When is an eviction required?
California eviction law requires all landlords to serve tenant(s) with notice in order to start the eviction process against the tenant(s). A tenant can be served with a 30, 60 or 90 day notice to move out. Some extreme cases will required the Landlord to serve tenant(s) with a 3 day notice to move out.
- Three-Day Notice: A landlord is able to serve tenants with a written three-day eviction notice if they failed to pay rent, violated the rental agreement or lease, disturbed any of the surrounding tenants, damaged or committed illegal acts on the property.
- 30, 60 or 90-Day Notice: In most situations involving a month-to-month lease, a landlord will serve tenants with a written 30, 60 or 90-day notice to move out. In these cases, the landlord is not required to disclose a reason for terminating the agreement.
An unlawful detainer can be filed in superior against a tenant after the Landlord has given him/her proper notice to move out. If the tenant refuses to obey the Landlord’s notice to move out, the Landlord can legally evict the tenant by filing an unlawful detainer (Eviction) at Superior Court .
In California, all landlords are required to use the court process to evict a tenant, no matter what the circumstances are.
This law is designed to protect the rights of California tenants, ensuring they do not get evicted from their homes on unlawful grounds. All tenants have the legal right to a court hearing if they believe they should not be evicted.
Under no circumstances should a landlord take actions into his/her own hands and try to force a tenant to move out without filing an unlawful detainer. For instance, it is illegal for a landlord to:
- Physically remove the tenants or their belongings
- Change the locks on the doors, locking the tenants out
- Cut off utilities including water and electricity
If a landlord uses any of the above methods instead of filing an unlawful detainer with the court, he/she may be liable for any damages incurred by the tenant.
What is a Writ of Possesion?
A document issued by the court after the landlord wins an unlawful detainer. The writ of possession is served on the tenant by the sheriff. The writ informs the tenant that the tenant must leave the rental unit by the end of five days, or the sheriff will forcibly remove the tenant.
The CALIFORNIA EVICTION PROCESS
If the tenant doesn’t voluntarily move out after the landlord has properly given the required notice to the tenant, the landlord can evict the tenant. In order to evict the tenant, the landlord must file an unlawful detainer lawsuit in superior court. In an eviction lawsuit, the landlord is called the “plaintiff” and the tenant is called the “defendant.”
If the landlord uses unlawful methods to evict a tenant, the landlord may be subject to liability for the tenant’s damages, as well as penalties of up to $100 per day for the time that the landlord used the unlawful methods.
If the court decides in favor of the landlord, the court will issue a writ of possession. The writ of possession orders the sheriff to remove the tenant from the rental unit, but gives the tenant five days from the date that the writ is served to leave voluntarily. If the tenant does not leave by the end of the fifth day, the writ of possession authorizes the sheriff to physically remove and lock the tenant out, and seize (take) the tenant’s belongings that have been left in the rental unit. The landlord is not entitled to possession of the rental unit until after the sheriff has removed the tenant.
Our most affordable eviction package starts at $498.00. (Plus court fees)