Eviction & Unlawful Detainer Notices in California

May 04

The state of California has many different types of eviction notices depending on the circumstances of the rental agreement and the tenant’s circumstances.

The amount of notice that landlords and tenants receive depends on, for instance, factors such as the amount of time that the tenant has been renting from the landlord or the number of days between rent payments.

If a tenant is paying rent to the landlord on a monthly basis, as an example, then the landlord should receive a written notice at least 30 days in advance of when the tenant plans on moving out of the landlord’s property.

Of course, if the rental agreement that the landlord and tenant agreed upon at signing specifies the number of days advance notice before the tenant moves out of the landlord’s property, then the tenant should give the landlord as much advance notice as the rental agreement originally specified.

On the other hand, if a landlord in California is looking to provide a legal eviction notice from landlord to tenant then the landlord also has a few rules to follow.

A landlord renting out property in southern California areas like Los Angeles, Palm Springs or Riverside should provide a 30-day eviction notice if an unwanted tenant is being evicted from a monthly lease.

If that unwanted tenant has lived on the landlord’s property for more than one year, however, then California eviction law requires the landlord provide a 60-day eviction notice.

The longest duration eviction notice – i.e., a 90-day eviction notice from landlord to tenant – should be provided when the unwanted tenant is receiving government-subsidized housing.

This applies to government-subsidized housing situations anywhere in southern California, including areas like: Irvine, Anaheim, Palm Springs, Murrieta, Riverside, San Diego, Los Angeles, Ontario, Corona and San Bernardino.

Landlord’s notice to end a periodic tenancy

A landlord can evict an unwanted tenant in southern California and end a periodic tenancy of a rental agreement. (A tenant may do the same for different reasons, with different conditions and with different kinds of eviction notices.)

An eviction notice from landlord to tenant that seeks to end a periodic tenancy should be given to the unwanted tenant with advance written notice.

The eviction notice from landlord to tenant should give the tenant 60 days to move out in cases where the tenant has lived in the landlord’s rental unit for more than one year.

The eviction notice from landlord to tenant should be a 30-day eviction notice if the resident or tenant has lived in the rental unit for less than one year and the landlord has agreed to sell the rental unit out to another resident or tenant for one year or more after the unwanted tenant leaves.

A landlord wouldn’t have to wait for a 3-day eviction notice in cases where the tenant was conducted illicit activity on the rental property or endangering other tenants; in these cases, a 3-day eviction notice would be sufficient.

For an eviction notice from landlord to tenant to be valid under California eviction law, landlords must also meet a few conditions.

These include the following – the landlord must have opened an escrow with a licensed agent or real estate broker and given the tenant the 30-day notice no more than 120 days after opening the escrow; and, the landlord must not have given a previous 30- or 60-day notice to the same tenant.

Lastly, for the eviction notice from landlord to tenant to be valid in California the rental unit should be one that the landlord can sell separately from other dwelling units on the landlord’s property.

An eviction notice must include the following information: the date that the tenant was served; the name and address of the tenant; certificate of service; the landlord’s signature; the name, phone number and address of the financial institution that the tenant should make owed rental payments; and, the total amount of rent that the tenant owes.

Ideally, the landlord should directly serve the eviction notice to the tenant. In cases where that’s not possible, the landlord may use, what’s known as, substituted service to leave the notice with a family member or work colleague who is competent and 18 years or older.

The landlord should also mail a copy of the eviction notice to the unwanted tenant when substituted service is employed as a means of eviction by the landlord.

Landlord’s three-day eviction notice

Landlords looking to evict unwanted tenants in southern California can provide a three-day eviction notice from landlord to tenant in a number of circumstances. The most common reasons for a landlord looking to evict an unwanted tenant with a three-day eviction notice is a failure by the tenant to pay rent. Damaging the landlord’s rental property, violating the lease terms or rental agreement, using the rental property for illicit purposes (e.g., drug dealing or dogfighting on the rental property) as well as acts of domestic violence, the unlawful sale of weapons or ammunition on the rental property, and acts of sexual assault or stalking would all be grounds for the landlord providing a three-day eviction notice.

If such a three-day eviction notice from landlord to tenant is given the landlord still needs to ensure the eviction notice contains a few critical pieces of information. This would include the name, telephone number and address of the financial institution were payment should be made. If the tenant had been paying rent via an electronic fund transfer, then that form of payment may be subsequently used by the tenant in the future. If a tenant has failed to pay rent or violates certain terms of a rental or lease agreement, then that tenant has a chance to correct the violation after receiving a three-day eviction notice.

