According to research, there are, on average, 160 households facing court eviction in California on a yearly basis. While some of these evictions may be unfair, others are necessary. This is because the tenant is not complying with the rules set out in the contract (lease) created between the landlord and the tenant. But, what do you do when you have a nightmare tenant? Here are 4 things you should know about California evictions if you are a landlord.
1. Make Sure Your Reason for Evicting Your Tenants is Valid
There are plenty of reasons you may want to evict your tenants. These could include:
- Refusal to pay rent
- Disruption to neighbors
- Damage to the property
- Issues with the security deposit
- Inability to pay the utility bills
You may also find that your tenants are not using your home legally. For example, they may make alterations to your home without informing you first.
Whatever the reason for evicting them, make sure it is valid. Also, do not take matters into your own hands. If you do, they may be able to sue you.
2. Serve Your Tenants with a Legal Notice
Before you serve your tenants with a legal notice, try and resolve the issue. If you cannot resolve the situation peacefully, then you can take legal action. Your notice to the tenant should include:
- Your name, address, and phone number
- The date of the legal notice
- The name and address of the tenant
- Proof of service of the notice
- Your signature
The notice you give your tenant will depend on the amount of time they have lived in the property. For a month-to-month lease, typically you can give 30 days notice. For a tenant who has been in the property for more than a year, you must give them 60 days notice.
3. Wait the Appropriate Time Before Filing a Lawsuit
When it comes to California evictions, you must stay patient. No matter how bad your tenants are, you cannot file a lawsuit right away or resort to self-help. You must wait for the notice period to expire before you take legal action.
4. Get All the Right Legal Documents Together
Once the legal notice period is over, you need to get all the right legal documents together to give yourself the best chance of winning your case. In this case, your best option is to work with a local lawyer that specializes in landlord and tenant services.
The most important documents you will need to go ahead with your complaint include:
- A Prejudgment Right of Possession Form
- A Civil Case Cover Sheet
- An Unlawful Detainer Complaint
Make sure to fill in all these forms as meticulously as you can. They must all be factually correct.
Learn More About California Evictions From the Law Office of Lisa Wills
California evictions can take time, even if the odds are on your side. From the moment you file your legal documents, it can take two months or more to go ahead with the eviction.
With this in mind, it is essential that you work with the right lawyer so that you can start the process as quickly as possible. If you arre in Livermore, San Ramon, Danville, Dublin, Castro Valley, Hayward, or Pleasanton, contact Lisa D. Wills of the Law Offices of Lisa Wills.
One of our friendly team members will be happy to run you through the process of how we can help you win your case.