When Should a Landlord Hire a Lawyer?
Many landlords own or manage only a few rental properties, so they are unlikely to have an eviction attorney on staff. You shouldn’t really need to have a lawyer on retainer or constantly consult one, but you should be able to recognize situations in which an attorney experienced with the eviction process is necessary even for advice.
At the end of the day, landlords are still business owners– they aim to make their business profitable while avoiding liability. In certain situations, the advice and guidance of a lawyer can help you achieve these goals more efficiently. One of the most common scenarios that benefits from a lawyer’s input is eviction.
In California, an eviction lawsuit takes much less time than regular civil cases. But in order for the process to take place quickly, landlords must follow extremely strict and detailed rules, from notifying the tenant about the lawsuit to filing the correct paperwork and forms. In addition, many judges will set the bar very high when it comes to the tenant’s home. It is always a good idea to seek the help of an experienced eviction attorney if:
- this is your first eviction
- the tenant is fighting the eviction with a lawyer
- the tenant is an employee you are letting go
- the tenant is filing for bankruptcy, or
- you must comply with rent control or housing program rules for eviction.
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