Due to the eviction moratorium imposed as a response to the coronavirus pandemic, owners of residential rental properties have had few options for dealing with problematic tenants during the past two years. However, with the impending end of the moratorium, landlords are beginning the process of eviction for delinquent tenants. Filing an unlawful detainer is one of the most effective ways to expedite this process.
An Eviction Lawsuit for Residential Rentals
Many municipalities maintain strict protections for tenants in California, even after they’ve been served with an eviction notice. It is often possible to end a tenant’s lease but still be unable to take possession of the property. Since you cannot physically remove a tenant or take other actions that would increase your liability, you must demonstrate you have followed all the legally required steps of the eviction process, including:
- Serving a notice of complaint (either non-payment or other lease violation).
- Allowing the tenant enough time to fix the problem (pay back rent, if possible, or some other agreement).
- Filing a summons or complaint with the proper venue.
- Serving a three-day or five-day notice to vacate.
If your tenant does not answer the summons or complaint within five days, you can obtain a default judgment and then obtain assistance from law enforcement to remove the tenant from the property.
Dealing with Answers or Responses
Obtaining a default judgment simplifies the situation. However, many landlord-tenant matters wind up in court where both sides have the opportunity to present their arguments regarding alleged lease violations. Going to court always carries an element of risk. By securing a robust and versatile team familiar with the California eviction process, you will greatly minimize your exposure to risk.