The sheriff eviction lockout process in California involves multiple steps. As of September 2023, the sheriff eviction lockout process in LA county is extremely slow, while it is relatively quick in Ventura county.
September 2023 Sheriff Eviction Lockout Process Updates for LA and Ventura Counties
In LA county, the sheriff eviction lockout process is slow! What used to take a couple of weeks can now easily take between 1-2 months. This is not right and completely unfair for landlords who have at this point already “won” their eviction case giving them possession of the rental unit. The landlord can only regain actual possession after the sheriff completes the lockout. The slowness of the sheriff forces the landlord to wait 1-2 months after obtaining a judgment before the landlord can actually recover possession of the rental. The landlord is at the mercy of the sheriff’s office because the landlord is not allowed to recover possession without first completing the sheriff lockout process.
In Ventura county, the sheriff eviction lockout is fast! We have personally seen the process take less than 2 weeks as recent as this month.
Sheriff Eviction Lockout Process in LA County and Ventura County
The sheriff eviction lockout process involves multiple steps. After obtaining a Writ of Possession from the court, the plaintiff/landlord must deliver the Writ of Possession to the sheriff along with sheriff instructions and a fee. The sheriff’s fee to handle an eviction lockout changes periodically. The landlord/plaintiff will want to make sure they include all required information on the sheriff’s instructions. Depending on the county, the sheriff’s office may have a template to use for the eviction lockout instructions. Nowadays, several courts issue the Writ of Possession electronically. When this happens, the sheriff’s office may very well also require what is known as an Electronic Writ Declaration.
The sheriff will post a notice at the rental property informing the tenant/defendant that they need to move by a certain date. This date is not the date of the actual lockout. The sheriff will schedule the actual lockout date and notify the landlord of the date and time so that the landlord can meet the sheriff at the property. The tenant will not know when this will be. To be sure, the tenant was supposed to have vacated the property by the time the sheriff goes back to enforce the eviction and conduct the lockout. However, if the tenant is still occupying the rental property by the actual date of the lockout, the sheriff will require the tenant to vacate the property at this time. This is the date when the landlord receives actual possession of the rental unit.
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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. It is important for landlords to understand what jurisdiction the rental property is located in, and whether or not there are any special tenant protections or rent control applicable to the property.