The tenancy can be continued if the tenant corrects most violations after receiving a three-day eviction notice from landlord to tenant. If the tenant has engaged in illegal activities or other non-correctable violations, then the three-day eviction notice will require the tenant to leave the rental property after the three-day period is up.

Steps Followed to Evicting Tenants in California

Mar 08

The process of evicting tenants in California is time-consuming and it requires an experienced Eviction Lawyer – Eviction Attorney. Filing a lawsuit is the only legal way of evicting a tenant. Eviction lawsuits in California are referred to as Unlawful Detainer actions.

Steps Followed to Evict Tenants in California

Have Legal Grounds to Evict Tenants

Before evicting a tenant, a landlord should have a valid reason. According to the California Eviction Law, landlords can evict tenants if they violate the terms of the agreement, fail to pay rent, use the property for unlawful deeds, or disturb other tenants.

Landlords are not allowed to use personal methods to evict tenants, and they should follow the unlawful detainer process. This means that they cannot lock tenants out or cut off basic utilities. If this is done and the tenant sues the landlord, they can be penalized.

Serve the Tenant with a Notice

Tenants who fail to pay rent should be served with a three-day notice indicating that rent is due. In such a case, only the rent is indicated and not penalties and other utilities. The notice should also provide the name, contact details and bank account number of the landlord where the rent should be paid. Landlords can also use the three-day notice when a tenant violates the rental contract. In some cases the bleach can be corrected, for instance, having a pet when they aren’t allowed. In such a situation the landlord has to give the tenant three days to fix the problem.

When evicting a tenant who has lived in a house for a few months, the landlord should give them a notice to move out in 30 days. However, if the tenant has been living in the house for more than a year, the landlord should give them a 60 days notification.

Filing a Case in a California Court of Law

After the landlord sends the eviction notice and it expires, he or she should wait for 30 more days before filing an unlawful detainer complaint. There are some  important forms that a landlord requires to file the case, and at such a time it is important to consult an attorney.

The landlord has to submit the civil case cover sheet together with the unlawful detainer complaint to the courthouse near the location of the property. At such a point a landlord should have an experienced Eviction Lawyer – Eviction Attorney to help them file the documents. The courthouse clerk will then issue summons and stamp a copy of the unlawful detainer complaint.

With the assistance of a landlord Attorney – Eviction Lawyer, the landlord will serve the tenant with the legal documents and then file proof of serving them. The tenant will have a  maximum of five days to communicate back and when they default the landlord can result to go through the court process which can eventually lead to the judge issuing the landlord with a Writ of Possession to allow the Sheriff to lock the tenant out.

Demanding Renter? Find Out What You Can Do As a Landlord

May 27

Landlords can often expect to eventually run into a demanding renter. This renter might complain about everything in the rental unit and make seemingly unreasonable requests, which may take time away from other landlord duties. Eviction Group, A Professional Law Corporation can tell you your obligations as a landlord, which are also spelled out in your lease and described by California state law.

 

California State law requires that at a minimum, landlords are required to ensure that the rental property is habitable. Habitable means that the property is equipped with basic items such as running water, heat, working appliances, and windows and doors. California laws explicitly state what proper maintenance entails. A knowledge of landlord-tenant laws can help you understand the difference between an unreasonable request and one that demands your attention. Eviction Group, A Professional Law Corporatioin can help you understand your obligation to your tenants and what does not fall under obligatory maintenance.

 

The lease agreement can also help establish the landlord’s responsibilities. Write out procedures for requesting repairs and emergency situations. By signing the lease, the tenant agrees to these terms. Dealing with a tenant demand can be frustrating, but it is always important to maintain a courteous and professional demeanor. Establish rules about when, where, and why tenants can reach you. Establish respectful ground rules to make sure that tenants do not open the door to unreasonable requests.

 

For more information about dealing with Landlord-Tenant issues, click here or call the Eviction Group, A Professional Law Corporation at (800) 985-9885.

 

 

This website is intended to provide general information only. Nothing contained in this article or on this website is intended to provide legal advice. By using this website you acknowledge and agree that you have not formed an attorney-client relationship with Eviction Group, A Professional Law Corporation and will not rely on any information contained on this website without personally speaking with an attorney. You further understand and acknowledge that Eviction Group, A Professional Law Corporation strongly encourages you to communicate directly with a lawyer, whether from Eviction Group, A Professional Law Corporation, or any other firm.

