California Eviction Process Overview

 

The following provides a high-level overview of the California eviction process. Generally, landlords who hire the Law Office of David Piotrowski to represent their interests in an eviction matter can expect 6 stages of an eviction. Landlords who have an ongoing, pending eviction matter can refer back to this page frequently for a reminder of the process and to compare it to the stages of their individual case.


California Eviction Process Overview

  1. Case Review

    We review your paperwork and communicate with you, our client, about your case.

  2. Notice Period

    This is when we create the notice that terminates the tenancy (3 day notice, 30 day notice, 60 day notice, etc.). Our process server will serve your tenant, and then we wait to see whether or not the tenant complies with the notice. During this stage, landlords should not do anything that could be considered a waiver of the notice.

  3. Case Filed and Ongoing

    If your tenant fails to comply with the termination notice, then we will prepare and file your eviction case at court. The process server will then serve your tenant with the actual court documents. Then, we wait to see whether or not your tenant disputes the eviction. Regardless of whether the tenant responds to and fights the case or not, our goal is to try to obtain a judgment for possession of the rental property.

  4. Sheriff Lockout Process

    Assuming a judgment is obtained awarding possession of the property to the landlord, it is now time to begin the sheriff lockout process. We will work to obtain the necessary paperwork needed from the court and will then submit the documents to the sheriff for processing. The sheriff will schedule a lockout date. We will notify you when to meet the sheriff at the property. The lockout date will be the day when the landlord regains actual possession of the rental property and the tenant will have no right to be there anymore.

  5. Money Judgment and Collections

    In this optional step, we may be able to assist with obtaining a money judgment against the tenant. If a money judgment is obtained, and on a case-by-case basis, we may be able to help trying to collect the money from the tenant. The chances of this being successful will depend in part on whether the tenant works/banks in the same county where the case was filed, and if you know where the tenant works and their bank account information.

  6. Case Completed

    Once you have regained possession of your rental property, the eviction case is complete!

The following infographic providing an overview of the California eviction process.

California eviction process overview.

Additional Information

Disclaimer

The information in this article and blog are not meant to be legal advice and is intended for educational purposes only. The laws change frequently and this article may not be updated to reflect current rules. Do not rely on this article when making legal decisions. Consult with legal counsel regarding your particular case before taking any action.

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California and Los Angeles Eviction Moratorium Updates for October 2021

 

Now that October 2021 is upon us, there are some updates on the eviction moratorium in California, Los Angeles County, and Los Angeles City. This article will provide insight into some of the biggest changes to these eviction moratoriums.

California Eviction Moratorium

As of the writing of this article, it does not appear that California will be extending the statewide eviction moratorium which has been in effect for a year and a half and has applied to residential rental properties. This means, if the residential rental property is not subject to any other eviction protections at the local or state level, landlords will again be able to commence no-cause evictions, typically beginning with the serving of a 30/60 day notice to terminate tenancy. For areas that we service, the allowance of no-cause evictions are primarily limited to Ventura County and Orange County, since LA County and LA City still restrict no-cause evictions as will be discussed below. If you are a landlord in Ventura or Orange county and want to pursue a no-cause eviction, schedule a call with us to discuss possible representation.

Beginning October 1, 2021, landlords will be able to utilize 3 day notices to pay rent or quit when demanding rent that became due from October 1, 2021 and beyond, instead of the 15 day notice that was required through September 2021. However, landlords cannot simply go back to using the pre-COVID 3 day notice to pay rent or quit. There are additional requirements that landlords must adhere to with respect to 3 day notices to pay rent or quit, for the time period between October 1, 2021 and March 31, 2022.

Here are some of the main points for 3 day notices to pay rent or quit, beginning on October 1, 2021 and extending through March 31, 2022, which can be found in Civil Code 1179.10:

