Exceptions to Automatic Stay in Tenant Evictions in California

 

Normally, when a tenant files for bankruptcy, there is an automatic stay on eviction proceedings.  However, there are exceptions to the automatic stay.  The following outline provides exceptions to the automatic stay when a tenant files for bankruptcy in California, particularly with respect to California residential tenancies.

  • Congress created an exception to the automatic stay to allow a residential landlord to enforce a judgment for possession obtained BEFORE the tenant files for bankruptcy.  If the judgment is based on a monetary default, the exception applies unless  BOTH of the following are true: 1) There are circumstances which would allow the tenant to cure, under nonbankruptcy law, the entire monetary default, after the judgment was entered, and 2) The tenant has deposited with the court any rent that would become due in the 30 days following the bankruptcy filing.
  • Eviction against a residential tenant for endangerment of property or illegal use of controlled substance.  A stay of at least 15 days still applies, but if a landlord files the proper certification and succeeds in prevailing against any tenant disputes, then the residential eviction can proceed.  The landlord must do the following: 1) File and serve on the tenant a certification that the pending eviction seeks possession of the property based on endangerment of the property or the illegal use of controlled substances, OR 2) the tenant, during the 30 day period before the date of the filing of the certification, has endangered the property or illegal used or allowed to be used a controlled substance on the property.

The Law Office of David Piotrowski represents landlords throughout southern California and can assist with a tenant eviction.

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