“How long does it take to evict a tenant in California?” This is a question I am regularly asked by landlords. Landlords are often surprised at how long it takes to evict a tenant in California, but then I explain to landlords that eviction cases generally go much faster than other types of court cases, because eviction cases receive priority in the court system per CCP 1179a.
How Long Does it Take to Evict a Tenant in California?
In determining the length of time to evict a California tenant, the following factors must be considered:
- How fast does the landlord take action to evict the tenant?
- How fast does the attorney representing the landlord act?
- How fast the court acts in processing documentation and trials.
- How fast the sheriff processes the Writ of Possession.
- Whether or not the tenant contests (fights) the eviction.
How fast does the landlord act? Did the landlord begin the process of evicting the tenant immediately, or did the landlord wait, try to work out a deal with the tenant, and delay the actual start of the case?
How fast does the attorney take action? Does the attorney have a process of preparing paperwork and getting things done quickly and correctly the first time? Does the attorney act promptly when receiving paperwork from the court and the client? If the client hires my firm, you can be assured that we take action as quickly and as legally possible to return possession to the landlord as fast as possible.
How fast does the court process documents? This is a big variable and depends greatly on what court you go to. You must go to the court where the rental property is located, so unfortunately you cannot go to one of the “quicker” courts unless your property is situated in the jurisdiction of one of those courts. For example, in Los Angeles county, Chatsworth and Pasadena is pretty quick. Lancaster and downtown Los Angeles are very slow. As an example, on recent cases of ours, it took the Chatsworth court 2 days to issue a Writ of Possession. It took the Lancaster court 1 month to issue a Writ of Possession. Ventura courts can issue the Writ of Possession while you wait at the counter without any delay at all. The Santa Barbara court processes the Writ of Possession online and delivers it via email usually within 1 business day.
How fast does the sheriff process the Writ of Possession? Like the court, the time it takes the sheriff to process documents such as the Writ of Possession varies depending on which sheriff office handles your case. Again, you cannot pick and choose which sheriff office to use. Some sheriff offices, such as the one in San Fernando, processes documents within a few days. Others, like the office in downtown LA, may take a month. The Ventura sheriff usually processes documents within a few days, as does the sheriff in Santa Barbara.
Of course, if your tenant does not fight the eviction case, the landlord will receive possession of the property much faster than if the tenant contests the case. Non-disputed eviction cases generally take 4-6 weeks start to finish, whereas disputed evictions generally take an additional month to month and a half, on average.
Thus, there is no easy way to answer the very common question of, “How long does it take to evict a tenant in California?” The answer depends on many different factors, several of which are outside the control of the landlord and attorney.
We represent landlords with eviction cases in California. Do you need help evicting a tenant? Contact the Law Office of David Piotrowski. We will work hard to make the length of time it takes to evict your tenant as short as legally possible.