  1. For rent due between October 1, 2021 and March 31, 2022, the landlord can use a 3 day notice to pay rent or quit. This is not the “normal” 3 day notice that landlords used prior to COVID. Additional requirements must be followed between October 1, 2021 and March 31, 2022.
  2. The amount of rent demanded and the date each amount became due must be clearly itemized on the 3 day notice.
  3. A special notice from the State of California must be included on the 3 day notice and must include the telephone number and internet website address of the pertinent government rental assistance program.
  4. If the rent demanded is for rent prior to October 1, 2021, the landlord must still use a 15 day notice to pay rent or quit, and follow the rules that were outlined in previous California legislation, even if the 15 day notice is created and served after October 1, 2021. The controlling factor is the time period that the rent is demanded under the notice. In other words, if the landlord is serving a notice that is for rent that became due prior to October 2021, the landlord should use a 15 day notice. If the landlord is serving a notice that is for rent that became due in October 2021 or later, the landlord should use the special 3 day notice. If the landlord is seeking unpaid rent for a combination of months before and after October 2021, then 2 separate notices (a 15 day and a 3 day) must be served, and can be served simultaneously.
  5. If the tenancy commenced on or after October 1, 2021, meaning the tenant did not move into the property until October 1, 2021 or later, the landlord can serve a regular 3 day notice to pay or quit, without any special requirements. A “regular” 3 day notice to pay rent or quit can only be used if this is a new tenancy which commenced no earlier than October 1, 2021. If the tenancy commenced prior to October 1, 2021, the landlord will have to utilize the new 3 day notice rules, even if the landlord is only demanding rent from October 2021 forward.
  6. These special 3 day notice to pay rent or quit rules will be in effect until March 31, 2022, unless modified or extended.

In addition to these new requirements for 3 day notices to pay rent or quit, landlords will be unable to get a summons on a complaint for unlawful detainer that is based on non payment of rent unless the landlord takes affirmative action to apply for the government renter assistance program. See Civil Code 1179.11. A landlord will be unable to file the unlawful detainer action until after submitting the rental assistance application and then waiting 20 days since the later of 1) the date of submitting the rental relief application, and 2) the date that the landlord served the 3 day notice. There will be a new court form incorporating these new rules that will need to be filled out by the landlord and submitted to the court.

The details surrounding these rules are complicated and landlords wanting to learn more are encouraged to schedule a paid informational phone call with us.

LA County Eviction Moratorium

The LA county eviction moratorium applies in all unincorporated parts of LA county, plus cities that do not have their own eviction moratorium. The LA county eviction moratorium was set to expire at the end of September 2021. However, at a meeting of the LA County Board of Supervisors on September 28, 2021, the Supervisors voted to extend the LA county eviction moratorium all the way through January 31, 2022.

With respect to non-payment cases, LA county refers to the state rules.

Under the LA county eviction moratorium, most no-fault evictions are banned. This means a landlord has no right to terminate a month-to-month tenancy for any type of no-fault reason, with very limited exceptions. Just don’t want to rent the property to the tenant anymore? Too bad. Have other plans for the property, want to sell it, or remodel it? Too bad. LA county gives landlords no right to evict for any of these no-fault reasons. One small exception to the no-fault ban is if the reason for the eviction is owner or owner family-member move in, a landlord can evict if certain restrictions are satisfied.

The LA county eviction moratorium also prohibits evictions based on nuisance or for unauthorized occupants or pets whose presence is necessitated by or related to COVID.

A residential tenant protected under the LA county eviction moratorium can even deny the landlord entry to the property except in very limited cases.

It’s almost as if the owner doesn’t own the property anymore but still has the requirements of paying all the taxes, insurance, and under some leases, the utilities, and responding to any needed repairs! It is not a good time to be a landlord in LA!

For more information on the LA county eviction moratorium, schedule a paid consultation with us and review the county website.

LA City Eviction Moratorium

No change to the LA city eviction moratorium. Landlords are still severely restricted when it comes to terminating a tenancy in the city of Los Angeles. No-fault evictions are not permitted. The LA city eviction moratorium will remain in effect until the Mayor of LA declares the local emergency period over.

For more information on the LA city eviction moratorium, schedule a paid consultation with us and review the city website.

Additional Information

Disclaimer

The information in this article and blog are not meant to be legal advice and is intended for educational purposes only. The laws change frequently and this article may not be updated to reflect current rules. Do not rely on this article when making legal decisions. Consult with legal counsel regarding your particular case before taking any action.

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AB 832: California Extends Eviction Moratorium To September 30, 2021

 

The State of California recently passed AB 832, which extends eviction protections through September 30, 2021. AB 832 extends and replaces earlier eviction restrictions that were found in SB 91 and AB 3088.

This article is not meant to rehash the eviction moratorium in California. If you want to learn about previous iterations of the California eviction moratorium, please read our article on SB 91 and AB 3088. Instead, this article will touch on some (but not all) of the changes and updates to California’s eviction moratorium. The new rules are codified in AB 832.

