answer-Unlawful Detainer (UD-105) should be signed twice on page 5.
      • You (the person this answer is for) should not sign the Proof of Service.

    • Step Three: Find someone to serve (mail) your documents.
      • Once you’ve made all these copies, find a person over the age of 18 who is not named on the Summons. This can be a friend or family member, or a member of your local tenants union! The only requirements are that they are over 18 and they are not a part of this eviction case. We will call this person “the Server”. They will mail the documents to the landlord’s lawyer, or the landlord themselves if they don’t have a lawyer.
      • Have the Server fill out all three copies of the Proof of Service by First Class Mail (POS-030).
      • They will put their residence or business address under line 2.
      • They will put the date and city they are mailing these documents from in line 3.
      • They will put the date, print their name, and sign at the bottom of the Proof of Service.

    For the set that goes in the mail:

    • Get a large envelope. Address the envelope to the landlord’s lawyer (or landlord, if there is no lawyer). Put the name and address you see under line 5 of the Proof of Service by Mail (POS-030). This should be the same name and address you see at the top of the Complaint - Unlawful Detainer.
    • Put a return address at the top left corner of the envelope.
    • Put one copy of the Answer (UD-105) and the Proof of Service by First ClassMail (POS-030) into the envelope.
    • If you asked for a jury trial, put one copy of the Demand for Jury Trial in the envelope.
    • If the Tool created them for you, put one copy each of the Cover Sheet for Declaration of COVID-19-Related Financial Distress and the Attachment - Declaration of COVID-19-Related Financial Distress in the envelope.
    • Do NOT mail the fee waiver documents (FW-001, FW-002, and FW-003) - these only get filed with the court.
    • Finally, ask the Server to mail the envelope for you. They should do this at the Post Office so that the envelope can be weighed and prepared with proper postage. They should ask for a receipt. They should send the envelope by first-class mail.

    For the set that you deliver in person to the court:

    • Make sure BOTH you AND the Server have signed the papers you are filing.
    • The address of the courthouse where you file your legal response is listed on the first page of the Summons you received. You must go to the courthouse to file your papers before your deadline to file. Take a look at Question 11 below if you forgot when your filing deadline is (it’s typically 5 court days after you were served). You must file your documents on or before the last day, but we recommend filing as soon as possible in case there are any issues. Plan on getting to the courthouse no later than 3pm, to give yourself time to find the Clerk’s office before it closes.
    • You will need to take two copies of each document you are filing. The clerk will keep one copy of each document and will stamp the other copy and give back to you. The stamped copies are called “conformed copies” and you keep them for your records, as proof you filed the paperwork.
    • At the courthouse, go to the office of the Clerk of the Superior Court, which you can find on a building room directory or by asking a uniformed guard or someone else who looks like they might know. File all of your documents with the clerk.
    • FEE WAIVER: At the Clerk’s window, if you are asking for a fee waiver, give the clerk both copies of all the forms. The clerk or judge will use the Form FW-003 to decide if you qualify for a fee waiver or not. If you receive public benefits or your household income is below the numbers listed on the FW-001 form, your fee should be automatically waived. It might take a few hours for them to make this decision, or they might let you know the next day. Your papers won’t count as “filed” until the issue of the court filing fee is decided. If your request for a fee waiver is denied, you will need to pay the filing fee for your Answer. You may get the order denying the fee waiver in the mail - you’ll need to come back to the courthouse to pay the fee if so. The clerk or court may waive the fee for filing the answer but not waive for the jury fees. You can pay the jury fees ($150) later, but you should make sure to pay the jury fees immediately if your case gets set for trial and you want to have a jury trial.
    • If you are not asking for a fee waiver, give the clerk two copies of the Answer-Unlawful Detainer, Proof of Service, and the Demand for Jury Trial, plus the UD-104 (COVID-19 declaration) forms if applicable. You will be required to pay a filing fee. As of January 1, 2020, if the landlord is asking for more than $25,000, the filing fee is $435; if between $10,000 and $25,000, the fee is $370; and if below $10,000, the fee is $225. You can pay the jury fees ($150) later, but you should make sure to pay the jury fees immediately if your case gets set for trial and you want to have a jury trial.
    • Be sure you keep the stamped or “conformed” copies the clerk gave you in a safe place.

