How To Evict a Tenant in California

Tenants who violate the lease agreement on the property they are renting are allowed to be removed by the landlord.If the violation is valid, you can begin proceedings to warn and remove the tenant.If you follow proper procedure, you can avoid months of additional legal hassle and lost rent income.

Step 1: Make sure you have legal grounds to evict the tenant.

Make sure that the violation committed by the tenant is grounds for eviction.A landlord can evict a tenant if they fail to pay the rent on time, break the lease, or damage the property.

Step 2: The tenant should be contacted personally.

If you give your tenant a call first to try to resolve the situation, you can avoid courts and sticky confrontations.There is a chance that you could use a legal mediation to resolve the conflict peacefully.

Step 3: A notice of the tenant's violation is needed.

You must give the resident notice that they have violated the lease agreement in order to begin eviction proceedings.The minimum notice is three days for correctable violations.If a tenant has lived there for less than a year and more than one year, you must give them a longer notice period of 30 days.The period is 3 days if the tenant has committed a material noncompliance.If rent is in default, this notice must clearly state the amount due, how to pay it, a demand for the property to be taken over, and a landlord's signature.

Step 4: The notice should be served to the tenant.

The resident must be served the notice in order for it to be valid.The law allows for alternate methods if a tenant tries to avoid being served an eviction notice.If the client is unavailable at home and at work, leaving the notice with a person over the age of 18 at the tenant's residence or place of business and mailing a copy to the tenants is an option.

Step 5: The tenant can remedy the situation.

Legal battles can be expensive even if you win.You can potentially avoid these troubles if you give the tenant time to fix the problem.Proceed with legal action if the tenant still hasn't left the property or fixed the issue at the end of the time set in the notice.

Step 6: There is an illegal detainer complaint to be filed.

If the time limit has expired, you can file a lawsuit to evict the tenant.This is an illegal case.The form that is used to open it is known as a Complaint.The tenant will have to respond to the summons within five days.

Step 7: The tenant should be allowed 5 days to leave the property.

The court allows the tenant five days to leave.The tenant can respond to the notice with a motion attacking the method of service, or with an answer that addresses the substance of the complaint.

Step 8: Request a court date.

You have the right to request a court date after five days.The court date will usually be set 10 to 20 days after you file.You won't be able to collect rent during this time.The client will be responsible for the rent payments.

Step 9: Go to court.

Records of your tenant's violation and any notices you gave to them before taking the case to court are brought.The lease agreement signed by you and the tenant should be brought with you.The proceedings will take about an hour.Depending on the type of defense mounted, some may take much longer.You may need other documents for your case.Any legal process can be very complex.You don't need to hire a lawyer, but you should at least seek free legal advice from an eviction clinic or the court's self-help center.

Step 10: The local Sheriff can serve a "5-day Notice to Vacate" to the tenant.

If you lose the case, the court requires you to allow the resident 5 days from posting the vacate notice to move out.

Step 11: The lock on the door to the rental property should be placed by the Sheriff.

If the tenant still refuses to leave after five days, this should be done.

Step 12: If the property is left behind, deal with it.

In some cases, these items may be sold.The landlord may be held responsible for giving the tenant notice of any remaining items.It is a good idea to research your local rules online or seek professional counsel if you don't know what to look for.

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