New Notice for Tenants

On or before July 31, 2021, a landlord shall provide, in at least 12-point type, a new notice to tenants who, as of July 1, 2021, have not paid one or more rental payments that came due during the COVID period. Landlords must provide this new notice to their tenant regardless of whether the landlord is taking any other action against the tenant. The new notice can be downloaded from this government website.

Rental Assistance

Landlords may now be able to receive up to 100% of the COVID rent debt. However, not all tenancies will qualify. Either the landlord or the tenant can apply for relief under the new AB 832 eviction moratorium rules to receive up to 100% of the COVID rental debt. This is a change from the prior rule that said if the landlord doesn’t want to participate, the landlord would only receive 25% if the tenant decided to unilaterally apply for the rent relief program.

AB 832 Eviction Moratorium Extends Parts of SB 91 and AB 3088 and Adds New Provisions

The following are some of the provisions in the AB 832 law that have extended or changed the California eviction moratorium.

  • 15 day notice to pay rent or quit requirement is still in effect but has new/different language requirements. Tenants must still sign and return a declaration to the landlord. Tenants now have until September 30, 2021, to pay the landlord at least 25% of any rent missed between September 1, 2020 and September 30, 2021.
  • Extends just-cause requirements for eviction through September 30, 2021.
  • Normal small claims court monetary limits are lifted for the recovery of COVID-19 rental debt (an action to recover such debt cannot commence until November 1, 2021, subject to local restrictions)
  • Limited access to case records
  • Certain landlords will be able to receive 100% of the COVID rent debt from the government (up from the prior 80%). Tenants or landlords can apply for the 100%. Landlords can now receive funds even if the tenant who incurred the debt has already moved out.
  • There are new requirements for 3 day notices that are served after October 1, 2021, if the 3 day notice pertains to COVID-19 rental debt.

Additional Information

Disclaimer

The information in this article and blog are not meant to be legal advice and is intended for educational purposes only. The laws change frequently and this article may not be updated to reflect current rules. Do not rely on this article when making legal decisions. Consult with legal counsel regarding your particular case before taking any action.

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Los Angeles County Extends Eviction Moratorium Again, to September 30, 2021

 

Once again, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors voted to extend the eviction moratorium. The new expiration date is September 30, 2021.

The following FAQ’s provide answers to common questions landlords may have regarding LA county’s eviction moratorium. Immediately after the FAQ, additional details are provided on the LA county eviction moratorium.

Has the LA county eviction moratorium been extended to September 30, 2021?

Yes.

Does the LA county eviction moratorium apply to non-payment of rent cases?

Yes, if the reason for non-payment is related to COVID-19.

Does the LA county eviction moratorium apply to no-fault evictions?

Yes. This means, among other things, the landlord cannot evict the tenant for certain no-fault reasons including selling the property, or for owner move-in (with limited exceptions).

Can a landlord evict a tenant in LA county due to nuisance, unauthorized occupants, or pets?

Generally no.

Can a tenant deny access to the landlord?

Yes, except in very limited circumstances.

Can a landlord evict a tenant who signed a repayment plan and then stops paying per the agreed terms?

No, this is not grounds for an eviction.

If a tenant provides the landlord with a payment, how does a landlord apply the payment?

The landlord must apply the payment to the prospective month’s rent, unless the tenant states otherwise.

Can a landlord raise the rent while the LA county eviction moratorium is in effect?

If the property is in unincorporated LA county, no.

Can a landlord harass or retaliate against a tenant?

No.

Here are more details found in the LA county eviction moratorium extension law, which is in effect now through September 30, 2021:

