Home Law Important things to know about the California eviction process

Important things to know about the California eviction process


In the eviction process, a landlord to uses legal means to remove the tenant from the premises. In every state there are laws that control termination of 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 follow to follow to end a tenancy. 

Notice of eviction

A California tenant can be evicted for various reasons, including failure to pay rent, violation of the lease agreement or damage to the premises. The landlord needs to give the occupant a written notice as to the reason for 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 type of notice covers when a tenant violates the lease agreement. The law allows the tenant three days to correct the violation. 

Three-day unconditional quit notice: This notice informs the tenant that he has committed serious violations on the premises and is required to move out within three days. The tenant may sublet the unit, damage the property or conduct illegal activities.

Notice for termination without cause

Whether a landlord can terminate a lease without cause depends on the tenancy, if it’s either long term or month to month. If it’s a lease, he may not terminate without cause unless there is a violation. If it’s month to month, he has to give 30 days’ notice.

Fixed-term tenancy:  The landlord can’t give the tenant a notice of eviction if the lease does not specify it. The terms of 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 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 time allowed, and the occupant is required to vacate the premises. If it is a 3-day notice, it should also state the reason for the eviction.

When a notice is given to a tenant, and he doesn’t vacate by the end of the period, the landlord can head to court and try to have the court enforce an eviction order. The California eviction process carried out by the court offers the tenant the right 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 his stay in the rental unit.

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 the landlord is required to use sheriff’s deputies 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. If he doesn’t, the landlord can charge the tenant for the 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 must be followed carefully by landlords when evicting a tenant. The controls enable a tenant to find a new place within the specified period preventing an occupant from losing a home. Though the eviction laws may seem cumbersome to the landlord they ensure that eviction is justified and fair.