Unlawful Detainer

Orange County Unlawful Detainer Attorney

One of the most trying duties a Landlord has is evicting tenants. Eviction is a complex process that only sheriffs or marshals can perform pursuant to a California court order known as an unlawful detainer judgment.

A court will grant an unlawful detainer judgment for a failure to pay rent or failure to perform the conditions of the lease. But certain procedural steps must be taken before this can occur. For example when a tenant fails to pay rent they must be served with a three day notice to pay rent or vacate the property. The notice must contain a demand for the exact amount owed, instructions on where the amount can be paid, and a clear demand for possession if the rent is not paid within three days. Failure to leave or pay rent after the time period expires on the three-day notice to pay rent or quit will then entitle a landlord to seek an action for unlawful detainer. However, the rent must actually be in default to serve this notice. Besides failure to pay rent a landlord is also authorized to seek an action for unlawful detainer in the following circumstances:

  • Failure to leave after 30 days notice for month to month tenants or 60 days notice for tenants with leases of a year or more; or after the tenant provided a 30 or 60 days notice of termination of the tenancy.
  • Failure to leave after a fixed term lease has expired and not been renewed.
  • Failure to comply with a condition or provision of the lease even after receiving a three-day notice to correct the violation or quit. Other examples include subletting the property in violation of the lease, developing a nuisance on the property, seriously damaging the property.
  • Using the property for an illegal reason.

Unlawful Detainer Hearings

After filing a complaint for an unlawful detainer and serving it to the tenant the tenant has five days to respond. If they fail to respond to the unlawful detainer complaint the court to enter judgment for the landlord. If they do respond a hearing will be held within 20 days. Some defenses to the unlawful detainer compliant that a tenant may raise are a breach of the implied warranty of habitability, failure to accept rent tendered, defects with the eviction notice, or retaliation for filing a complaint.

Landlord Damages and Money Judgments

Additionally, a tenant who stays past their term of lease may be liable for additional rent. A tenant is responsible to pay the fair market value of rent for each day they stayed past the expiration of the lease. However, in some cases a tenant may not have the funds necessary to ensure that a judgment will be paid.

When Eviction is Mandatory

In some cases eviction is required to avoid liability for other reasons. For example, a tenant that deals drugs on your property is a threat to the safety of the other tenants and community as a whole. A landlord who does not evict a tenant that they know or should know is dealing drugs from the property can be held liable for negligence lawsuits by the tenants of the property or even by local authorities.

Contact an Experienced Orange County Eviction Attorney

To schedule an appointment to discuss eviction services contact the real estate litigation experts at the Law Offices of Tony T. Liu. Call today at (714) 415-2007.

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