  • The Los Angeles County eviction moratorium, through September 30, 2021, prohibits evictions based on non-payment of rent due to financial hardship related to COVID-19 and failure to repay unpaid rent by the end of the applicable repayment period.
  • The Los Angeles County eviction moratorium, through September 30, 2021, prohibits no-fault evictions (this is a significant difference from the California eviction moratorium).
  • The Los Angeles County eviction moratorium, through September 30, 2021, prohibits evictions due to the tenant causing a nuisance or for unauthorized occupants or pets whose presence is necessitated by or related to the COVID-19 emergency.
  • The Los Angeles County eviction moratorium, through September 30, 2021, prohibits evictions on the grounds that such tenant denied entry by the landlord unless the reason for entry was for 1) remedying a condition that substantially endangers or impairs the health or safety of the tenant or other persons in or around the rental unit, or 2) the tenant is causing or threatening to cause substantial damage to the residential rental unit.
  • The Los Angeles County eviction moratorium, through September 30, 2021, prohibits evictions based on the tenant’s failure to pay back rent under the terms of a payment plan and makes any terms in a payment plan that allows eviction due to the tenant’s failure to comply with the terms of the payment plan void as contrary to public policy (so in effect, the tenant can deviate from their agreed repayment plan with the landlord and they can’t be evicted for failure to honor a payment plan that they voluntarily agreed to).
  • The Los Angeles County eviction moratorium, through September 30, 2021, prohibits landlords from applying a rental payment to any rental debt other than the prospective month’s rent, or such other month or rental debt that the tenant specifies, unless the tenant has agreed in writing to allow the payment to be so applied.
  • The Los Angeles County eviction moratorium, through September 30, 2021, carves out a small exception to the moratorium, lifting the prohibition on evictions of residential tenants in situations where a landlord, who purchased a single family home on or before June 30, 2021, wishes to move into the single family home for the landlord or landlord’s family member use and they intend to occupy as their principal residence, but only if very limited and strict conditions are met.
  • The Los Angeles County eviction moratorium, through September 30, 2021, prohibits rent increases in unincorporated areas of the county.
  • Prohibits landlords and their agents from harassing, intimidating, or retaliating against the tenant (there is no reciprocal prohibition in the eviction moratorium prohibiting the tenant from harassing the landlord). There are several examples in the moratorium describing what could be considered harassment by the landlord.

The LA county moratorium applies in unincorporated areas of LA county, and, effective September 1, 2020, it also applies in incorporated cities if the city does not have its own moratorium that is at least as restrictive as the county moratorium. The LA County moratorium is meant to provide uniform, minimum standards protecting tenants.

Additional Information

The foregoing article is meant for educational purposes only and is not legal advice and should not be construed as such. The laws change frequently and this article may not be updated to reflect the current regulations. Contact legal counsel to discuss your situation.

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Los Angeles County Extends Eviction Moratorium through June 30, 2021

 

When will the pain end for Los Angeles county landlords, especially small mom-and-pop landlords? Not anytime soon, thanks to the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors. On February 23, 2021, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors voted to extend the county moratorium on evictions through June 30, 2021. But that’s not all. The Board also voted to add additional tenant protections at the expense of landlords throughout the county. This article will outline some of the main parts to the Los Angeles county eviction moratorium and its extension through June 30, 2021.

The LA county eviction moratorium protects tenants much more than the state law, SB 91. Under the LA county eviction moratorium, in effect through June 30, 2021, a landlord cannot evict a tenant for a no-fault reason. Further, a landlord cannot evict a tenant for nuisance, unauthorized occupants, or pets, if COVID-related. Even more absurd is that a landlord can be denied entry to their own property, unless the reason for the entry has to do with making substantial repairs that endangers health or safety, or if the tenant is causing or threatening to cause substantial damage. (Even though the tenant may not have been paying rent for many months, the landlord is still obligated to maintain the habitability of the property and make repairs.) Landlords are prohibited from harassing tenants or taking retaliatory action against a tenant, and the moratorium has a long list of what could be considered as harassment or retaliation. Interestingly (but not surprisingly), there is a lack of protections for landlords when the tenant is harassing or retaliating against the landlord.

One of the most shocking items in the Los Angeles county eviction moratorium is that if a landlord violates the moratorium, the county can impose administrative fines against the landlord. Further, any tenant, or any other person or entity acting on behalf of the tenant, including the county, may file a civil action against the landlord/owner. There is also the possibility of criminal liability for landlords/owners who violate the moratorium. There is no “warning” requirement, meaning, if a landlord accidentally violates one of the rules, the landlord is liable without pre-existing warning or notice. There will be many landlords, especially small mom-and-pop landlords, who have no intention of violating the LA county eviction moratorium, but due to the many complexities and outrageous rules imposed, may inadvertently violate a rule, opening themselves up to potential liability. To show some semblance of fairness, the county should at least require notice to the owner of an alleged violation and provide the owner a reasonable opportunity to cure the violation prior to allowing someone to take action against the landlord for an alleged violation. As of February 24, 2021, there is no such notice requirement in the moratorium.

The Los Angeles county eviction moratorium applies in all unincorporated parts of the county and, effective September 1, 2020, it also applies to incorporated cities if the city doesn’t have their own eviction moratorium that provides greater protections than the county moratorium.

The State of California already has in place statewide renter protections under SB 91. The Los Angeles county eviction moratorium is in addition to the statewide renter protections.

Additional Information

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