Eviction rates are rising in California after a lull in the numbers during the peak of COVID. If you are a landlord facing a tenant issue, this guide is for you.
We'll help you navigate California's eviction rules and help you stay on the right side of the law. Read on to learn the formal steps for tenant evictions and ensure you succeed without complications.
Get Up to Date on the Law
Before evicting a tenant, you must understand California's latest eviction laws. These rights cover local and state levels. And they are there to help protect tenants from unlawful evictions.
In the Bay Area, for instance, you'll find rent control ordinances. These help limit the grounds and frequency of evictions.
Timing is relevant too, and you must check for emergency laws. During COVID, for example, landlords couldn't evict on the grounds of non-payment of rent. Always check the latest regulations before starting any eviction process.
Reasons for Eviction
In California, you must cite a relevant reason to evict a tenant. The most common grounds for eviction are non-payment of rent. But you can cite other violations of the tenancy agreement too.
That might include unauthorized pets, unapproved residents, or illegal activities. Property damage beyond wear and tear could offer another valid reason for eviction.
Take the time to get evidence to prove your case. You may need to show in court that the tenant has broken the agreement, as you claim.
Issue a Three-Day Notice
Once you've decided to evict a tenant, your first job is to issue a Three-Day Notice to Quit. That is the formal notification required by state law. These three days give the tenant time to correct their actions, such as settling unpaid rent.
If not, they must vacate the property once those three days have ended. You must issue this notice in writing. Plus, it must outline the specific lease violation or evidence of property damage.
If the tenant fails to address the violation and doesn't leave within three days, you must move to the next step. That's heading to court to proceed with the eviction.
Begin Court Proceedings
The next step is to go to court, and the technical process here is an unlawful detainer lawsuit. At this stage, a landlord must file all relevant legal forms with the court.
That begins the start of a lawsuit to evict tenants. It's worth noting that you'll pay filing and attorney fees at this stage. Once the eviction goes to court, you'll present evidence and await the ruling.
If the court rules in favor of the landlord, they will issue a judgment for possession. That allows a sheriff to handle evictions via a Five-Day Notice to Vacate. After that time, a Sherriff can remove a tenant using force.
Evictions: Getting the Process Right
Now landlord welcomes evictions. They are the last step to deal with problems once every other idea has been attempted. But evicting a tenant sometimes needs to happen, and following the correct legal steps is important.
If you need help, our property management services for the California Bay Area are here to support you. Head here to find out what we offer to landlords.