Evicting a tenant in San Diego has always been complicated, but with the new tenant protection rules in place, removing a tenant from your property is now more complex than it was even a year ago.
Most evictions are done due to nonpayment of rent. If this is your reason for evicting a tenant, it’s considered a just cause eviction, and you have to follow a specific process before you get possession of your property back.
If you want to evict a tenant simply because you want to do something else with the property, you may have to pay a relocation fee. All of this depends on the type of property you own, so make sure you check with an attorney or a San Diego property management company before taking steps to remove a tenant from your property.
Serve a Three Day Notice to Pay or Quit
When rent isn’t paid and any grace periods have expired, you will start the eviction process with a Three Day Notice to Pay or Quit. This is a formal letter that you serve your tenants to let them know that rent is late and they have three days to catch up. If your tenants do not pay rent within those three days, they must move out of the property or face further eviction proceedings.
Usually, you can expect your tenants to catch up with the rental payment at this point because they won’t want the situation to escalate. You may be asked if they can make a partial payment or pay a few days or a week from the date of the notice. How you handle this depends on whether you’re eager to get the tenant out or you’re hoping to keep the tenant in place and ultimately collect the payment. If you do agree to a payment arrangement, put it in writing and move forward with the eviction process if the tenant does not come through.
Filing an Unlawful Detainer
After the notice period expires, if the tenant has not paid rent nor moved out of the property, you’ll need to go to court and file for an Unlawful Detainer. This is the official eviction, and you’ll have to fill out some paperwork, pay a fee, and wait for the court date to be assigned. Your tenant will receive a Summons.
Most judges will ask you and the tenant to try and resolve the problem before the court date. Sometimes, tenants won’t respond to the Summons or show up in court at all. If you’re able to prove that your tenant is in violation of the lease, you’ll get a Writ of Possession. The tenant will have a deadline to move out and if they don’t move out, the sheriff will enforce that Writ of Possession.
Eviction is never fun, and in California it can be expensive and time consuming. We recommend you avoid it whenever possible. A good screening process will help, as well as excellent tenant relationships and a proactive rent collection process. At Walters Home Management, we can help you avoid eviction and have a pleasant San Diego rental experience. Contact us today.