    WHAT NOW?

    First, congratulate yourself on getting through a ridiculously complicated process in order to keep from being evicted without even a hearing! The great majority of landlords have lawyers, many of whom specialize in evicting people. The great majority of tenants cannot afford lawyers. There are far too few legal aid and other free lawyers. If you agree that tenants should have a right to a lawyer when they are faced with losing their home, join the fight!

    Second, we have done our best to provide this free service to tenants. But no computer program is a substitute for a lawyer or other expert. Now that you have filed your answer, you have 10 calendar days to have an expert review your paperwork and, if necessary, prepare and file a better “amended” answer. We strongly recommend that you try to find legal help to do just that.

  • 13. How do I know how many days I have to file my UD Answer?

    Your deadline for getting your Answer to the court depends on when and how you (or someone else in your household) received the SUMMONS or COMPLAINT-UNLAWFUL DETAINER. There are three ways you can receive these documents:

    1. Personal Service - you are handed the documents in person (even if you didn't accept the documents and they were left on the ground near you).
    2. Substituted Service - someone else in your household is handed the documents and the documents are also mailed to you.
    3. Service by Posting - the documents are left on your door and the documents are also mailed to you.

    If you received your SUMMONS and COMPLAINT-UNLAWFUL DETAINER in person, you only have 5 days to file your answer in court. Day 1 is the day after you were served. You then count out 5 days, leaving out any Saturday, Sunday or legal holiday. The answer is due on the 5th day. If the 5th day falls on a weekend or holiday, the answer is due the next day that is not a weekend day or holiday.

    If your SUMMONS and COMPLAINT-UNLAWFUL DETAINER were given to someone else in your household or left at the door, they must also be mailed to you. You have 15 days from the postmark on the envelope to file your answer with the court. The mailing date is the postmark date. Day 1 is the day after the SUMMONS and COMPLAINT-UNLAWFUL DETAINER were mailed to you. For the first 10 of the 15 days, count regular calendar days (every day, including weekends and holidays). The 10th day is the day you're considered served. Then you count 5 court days. For these 5 court days, do not count Saturdays, Sundays, or court holidays. The 5th day (after the first 10 calendar days) is the deadline to answer.

    If you were never served with the SUMMONS and COMPLAINT-UNLAWFUL DETAINER: You have to be served these documents (in one of the three ways above) before you are required to file an answer. You can wait to be served and then come back to this Tool. If you are worried your landlord will lie and say you were served, you should go to the courthouse and get copies of the SUMMONS and COMPLAINT-UNLAWFUL DETAINER in your case. You need these documents to use the Tool.

    No matter how you received your unlawful detainer summons and complaint, eviction is a time-sensitive process, and we encourage you to file your papers as soon as you possibly can.

    If you are using the Tool to create an Amended (second) Answer because you’ve already filed an Answer in your case, you will have 10 days from the day you filed your first answer. These are ten calendar days, meaning you do count weekends and holidays. After the tenth day, you need permission from the court to file an Amended Answer.

  • 14. I’m being pursued for rental debt. What do I do now?

    First, please take a moment to fill out our Rent Debt Tool. This Tool will help you determine:

    1. Exactly how much you owe
    2. If your landlord has been trying to collect the debt illegally
    3. If you should receive rental assistance from a government program, and if you didn’t, help you pursue that
    4. How to fight back in small claims court
    5. How to join a union of debtors fighting to cancel rent debt together

    We can also use what we learn in this tool to fight for more rent relief, identify landlords and debt collectors who are collecting illegally and stop them, and organize debtors against concentrated landlords.

    Is your landlord or your landlord’s lawyer taking you to small claims court? Our tools will help you prepare for what’s coming and give you some guidelines for how to beat your landlord.

