Together We Win

When is an eviction illegal in California?

On Behalf of | Sep 28, 2022 | Real Estate Law |

As a landlord, you must follow due process when evicting your tenant. You may have valid reasons for wanting your tenant out, but you cannot take the law into your own hands. If you evict your tenant unlawfully, you may expose yourself to legal trouble should they sue you.

Therefore, it is essential to understand what you need to do as a landlord when you want a tenant out of your property. Here is a brief on the eviction process in California.

You must have valid reasons

You must first have legal reasons for evicting your tenant. Some of the legal grounds for evicting a tenant include:

  • Failure to pay rent on time
  • Violating the lease agreement
  • Damaging the property
  • Being a nuisance to neighbors

However, you cannot evict a tenant based on their religion, sex, race, and the number of children, among other personal attributes. Similarly, you cannot evict a tenant in retaliation for reporting a complaint about a building code violation.

Follow the eviction procedures

It is against the law to change locks, turn off utilities or frustrate a tenant’s stay on the property to force them out. You ought to understand the eviction process and follow it to the letter. Unlawful eviction lawsuits can be costly to settle, and you may lose out if you unlawfully evicted a tenant.

You must issue the tenant a written notice of eviction. The notice depends on the reasons you want them out. It may provide the tenant with a few days to rectify mistakes, or the eviction will proceed as planned. 

You may then continue to file a court case if the tenant does not abide by the notice. Should the judge decide that the tenant should vacate, you can then execute the judgment as directed