At Parks Property Management, we have only had one eviction in the six years that we’ve been providing professional property management to Brentwood and the surrounding areas. We believe that’s due to our strict screening process and our outstanding communication with tenants. Evictions should be rare, and they should be a last resort when you need to remove tenants who aren’t paying the rent or taking care of the property.
We’re sharing the California eviction process today, and we strongly recommend that if you do need to evict a tenant that you consult a professional. This doesn’t have to be a complex process, but even a simple mistake can set you back and cost you extra.
Three Day Notice to Pay or Quit
Most California evictions are due to nonpayment of rent. If your tenant has not paid rent and the grace period has come and gone, you must serve a written notice before you start the eviction process. This is a Three Day Notice to Pay or Quit. It officially informs your tenants that rent is late and they have three business days to either pay the overdue rent or vacate the home.
Usually, tenants will catch up as soon as they receive this notice. Or, they contact you to try and work something out. If you don’t hear anything and you don’t receive the rental payment, you can move onto the court process.
Filing for an Unlawful Detainer
You’ll go to the courthouse and file for an unlawful, which is legal-speak for an eviction. There will be paperwork and a fee, and then the clerk will arrange for your tenants to be served with a Summons and Complaint. What happens from this point forward depends largely on how your tenants respond. They could move out or pay the rent in full, in which case the situation is more or less resolved. Or, they could respond to the complaint, at which point you’ll have to go to a hearing.
The unpredictability of tenants in this situation is one of the reasons why you need good legal counsel. While you can do it on your own, that doesn’t necessarily mean that you should. An experienced attorney will understand the process and be able to respond appropriately.
Regaining Possession of your Property
Ultimately, your tenants will be removed and you will get your property back. Unless you’re unable to demonstrate that the rent hasn’t been paid, you will win your eviction and obtain a Writ of Possession. The tenants will be ordered to leave and if they don’t, you can ask the sheriff to physically remove them and all of their property.
Another thing to be aware of as a landlord is that the law may be changing. Just cause eviction legislation is under consideration in California, and it will impact how evictions are conducted.
Please contact us at Parks Property Management if you have any questions. We can help you work through evictions and more importantly, we can help you prevent them.