Quality of life and economic opportunity continue to attract families and single professionals to Irvine, a city often considered to be among the best places to live in the United States. As such, the rental market presents lucrative opportunities for homeowners who wish to become landlords. While the prospect of deriving monthly rental income can be tempting, there are various legal matters to consider, and the most delicate is related to the process of eviction.
There is a simple answer to the question of when tenants can be evicted from Irvine rental properties: only when there are legal grounds for doing so. California statutes grant both landlords and tenants legal rights that can be exercised to ascertain their positions. If you have rented out your Irvine, CA, real estate and want to evict your tenant, here are important aspects of California evictions you should be familiar with.
Send Written Notices to Tenants
The eviction process can start with an intention to break the lease agreement, and it must be precluded with a written notice to the tenant. If the tenant has deviated from the contract in a manner that can be alleviated, an offer to correct the issue can be included in the notice. For example, pets can be removed from the property if they are not allowed in the contract.
Dispatch a Notice for Termination
Rental agreements include provisions for breaking the lease with or without causes. A serious violation of the contract, such as using the property as a drug den, can be handled with a notice for termination that does not offer an option to alleviate the issue. In the case of a lease agreement that rolls from one month to the next, the notice for termination does not require cause, but it must give the tenant 30 days to vacate unless there have been egregious violations.
File an Unlawful Detainer Lawsuit
If the tenant remains in the property even after receiving a written notice, the next step is to file an eviction lawsuit, known as an unlawful detainer action. It’s highly recommended for landlords to retain a lawyer to handle this action. Savvy tenants who raise affirmative defenses or are familiar with the California Code of Civil Procedure can make things difficult, prolong their stay, and even avoid paying rent while the lawsuit languishes in court. Self-help unlawful detainer forms are available, but many landlords who take this route are often surprised when tenants retain attorneys.
Take Removal Action
The final step of the eviction process can only be ordered by a California judge. Landlords who personally take steps to remove tenants can face steep fines and counter lawsuits. Let’s say a landlord changes the locks and threatens to call immigration agents. These unlawful actions could result in a total of $4,000 in fines. Enforcing an order to vacate can only be done by the Sheriff’s Office, but it does not take as long as the lawsuit, which under ideal circumstances should last about a month.
If you wish to own a property in Irvine and rent it out to tenants, get in touch with Irvine Residential Living. Our trusted agents will show you the latest townhouses, condos, and homes for sale. Irvine, CA, can be a good investment for potential buyers. Give us a call today at 714-454-6304 to schedule an appointment.