    • First things first, make sure your landlord is suing for the debt. Under California law, most types of tenant debt cannot be transferred to sold to third parties. You may not owe the person anything!
    • Don’t pay anyone a dime moving forward. If you are headed to court anyways, there’s no sense in paying anyone anything unless you have a new deal in writing you can live with. Payments, even as small as a dollar or a few cents, can be used as evidence of guilt. Don’t pay!
    • Set aside the date of your trial, if you can. If you do not appear, the landlord will almost always prevail automatically in small claims. If you absolutely cannot make court that day, you can file for an extension. Our rent debt tool will help you do this.
    • Make sure to get everything you say to the landlord in writing moving forward. If you offer a payment plan, make sure you have a written offer you can later use as evidence -- even by text is fine, but save screenshots.
    • If you live in a multi-unit building, see if your neighbors are also being sued. Small claims court isolates people, but there are ways to overcome this problem. This is definitely a good time to talk to your neighbors, and have them use the Rent Debt Tool as well.
    • If you are worried about your credit rating and want to pay the debt, make an offer in writing to your landlord to pay on your own terms. Even if they refuse, this can help you a great deal in court later. Make sure you document their response!
    • Prepare your defense. Our tool will prep you on what to say when you arrive in court, what to bring with you, and how to have the best odds of winning against your landlord. If you have a fair argument, you have a good chance of winning.
    • If you start getting calls about the debt, don’t discuss the debt over the phone. Demand the caller communicate with you in writing. If they refuse, tell them you are recording their calls for ‘quality control’ and ask them politely but firmly to leave you alone and send requests in writing.
    • You have the right to a day in court. Don’t let anyone rush you into anything. The court may decide you owe far less, or nothing, to your landlord.

  • 15. What is a Tenants’ Union? What is a Debtors’ Union?

    If you are facing eviction alone, your landlord has power over you. But if you are facing eviction with everyone in your building, and everyone in all the other buildings your landlord owns, then you have the power to make demands: Cancel Rent! Lower rent rates! Make repairs! Tenants unions build collective power over landlords.

    Organizing with your neighbors and a tenants union can help you:

    • Get educated about your rights.
    • Form a tenants’ association in your building or on your block.
    • Negotiate with your landlord to make repairs, cancel rent debt, or rollback rents.
    • Put public pressure on your landlord to meet your demands
    • Block illegal lockouts and protect against harassment.
    • Connect with other people experiencing the same crisis.

    If you are in Los Angeles, join the LA Tenants Union! You can read their Tenant Handbook here!. To find your nearest L.A. Tenants Union meeting and how to attend it, go here.

    The Debt Collective organizes debtors’ unions. Debtors’ unions work to turn our individual debts (our rent, our student debt, our medical debt, our bills) into a form of collective power. Debtors’ unions work a lot like workers’ unions. Individually, workers are at the mercy of their bosses. But workers can come together in a union to change the conditions of their work: fighting for better wages, benefits, and improved working conditions.

    As individual debtors we are at the mercy of our creditors - for our housing, medical care, education, utilities, and more. In a debtors’ union, we come together and fight for better conditions in our financial lives: cancellation and renegotiation of debts. Since the economy is dependent on all of us paying our bills, we have collective power by threatening to stop paying our debts - a debt strike! We can use our power as debtors to fight for public goods including housing, medical care, and education, and to repair ongoing racialized harm (ie, reparations and redress). Learn more about Debtors Unions here!

  • 16. What will you do with my information? What is your data privacy policy?

    The Tenant Power Toolkit is made by a team including the The Debt Collective, The LA Tenants Union, and The Anti-Eviction Mapping Project. When using this tool, you will be asked for some information about yourself and what is happening to you. This tool will start by asking for basic information about your eviction situation in order to link you with legal resources, tenants rights groups, and to inform our housing justice work, for example, to: find super-evictor-landlords and slumlords, negotiate repairs, fight for rent cancellation, and identify winnable legal cases to strengthen tenants’ rights. In order to do this work, we ask for your consent to share some of the information about yourself and your case with organizers, anti-eviction lawyers and researchers.