California Landlord Rights and Responsibilities

May 21

California has some of the most stringent landlord-tenant laws in the U.S. These laws give both landlords and tenants certain basic rights and responsibilities regardless of whether the lease agreement defines them. At Eviction Group, A Professional Law Corporation, our staff can help landlords deal with problem tenants, but here is what both parties should know…

 

Timely Consideration. In exchange for leasing a property to a tenant, the landlord is entitled to rental payments on time and in full each month. A reasonable fee may be charged for late or returned payments, if the lease defines these terms.

 

Performance by the Lease. A landlord and the tenant are both obligated to abide by any rules or restrictions outlined in the lease agreement. If a tenant violates the agreement in some way, the landlord has the right to evict the tenant from the property.

 

Appropriate Notice. The tenant is required to inform the landlord as soon as they find or cause defect or damage to the property. If the tenant does not inform the landlord, he or she cannot hold the landlord responsible for failing to repair the problem. The landlord is also entitled to compensation if the tenant willfully or carelessly caused the damage.

 

Proper Maintenance. The landlord’s responsibility is to ensure the continued habitability of the property. If this does not happen, the tenant can terminate the lease early without penalty.

 

Prompt Repairs. Assuming the tenant has given appropriate notice, the landlord must complete all repairs promptly and properly. The landlord is responsible for the cost of any repairs not caused by the tenant directly. If a landlord refuses to do the work or do it satisfactorily, California law permits the tenant to withhold rent payments and use the funds to have the work completed satisfactorily.

 

Unbiased Practices. Every landlord has the responsibility to abide by California’s anti-discrimination laws. Landlords cannot selectively choose to screen different applications based on different criteria.

 

To learn more about California landlord-tenant laws, click here or call Eviction Group, A Professional Law Corporation at (800) 985-9885.

 

 

This website is intended to provide general information only. Nothing contained in this article or on this website is intended to provide legal advice. By using this website you acknowledge and agree that you have not formed an attorney-client relationship with Eviction Group, A Professional Law Corporation and will not rely on any information contained on this website without personally speaking with an attorney. You further understand and acknowledge that Eviction Group, A Professional Law Corporation strongly encourages you to communicate directly with a lawyer, whether from Eviction Group, A Professional Law Corporation, or any other firm.

Evicting Bankrupt Tenants

Apr 30

Eviction Group, A Professional Law Corporation has helped clients regain their rental property after a tenant files for bankruptcy. Call us at (800) 985-9885 or click here to schedule a free consultation.

 

This website is intended to provide general information only. Nothing contained in this article or on this website is intended to provide legal advice. By using this website you acknowledge and agree that you have not formed an attorney-client relationship with Eviction Group, A Professional Law Corporation and will not rely on any information contained on this website without personally speaking with an attorney. You further understand and acknowledge that Eviction Group, A Professional Law Corporation strongly encourages you to communicate directly with a lawyer, whether from Eviction Group, A Professional Law Corporation, or any other firm.

Maintenance and Entry Guidelines for Rented Premises

Apr 29

Landlords have a duty to maintain their property and make repairs as soon as possible after they learn of them. Part of that duty also means giving tenants proper notice prior to entering their rental unit.

 

Landlords maintenance responsibilities must be at a standard that satisfies basic habitability requirements, such as adequate weatherproofing, available heat, water, electricity, and clean, sanitary, and structurally safe premises. Local building or housing authorities set specific standards that must be followed as well, such as a minimum requirement for light, ventilation, electrical wiring, and installation of smoke detectors.

 

The consequences of not making the necessary repairs can be steep and costly to a landlord. If a tenant requests a necessary repair and the property manager or landlord does not meet their legal responsibility in maintenance, a tenant can legally:

  • Withhold the entire rent until the problem is fixed
  • Hire someone to make the repair and deduct the cost from the next month’s rent
  • Pay less rent
  • Call a local building inspector, who can usually order landlords to make repairs
  • Move out, even with a remaining lease term

 

A tenant can also sue the landlord for a partial refund of past rent, discomfort, annoyance, and even emotional distressed caused by substandard conditions. The best policy is to take care of major problems within 24 hours and take care of minor problems within 48 hours. Make sure to always keep tenants informed as to when and how repairs will be made, and the reason for any possible delays.

