The most important thing you need to know about California eviction process

Eviction requires a landlord to use legal means to remove the tenant from the premise. In each region there exist laws that are followed to terminate a tenancy. The process of eviction follows these laws to uphold proper removal. The California eviction process consists of a couple of steps that need to be developed to end a tenancy.

Notice of eviction

A California tenant can be evicted due to various reasons including failure to pay rent, violation of the lease agreement or damage to the premise. The landlord needs to give the occupant a written notice as per the reason for tenancy termination. The notices may include:

A three-day notice to pay rent: a landlord is required to give a tenant a pay or quit notice when the tenant does not pay rent on time. It notifies the tenant to pay rent within three days.

A three-day notice to cure: this is given when a tenant violates the lease agreement thus the landlord provides the occupant with three days to correct the violation.

Three-day unconditional quit notice: the notice informs the tenant that he/she has committed serious violations in the premise and is required to move from the rental within three days. It can be caused by subletting the unit, damage to property or conducting illegal activities in the premise.

Notice for termination without cause

To terminate a lease without cause depends on the tenancy if it’s either fixed term or month to month.

Fixed term tenancy:  the landlord can’t give the tenant a notice of eviction if the lease does not specify it. The terms on the contract need to provide the necessary time required to vacate the rental specifically. For example, if a tenant has a one-year tenancy and it ends in December, the landlord has no right to evict the tenant at the end of the lease unless the lease specifies it.

Month to month tenancy: if an occupant has lived in the rental for less than a year the landlord is required to give the tenant is given a 30 day written notice to vacate the apartment. If the tenant has lived in the rental for over one year the landlord is required to provide a 60 day written notice to end the tenancy. The notices should inform the tenant that the occupancy will expire at the end of the period and the occupant is required to vacate the premise.  

When the notices are given to the tenant and are not met by the end of the period provided, the landlord can head on to court and file an eviction notice. The California eviction process which is carried out by the court offers the tenant the rights to fight the eviction. A tenant can provide a couple of defenses that include inappropriately serving a notice, discrimination from the landlord or failed maintenance of the rental unit by the landlord. The reasons may be used by an occupant to lengthen an eviction notice.

Once the landlord has won the lawsuit, the court issues a writ of possession where five days is given to the tenant to vacate the premise. If the tenant doesn’t leave the rental at the end of the five days landlord is required to use a sheriff to carry out the eviction as required by law in California. Thus, it is illegal for the landlord to evict a tenant personally. The court may also grant the unpaid rent if the case involved the tenant not paying rent. If a tenant has vacated the rental and left behind some belongings the landlord is required to give the tenant 15-day notice to recover the belongings failure to which the landlord can charge the tenant a cost of storage. If the tenant does not reclaim the belongings at the end of the notice, the landlord has the right to dispose of the possessions.

Rules and procedures should be followed carefully by landlords when evicting a tenant for them to be valid. The controls enable a tenant to find a new place within the specified period preventing an occupant from losing a home. Though, they may seem cumbersome to the landlord they ensure that eviction is justified and fair.

News Reporter