Folsom Property Management Blog

A California Landlord's Guide to Evictions

A California Landlord's Guide to Evictions

There were over 3,500 evictions in California during the first three months of 2021. It's more common than you might think. And it can be tricky to manage for tenants and residents alike.

As a landlord in California, evictions can be a complicated and time-consuming process. So, what do you really need to understand to handle evictions effectively? Read on for your guide to evictions.

Valid Reasons for Eviction

California law only allows landlords to evict tenants for certain reasons, including:

  • Failure to pay rent
  • Violation of lease terms or rental agreement
  • Illegal activity on the property
  • Nuisance or disturbance to other tenants or neighbors
  • Refusal to vacate after the lease term has expired
  • Damage to the property

If you attempt to evict a tenant for a reason not covered under California law, the tenant does not have to comply with the eviction and could even retaliate against you legally.

Notice Requirements For Eviction

Before starting an eviction process, landlords must give the tenant written notice of the reason for eviction along with the date by which the tenant must fix the issue or vacate the property. The type of notice required and the timeframes for the notice depending on the reason for eviction.

For evictions based on lack of rent payment, the landlord must provide a "Three-Day Notice to Pay Rent or Quit." As the name implies, this notice tells the tenant that they have the given amount of time to pay the overdue rent or vacate the premises.

If the tenant has violated lease terms, the landlord must give the tenant a "Three-Day Notice to Cure or Quit." This notice must be in writing and inform the tenant that they have three days to remedy the violation or vacate the premises.

If the lease term has expired, the landlord must give the tenant 30 days written notice to vacate if the tenant has occupied the premises for less than one year. If the tenant has lived there for over one year, you'll need to provide 60 days written notice to vacate.

If the eviction is based on a nuisance or illegal activity, the landlord must give the tenant a "Three-Day Notice to Quit", which will give the tenant three days' notice to vacate the unit. To prevent these evictions, ensure you have a solid tenant screening process in place.

If the tenant is absent when the eviction notice is posted, the landlord must also mail a copy of the notice to the tenant and complete a proof of service form.

Unlawful Detainer Lawsuit

Once the notice is posted, if a certain amount of time has passed, you may need to file an unlawful detainer lawsuit.

The tenant will have the opportunity to respond to the lawsuit, and if the court rules in favor of the landlord, the tenant will have a specific period of time to vacate the property before they can be physically removed.

Lockout Prohibition

In California, landlords are prohibited from engaging in “self-help” eviction methods, such as changing locks or shutting off utilities to force the tenant out. Landlords who engage in these practices can face legal action and financial penalties.

Evictions in California: Now You Know

In summary, landlords in California must follow specific legal requirements and procedures for tenant evictions. Understanding these requirements and seeking legal assistance can help landlords avoid legal issues and ensure a successful eviction process.

Do you need help with property management in the Folsom area? We can help. Contact Residential Equity Management today for all the help you'll need.