Eviction Process In California

  1. Grounds For Eviction: The landlord must have a valid reason to evict a tenant. Common grounds include non payment of rent, violation of the lease terms, causing damage to the property, or illegal activity on the property.
  2. Notice to Quit: Before Officially starting the eviction process, the landlord must serve the tenant with a written notice.

 03-Day Notice: This is used for non-payment of rent, violating the terms of the rental agreement, or engaging in illegal activities. The tenant has three days to correct the issue or move out.

30-Day or 60-Day Notice: Generally for tenants who’ve been in the unit for less than or more than a year, respectively. This is typically used for no fault evictions.

90-Day Notice: Used for government-subsidised housing.

3. Unlawful Detainer Lawsuit: If the tenant does not comply with the notice, the landlord can then file an unlawful Detainer lawsuit in Superior Court. This is the formal eviction process.

4. Summons and Complaints: After filing, the landlord needs to serve the tenant with a copy of the summons and complaint. This typically needs to be done by a third party, not the landlord.

5. Tenant’s Response: The tenant typically has five days from the date of service to file a response to the complaint. This typically needs to be done by a third party, not the landlord.

6. Court Hearing: if the tenant responds, a court hearing will be scheduled. Both sides will present their case, and the judge will make a decision.

7. Judgment: If the court rules in favor of the landlord, they will issue a writ of possession, which orders the sheriff to remove the tenant from the property if they don’t leave voluntarily.

8. Eviction by Sheriff: If the tenant does not leave on their own after the judgment, the sheriff will post a notice giving the tenant 5 days to leave. If the tenant remains, the sheriff will forcibly evict the tenant.

9. Collecting Unpaid Rent: Even after eviction, the tenant still owes the unpaid rent. The landlord may obtain a money judgment against the tenant for this.

10. Returning Tenant’s Property: If a tenant leaves behind personal property, there are specific rules landlords must follow about storing and returning or disposing of those items.

Remember, retaliatory evictions (evicting someone for complaining about property, for example) or discriminatory evictions (based on race, gender, etc.) are illegal. It’’s essential for landlords to act fairly, justly, and within the confines of the law.