Obtain Immediate Possession of California Residential Property When Tenant is Out of State or Concealed


DP-LogoAre you a California landlord trying to evict a tenant but the tenant is either out of state or concealed?  There are special procedures available to California landlords to obtain immediate possession of your property when the tenant is out of state or concealed.

First, the landlord must file the eviction in court.  Next, the landlord may file a motion for writ of possession requiring immediate possession, where  it is established that EITHER:

  • The tenant resides out of state;
  • The tenant has departed from the state;
  • The tenant cannot, after due diligence, be found in the state; OR
  • The tenant has concealed himself or herself to avoid service of the summons.

Written notice of the hearing indicating that the landlord will seek immediate possession of the property must be served on the tenant.  Service of the notice must be accomplished in one of the following manners:

  • By personal service;
  • By leaving the notice at the tenant’s residence, between the hours of 8am and 6pm, with a person at least 18 years old;
  • By mailing the notice to the tenant’s residence if no person at least 18 years old can be found between the hours of 8am and 6pm; OR
  • If the out-of-state residence is unknown, by delivering the notice to the court.

At the hearing, the court will consider the landlord’s complaint and any other supporting documents.  If the court awards possession to the landlord, an order for immediate possession will issue and the landlord can enforce the order by using a writ of possession.

In order to prevail and obtain an immediate writ of possession when the tenant is out state or concealed, the landlord is required to file an undertaking.  The amount is set by the court and is meant to cover any damages the court may award the tenant.

This method may be a viable and quick alternative if the landlord knows that the tenant is out of state or concealed.

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

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