Delinquent or troublesome tenants are a reality that every landlord must deal with at one time or another. The eviction process in California, or “unlawful detainer,” is complex. At times, the process seems to favor the tenant. At the NewPoint Law Group, LLP, our attorneys bring years of accumulated knowledge and experience to landlord/tenant disputes. We understand the legal intricacies and procedures necessary to evict tenants successfully and promptly.
Tenants who are behind on rent, who unlawfully remain on your property, who damage the premises, or who engage in illegal activities cost you money and open you up to other legal liability. One small mistake during the eviction process could lead to delays or inability to evict a tenant. If you are a landlord, call the NewPoint Law Group, LLP, at 800-358-0305 to schedule a legal consultation and have one of our seasoned Sacramento and Roseville unlawful detainer attorneys evaluate your case.
Unlawful Detainer and Eviction in California
A landlord can terminate a tenancy early and evict a tenant for several reasons:
Failure to pay rent
Violation of a provision of the rental agreement, including additional unauthorized subletting or an unauthorized pet
Refusing access to the apartment for repairs or inspections
Illegal activity in the apartment
Willful damage to the unit, the building, or surrounding areas
Disturbing the quiet enjoyment of other tenants and neighbors
Written notification is required before filing an unlawful detainer complaint. The type of legal notice depends on the reason for the eviction. The deadlines for sending notice are strict, and failing to adhere to them could require you to begin the process over again with proper notice. Our seasoned Sacramento and Roseville unlawful detainer lawyers for landlords and tenants will guide you through every step of the process.
Three-Day Notice to Pay Rent (“Pay or Quit”)
Evicting a tenant for delinquent rental payments requires three days’ notice. A landlord must wait the full three days, excluding holidays and weekends, before filing the unlawful detainer complaint.
Three-Day Notice to Cure (“Cure or Quit”)
Evicting a tenant for violating a provision in the rental agreement requires three days’ notice. If the tenant fails to address or fix the violation within three days, the landlord is entitled to begin the unlawful detainer process.
Three-Day Unconditional Quit Notice
Evicting a tenant for committing a serious violation, such as conducting illegal activity in the apartment or willfully damaging the unit, requires a three-day unconditional notice to quit. After receiving this notice, the tenant must vacate the rental property. Addressing the violation or stopping the conduct does not satisfy an unconditional notice to quit; the tenant simply has to leave.
Common Mistakes California Landlords Make When Evicting Tenants
Often, tenants will attempt to challenge the eviction or work to stall the process, alleging everything from abuse of process to deliberate and malicious mistreatment by the landlord. When prosecuting an unlawful detainer complaint, a landlord must address these issues and deal with other common issues and mistakes:
Accepting payment from the tenant during the eviction process usually ends the eviction case.
Resending a notice during the process usually restarts the waiting period, delaying the case.
Entering the property without 24-hour notice for inspections and repairs can violate a tenant’s rights. However, in cases of emergency, such as a gas leak, a landlord can usually suspend the 24-hour notice requirement.
Turning off utility services to a rental property might violate the terms of the lease.
Disposing of personal property left in the rental unit without following proper protocols and timelines could violate the law.
Other Considerations When Evicting a Tenant with an Unlawful Detainer Action in California
There are certain situations where landlord/tenant law becomes especially complicated. Under these circumstances, we highly recommend that you contact our knowledgeable unlawful detainer attorneys to guide you through the complexities of the various legal requirements.
In some situations, the landlord employs a tenant, perhaps for property management, and rent is part of their employment contract. If this is the case, the landlord is entitled to file an unlawful detainer lawsuit once the tenant is no longer working for them. You should consult our experienced attorneys, especially if the tenant is challenging the termination.
Sometimes, unlawful detainer issues arise in hotels. If the hotel has more than six rooms and the tenant lives there for more than 30 days, they establish it as their permeant, legal residence. At that point, they are granted the rights of a typical renter and must be evicted to be kicked out.
The rights of a tenant living in a mobile home vary significantly between counties, but these issues can also be complex.
A tenant living in a foreclosed property usually cannot be evicted when the property is purchased by someone else at auction. These kinds of unlawful detainer cases can be tricky, and you should consult with an expe