The only way a landlord can evict a tenant from a property in California is by winning an unlawful detainer case or the eviction lawsuit filed by the landlord. The law under the Code of Civil Procedures states that an eviction notice may be issued by the landlord to the tenant as a warning before eviction. This eviction notice has three specific categories. All of those categories have been explained in detail below:
Three-day notice to pay rent
To evict a tenant you must first send them an eviction notice in which the tenant is notified to pay the rent within three days or vacate before the term runs out. If the tenant is not able to pay the rent in time, and the three days’ time period is over, the landlord can go to court with a copy of the eviction notice as a supporting document to cement the case and file a lawsuit to evict a tenant.
Three-day notice to fix the situation
This notice is handed to the tenant by the landlord looking to evict a tenant if the tenant violates their lease agreement. This is a warning notice to notify the tenant of their violation of any of the terms in the lease agreement. It also means that they have a mere three days to fix the situation and correct their mistakes. The tenant needs to do that in time or the landlord can go to court and file a lawsuit to get them evicted.
Three-day quit notice (not subject to any conditions)
The unconditional quit notice is only given by the landlord in extreme cases. This notice is given by the landlord if they need to evict a tenant because they happen to have committed serious and specific violations. This notice doesn’t give them a chance to correct their violations and if they don’t move out of the property by the end of the term, their landlord can file a lawsuit against them in court.
The landlord can only hand this notice to evict a tenant in very specific situations. They are listed below:
- The tenant causing significant damage to the property.
- The tenant creating or permitting nuisance in the property.
- The tenant being involved in any illegal activities in the property.
- The tenant assigning the rented property to someone else.
If any of the cases mentioned exist, the landlord has the right to file an eviction notice as a warning to the tenant. The Californian Code of Civil Procedures covers these cases only.
It is true that a lawsuit to evict a tenant can take some time, though. If the tenant chooses to defend themselves in court, they may get an extended stay time at the said property till the court orders otherwise. The defense mainly stands on procedural mistakes made by the landlord in question. That’s why it is better to consider other options to evict a tenant before getting to the eviction notice part. It’s a lengthy and expensive process which is why most landlords prefer to take the alternate route.
The landlord can discuss these matters in detail with the tenant, especially if they have not committed something serious and may choose to get it cleared up without the hassle of going through all the paperwork and procedures. If the problem still persists, it gives the landlord more incentive to evict a tenant by filing for eviction, making their case stronger. An eviction lawsuit, with proper paperwork and that follows all the procedures, can take up to a week or more in the court after the eviction notice period. Although, if the defense of the tenant is quite strong, it might take up to 2 months for the case to be fully resolved and even go in the favor of the tenant in some of the cases.