 

Entry Guidelines

Most often, you are required to give at least 24 hours advance notice before entering a rental unit to make or assess repairs, or to show the unit to prospective tenants or purchasers. Advance notice is not required in the event of an emergency, such as fire or serious water leak, or when the tenant gives permission.

 

Click here or call Eviction Group, A Professional Law Corporation at (800) 985-9885 to speak with an experienced Unlawful Detainer attorney about maintenance and entry guidelines.

 

This website is intended to provide general information only. Nothing contained in this article or on this website is intended to provide legal advice. By using this website you acknowledge and agree that you have not formed an attorney-client relationship with Eviction Group, A Professional Law Corporation and will not rely on any information contained on this website without personally speaking with an attorney. You further understand and acknowledge that Eviction Group, A Professional Law Corporation strongly encourages you to communicate directly with a lawyer, whether from Eviction Group, A Professional Law Corporation, or any other firm.

FAQ About Security Deposit Regulations

Mar 31

Are there limits on how much a landlord can charge for a security deposit?

Yes. California laws state that a landlord may charge up to the equivalent of two (2) months rent for a security deposit if the rental unit is unfurnished. If the residence is furnished, then the landlord may charge up to the equivalent of three (3) months rent for a security deposit. If the renter has a waterbed, the landlord may charge an extra one-half (1/2) month’s rent.

In California, a landlord cannot charge any non-refundable fees.

 

When the renter moves out, how long does the landlord have to return the deposit?

In California, the landlord must return the security deposit, with an itemized statement of deductions no more than 21 days after the renter has returned the keys and vacated the property.

 

What kind of information do landlords have to provide to renters about security deposits?

In addition to the security deposit amount limits, landlords must provide advanced notice when taking deductions from the security deposit for repairs or cleaning.

 

Where can I find California laws on security deposits?

For additional information about the laws on security deposits, check out California Civil Code §§ 1950.5 and 1940.5 (g). City and county laws may differ slightly from state laws especially if your property is covered by rent control.

 

If you are concerned about a dispute, or need with security deposit issues, click here or call Eviction Group, A Professional Law Corporation at (800) 985-9885.

 

 

This website is intended to provide general information only. Nothing contained in this article or on this website is intended to provide legal advice. By using this website you acknowledge and agree that you have not formed an attorney-client relationship with Eviction Group, A Professional Law Corporation and will not rely on any information contained on this website without personally speaking with an attorney. You further understand and acknowledge that Eviction Group, A Professional Law Corporation strongly encourages you to communicate directly with a lawyer, whether from Eviction Group, A Professional Law Corporation, or any other firm.

Avoid Fair Housing Disputes

Mar 27

Guidelines to keep in mind to help you avoid Fair Housing complaints and lawsuits:

 

Check references, income, and credit. Many landlords simply make it policy to require credit reports for each and every tenant, no matter the circumstance. It is easy to run a credit check or a criminal background check for a minimal feel. Also, you should verify the applicant’s employment, income and bank account information as well as take the time to call their references, especially previous landlords.

Make decisions based on business reasons. Although you are entitled to reject applicants based on poor credit histories or unstable incomes, do not make the mistake of making your tenant choices based on personal reasons.

Understand the Fair Housing laws. The Federal Fair Housing Acts (42 U.S. Code §§3601-3619, 3631) specifically prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, religion, national origin, gender, age, familial status, physical or mental disability (including people recovering from addictions).

Train your staff to respect these rules. Property owners, managers, real estate agents, and all of their employees must also follow Fair Housing laws or the owner may be held liable for an employee’s discriminatory statement or conduct.

Be consistent. This is crucial when dealing with prospective tenants. If you arbitrarily set tougher standards for some and not others you are opening yourself up to lawsuits. Same goes for cutting someone a break and not others.

 

For additional information about the Fair Housing Act click here or call Eviction Group, A Professional Law Corporation at (800) 985-9885.

 

 

This website is intended to provide general information only. Nothing contained in this article or on this website is intended to provide legal advice. By using this website you acknowledge and agree that you have not formed an attorney-client relationship with Eviction Group, A Professional Law Corporation and will not rely on any information contained on this website without personally speaking with an attorney. You further understand and acknowledge that Eviction Group, A Professional Law Corporation strongly encourages you to communicate directly with a lawyer, whether from Eviction Group, A Professional Law Corporation, or any other firm.

