Monday, July 25, 2005

The Eviction Process - California Department Of Consumer Affairs

The Eviction Process - California Department Of Consumer Affairs

In some areas of California law, a high percentage of lawsuits involve parties trying to represent themselves because of the high cost of legal fees. Eviction lawsuits are one example where this commonly occurs. If a tenant is not paying rent, that person most likely cannot afford an attorney but will often fight an eviction lawsuit with the help of forms available from the local legal aid office. Likewise, some landlords cannot afford to hire attorneys to collect what is sometimes a relatively small amount of rent owed. Some landlords will try to handle the eviction themselves.

Eviction lawsuits are handled much more quickly than most civil lawsuits. To protect the due process rights of the tenants, eviction lawsuits (also called "unlawful detainer" actions) are subject to very strict and technical procedural rules that are difficult to follow without the assistance of legal counsel.

To assist landlords, the California Department of Consumer Affairs has developed a surprisingly informative website discussing the basic procedures of the eviction process. Although it is not meant as a substitute for qualified legal advice, it serves as a good starting part for confused landlords and tenants.

About the Author: Carl H. Starrett II has been a licensed attorney since 1993 and is a member in good standing with the California State Bar and the San Diego County Bar Association. Mr. Starrett practices in the areas of bankruptcy, business litigation, construction, corporate planning and debt collection.


JustaDog said...

It's sad that landlords do not have the right to choose who they want to occupy their property - yet are often held accountable for criminal actions of undesireable tennants.

Landlords should be allowed to choose who they want to rent to, without limitations. It is their property and should be their right!

Carl Starrett said...

Altough there are laws the prohibit arbitrary discrimination in the rental process such as discrimination based on race, landlords have very broad discretion in choosing tenants. And landlords generally are NOT liable for the criminal activities of a tenant unless they fail to take action after becoming aware of criminal activity.

In my opinion, the sad part is that there are some people who know how to work the system and avoid paying rent by filing for bankruptcy and other efforts to stall the eviction process.

Anonymous said...

My mom had her home in a living trust. She built & owned it before marrying her new husband of 2 1/2 years before she passed away. Now this man refuses to allow me, (her son & trustee of her trust) to be on my mom's property to administrate the selling of her home. What can I do?

Carl Starrett said...

You should consult an estate planning lawyer and then an eviction lawyer. If you are the successor trustee, a lawyer can help you get the property in your name and then you can take legal action to evict your stepfather.

Anonymous said...

Does anyone know the Calif. code that allows the seller of a property to assign all his rights of possession and rents to a new buyer? The seller has just served the 3 day notice, but will not have time to complete the Eviction prior to the sched. close date, but wants to help the new owner, so that he can take over and not start all over again.

Anonymous said...

ok my grandfather passed away and he left his house to me. I am now the owner of the house. my sister had been staying there while my grandpa was still alive, she is 22 years of age and does not pay any kind of rent. I want her out of the house. she is constantly a problem. i do not want her staying there any longer. There is no agreement or lease. What are my steps to get her out of my house???
Please help.

Bill said...

Evicting tenants can be a major headaches if a landlord doesn't understand the specific laws and regulations in the area.
They believe they can save money by representing themselves, but if they have a tenant who understands the rules, this can lead to months of free rent.
In most cases this is far costlier than simply hiring legal representation or making sure you have indepth knowledge before you begin.