Frequently Asked Questions Regarding Evictions
1. How much time does the eviction process take?
The process may take anywhere from a few weeks to 4 months. Most Landlords recover possession of the property within a month after service of the initial notices. The actual time line depends heavily upon how your tenant responds to the complaint, and whether the tenant avoids service of the complaint.
2. May I enter my property?
The landlord has a right to enter the property during regular business hours pursuant to California Civil Code Section 1954 for a variety of purposes. This may include entry for repair, modification, improvement, safety, and to show potential buyers. Do not enter the property without orally agreeing to entry first, or providing a 24 hour written notice, unless there is an emergency like smoke coming out, a river of water running from the front door, etc. If the tenant will not permit you to enter the property, contact an Attorney for further guidance.
3. What if the process server is not able to serve the lawsuit?
If your tenant is avoiding service, the process server in this case will fill out what is called a "Due Diligence" form, which describes to the Court his/her attempts to serve the complaint. At a minimum, this requires three attempts over at least a three day period at different times of the day by a registered process server. An attorney from this firm will then go to Court and obtain from the judge an Order to Post and Mail the complaint. After posting and mailing, the tenant will have 15 days to respond to the complaint. This period may be longer if a holiday is within this period, or the 15th day falls on a weekend.
4. What do I do with the personal property that is left behind when the tenant is evicted from the property? Can I throw their things all away?
The first task you have is to inventory the property, and determine whether its aggregate value is $300 or more. It is your decision to decide whether an item is genuine trash, and belongs in a garbage receptacle, or not. Remember, you must be comfortable with explaining your decision to a judge, should you be sued for destruction of personal property. Provide your inventory list to the firm, and we will then prepare the appropriate notice. You will then mail or personally deliver this notice to the Tenant. By law, the tenants have the right to claim their property within 18 days after service of this notice. You may recover your inventorying, removal and storage fees as a prerequisite to providing access to the tenant's property.
5. What about the deposit?
At the commencement of the tenancy, a landlord may may collect up to two months of rent. There are additional allowances, so for further guidance you should consult with an Attorney. After the tenant has vacated the unit, the landlord is required to return the deposit to the tenant or provide an accounting of how the deposit was used within 21 days.
6. My question was not on this list, or I would like some further explanation!
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