Keeping Good Tenant Records

Feb 27

When facing a tenant-landlord dispute, certain records can mean the difference between a resolution and a lawsuit. Eviction Group, A Professional Law Corporation has prepared this list of documents you should keep on record:

 

Keeping a good paper and electronic trail for tenant, includes the following documents before tenant move-in:

  • Tenant’s and co-signers’ rental application, references, credit report and background information
  • Signed lease or rental agreement, along with any amendments
  • Property inventory including a description or photograph of the condition of each piece of property you provided prior to move-in

 

After tenant moves in, add the following documents to the individual’s file:

  • Your written requests for entry and their answers if provided
  • Notices of rent increases or late payments
  • Detailed records of repair requests and when they were handled
  • Inspection reports and safety and maintenance updates
  • Any e-mails and correspondence, even notes about phone calls

 

In addition to the rental and property information, you will want to keep up-to-date contact and necessary personal information about your tenant, such as:

  • Address or unit number
  • Move-in date
  • Tenant’s phone number
  • Name, address, and phone number of tenant’s employer
  • Credit information, including where the tenant banks
  • Monthly rent amount and due date
  • Amount and purpose of any deposits, including information about location of deposit and interest payments
  • Tenant’s vehicle make, model, year, color and license plate number
  • Tenant’s preferred emergency contacts
  • Whatever else you believe to be important

 

Finally, be sure to keep good records of your rental income and expenses for your own landlord tax purposes.

 

If you have questions or concerns click here or call Eviction Group, A Professional Law Corporation at (800) 985-9885.

 

 

This website is intended to provide general information only. Nothing contained in this article or on this website is intended to provide legal advice. By using this website you acknowledge and agree that you have not formed an attorney-client relationship with Eviction Group, A Professional Law Corporation and will not rely on any information contained on this website without personally speaking with an attorney. You further understand and acknowledge that Eviction Group, A Professional Law Corporation strongly encourages you to communicate directly with a lawyer, whether from Eviction Group, A Professional Law Corporation, or any other firm.

Key Differences Between Leases and Rental Agreements

Feb 20

Eviction Group, A Professional Law Corporation has helped clients understand their lease and rental agreements and obligations. Both leases and rental agreements are legal contracts that establish the terms of tenancy, but the primary difference between the two is the length of tenancy.

 

Before we go any further, it is important to explain the meaning of the word “term.” In a lease, rental agreement, or any other type of contract, “term” is used in two different ways:

 

To delineate rules or conditions. For example, if the agreement says, “The terms of the lease (or rental) include $600 rent due on the 1st day of every month, no pets, and no painting the wall or any other surface of the rental unit.” This means that you must pay this rent, you cannot have a pet in the unit, and you cannot apply paint to any surface of the unit. If you do not abide by these things, you will have broken (or “breached”) the agreement, and the landlord may be entitled to give you termination notice.

 

As a way to describe the length (months or years) of the agreement. For example, the agreement might say, “The term of the lease is one year from date of signed contract.” This means that you must pay the rent and abide by the property rules for one year and you’ll get to live there for that time.

 

Rental Agreements

Rental agreements are usually shorter tenancy period, usually one month. And the landlord can change the rental agreement with proper written notice at any time. A month-to-month rental agreement automatically rolls over each month unless the tenant or landlord give notice to end the agreement.

 

Leases

Leases are much more rigid and usually last for a longer period of tenancy. You and your landlord are bound by the original terms of the lease agreement until the lease ends. Your landlord cannot raise the rent, change other terms, or force you to move out unless you breach an important term of the lease such as not paying rent or violating property laws. At the end of the tenancy, you or your landlord may decline to renew or negotiate new terms or sign with the same term. If the tenancy is renewed, the lease can turn into a month-to-month rental agreement.

 

For more questions or concerns about landlord-tenant disputes, click here or contact Eviction Group, A Professional Law Corporation at (800) 985-9885 to speak with an experienced attorney.

 

 

This website is intended to provide general information only. Nothing contained in this article or on this website is intended to provide legal advice. By using this website you acknowledge and agree that you have not formed an attorney-client relationship with Eviction Group, A Professional Law Corporation and will not rely on any information contained on this website without personally speaking with an attorney. You further understand and acknowledge that Eviction Group, A Professional Law Corporation strongly encourages you to communicate directly with a lawyer, whether from Eviction Group, A Professional Law Corporation, or any other firm.