    If you have been served a Summons and Unlawful Detainer, and are using the tool to file an answer in the court system, we will use the information you provide to file an Answer in your eviction case. We will only use your data to create the documents to file in order to contest your eviction, to file those documents with the court, and to follow up if those documents get rejected by the court.

    By using this tool, you will grant the Tenant Power Toolkit team access to your information in order to file your legal paperwork, and support you through the process. If the court rejects your legal paperwork, we will also share your file with volunteers who have agreed to help tenants with rejected cases. We will keep a copy of your data to fight your eviction for the duration of time required to conclude the case.

    Beyond your individual legal case, we would also like to use your information to connect you with social justice groups like the LA Tenants Union or free legal service organizations that may be able to help you with your situation. This will provide you with additional resources to fight your eviction and inform housing justice work to fight all evictions, cancel rent, lower rents going forward, and improve our living conditions. We ask for your consent to do this. At any time, you may request that we delete your file and data by emailing tenantpower@debtcollective.org. Your data will be stored in a secure and encrypted database. We will not share your data without your consent.

  • 17. How can I help this effort?

    If you’re happy with what we’ve built here, and want to support our efforts, please reach out! You can submit feedback on either of the tools here.

    We’d also appreciate any donation that will let us help more tenants in more cities and towns across the country. Donate here! Or better yet, become a dues paying member of the Debt Collective, our nation’s first debtors union!

  • 18. The landlord's lawyer and/or the judge in my case are saying that my Answer is defective. What should I say?

    The Answer created by the Tenant Power Toolkit uses the UD-105 form. Take a look at page 1 of your Answer. About halfway down the page, we have selected the box for "Specific Denials" next to line 2b. Now, move down the page and find line 2b(1)(b). This part of the form says: "Defendant has no information or belief that the following statements of the complaint are true, so defendant denies them (state paragraph numbers from the complaint or explain below or, if more room needed, on form MC-025):" Below this, the Tool inserts the following language: "Defendant admits that defendant is in possession of the property alleged. Defendant denies all other allegations of the complaint, other than any statement consistent with the statements in Attachment v, based on lack of sufficient information or belief." Therefore, your Answer has properly denied the allegations in the Complaint - the landlord still should have to prove that what they say is true and you should have the opportunity to prove your defenses.

    If the judge, landlord, or landlord's lawyer is arguing that you should have denied specific paragraph numbers of the Complaint, you should point out that 2b(1)(b) says "state paragraph numbers from the complaint or explain below." Your Answer explains below, so there is no need for paragraph numbers according to the UD-105 form. Because it is very easy for anyone to accidentally admit or deny the wrong paragraphs, we use this general language in all of the Toolkit's Answers. You can also point out that your Answer raises many defenses which go against the allegations of the Complaint, and therefore you have clearly not admitted to everything the Complaint says.

    The judge, landlord, or landlord's lawyer might try to say that the box under line 2b(1)(b) should be checked - they might try to argue that even though you checked the "Specific Denials" box, your Answer is defective because you didn't check one the boxes below it. This is also wrong! The box under line 2b(1)(b) says "Explanation is on form MC-025, titled as Attachment 2b(1)(b)". Our explanation is found right below this box - it is not on a separate form MC-025. Therefore, this box should not be checked in this Answer. You only need to check the "Specific Denials" box (2b) - the boxes below 2b(1)(b) and 2b(1)(a) do not need to be checked to properly deny the allegations of the Complaint. 

    If you are at risk of losing your case because of supposedly defective denials, you should ask for "leave to amend" your Answer (asking for permission to file an edited Answer). You can then edit your Answer to address any issue raised by the judge and refile it as an Amended Answer. You can remind the judge that courts are "abusing their discretion" when they deny leave to amend except when there is some serious prejudice (meaning some real harm to the landlord, generally something other than the case taking longer).