Burning Questions About California Eviction Notices

An eviction is a legal method by which a property owner gets in a position to regain possession of a rental unit. Every state has specific rules for evicting a tenant, and if you fail to follow these rules correctly, you’ll be forced to begin the eviction method again. Understanding the eviction method and knowing how to do that will facilitate a fast and comparatively hassle-free eviction.

What are eviction notices?

Notices are the preliminary steps to start an eviction process. It needs to state how many days the tenant has left to use the rental place before they have to find a new home. It is an essential requirement for landlords to provide a notice to the tenants whenever they are evicting the tenants. There are several types of notices on the California law. Commonly use the three-day notice, the 30-day notice as well as the 60-day notice. There is a 90-day notice, but it’s rarely used.

Today we’re going to talk about what happens if the tenant stays beyond the notice given. For example, if the landlord gave a three-day notice because the tenants didn’t pay rent, but the tenant either did not pay the rent within those three days or still occupies the property. Even if you are a landlord, you can not do a few things. For example, going in the property and locking the property to kick the tenants out. You still have to file a case with the county court to get a formal eviction judgment where the judge says that you can go in as the landlord, and this process is called the unlawful detainer process.

You gave a three-day notice and tenant still occupies the property. So what needs to be done? 

The first step to file a complaint is called the unlawful detainer process. Basically, In that complaint, you need to specify your lease agreement with the tenant, how much rent is owed to you, what the lease agreement says, and what you’re asking from the judge. The well-known way to do this is to go online and find the judicial council form. They have an excellent template for you to fill out an entitled unlawful detainer complaint template. It’s a relatively simple template that you fill out and that you can file with the county court.

Keep in mind that there’s a fee applicable for this, and once you submit it, you have to serve the complaint, you will usually need to hire a registered process server for this task.   Just like we describe on the notices in terms of serving the notice, there is also a procedure for serving the complaint. You have to personally serve the complaint with the summons to your tenant to formally start the eviction process.

What happens once you’ve done all those steps of filing and serving it?

The tenant gets five days to file a responsive pleading if they want. A responsive pleading is a responsive document to the complaint saying that we deny everything that was alleged or they complained and gave reasons such as, why they didn’t pay rents is that the landlord didn’t fix problems. So they are allowed to withhold the rent.

what to do If the tenant does not file a responsive pleading?

However, If the tenant does not file a responsive pleading after five days, the landlord can ask for something that will prevent the tenant from filing a responsive pleading. Then they can ask for a default judgment, A judgment in which the landlord is formally requesting the judge to grant him possession of the property and possibly offer attorneys fees as well.

What to do after getting the judgment?

If it is written in the lease agreement that the tenant has rent due, then you can take that document to the sheriff’s office and then formally schedule a lockout date when you can go in and lockout the property.

Everything about the process we just explained was rapid and simple. I highly recommend that if you don’t clearly understand how the unlawful detainer process works, read more about it and consult an attorney before trying to handle it yourself. Because if you mess-up the eviction process, the judge is going to award the tenant and make you start all over again. So it’s essential that you precisely understand how to go on the eviction process and if you don’t consult an attorney you face a lot of problems to finish the process, you may even fail!