There isn’t a landlord or a property manager in South Bay, Bonita or Chula Vista who enjoys evicting tenants. It’s time-consuming, it’s expensive, and it leaves you recovering financially and emotionally for several weeks or even months. The best way to deal with evictions is to avoid them. A thorough screening process and excellent communication will help you develop and maintain positive relationships with your tenants, and hopefully ensure they pay rent on time and follow the terms of your lease.
However, things happen. If you find yourself needing to evict a tenant, it’s crucial that you follow the required legal steps to the letter. Even one innocent mistake can result in your eviction being thrown out, and the entire process needing to start over.
South Bay Tenant Eviction: Serve Your Three Day Notice
There are a few legal reasons to evict a tenant, but the most common reason is nonpayment of rent. If your rent is not paid and the grace period comes and goes without payment, contact the tenant to see when you can expect it. Perhaps it was simply an oversight and the tenant will pay as soon as you call or message them. At the same time, you should post a Three Day Notice. This requires the tenants to pay the rent within three days or vacate the property. Serve this notice in person or post it on the outside door in a visible location. It’s a good idea to send it through the mail as well, and to document that you’ve served the notice.
The tenant will then have three days to either pay or leave. In most cases, you’ll receive the late rent, and you won’t have to go further into the eviction process. Check your lease for late fees and make sure you collect any that are owed.
File the Unlawful Detainer Action
In California, an eviction is called an unlawful detainer. If your tenants do not pay or move out three business days after you serve the notice, go to court and file the necessary unlawful detainer paperwork. The court will serve your tenant a Summons and Complaint, and the tenant will then have five days to respond. If the tenant is fighting the eviction or requests a hearing, that court date will usually be set from three to six weeks in the future. You have the option of accepting the rent and calling off the eviction while you’re waiting to go to court.
South Bay Tenant Eviction: Removing Your Tenant from the Property
If your tenant does not show up at court, the judge will issue you a default judgment. If the tenant does show up to court but you’re able to prove your case, you will win the unlawful detainer lawsuit. Then, the court will grant the tenant a specific amount of time to get out of the home with all of his or her personal possessions. Usually that time frame is two days to a week. If the tenant still refuses to leave, you’ll need to ask law enforcement for help in physically removing the tenant.
It’s always a good idea to get qualified legal advice before performing an eviction. While the process is not terribly complex, the stakes are high, and you will benefit from the peace of mind that comes with knowing an experienced professional manager in South Bay, Bonita or Chula Vista is handling your eviction.
If you need any help with South Bay, Chula Vista or Bonita evictions, please contact us at Encore Realty. We’d be happy to answer your questions and share additional advice.