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Tenants, Evictions, and Unlawful Detainer, Oh My!

Seal Beach Eviction Notice On DoorIncluded in the more complex components of owning Seal Beach rental properties is grasping well the concept of unlawful detainer. By definition, an unlawful detainer refers to a tenant who continues to live in a rental property even after having no legal right to do so. When an occasion of unlawful detainer has transpired, rental property owners can then use it as a legal basis to begin the eviction process. Although, evicting a tenant resulting from an unlawful detainer requires a court case and, in some cases, a jury trial. In the ensuing paragraphs, we’ll look into the basics of lawful detainer and some examples of an unlawful detainer situation – and what to do when it ensues.

A Legal Basis for Eviction

For some rental property owners, the concept of unlawful detainer will normally turn to be relevant if you must evict a tenant. Though unlawful detainer is not the only legal basis for eviction, it does give landlords the appropriate means to sue for a tenant’s removal. Evicting a tenant is, all the time, a problematic situation, and there are specific rules and regulations in every state that must be carefully followed. Whenever a tenant has possession of the property, a landlord cannot just easily kick them out – for any reason. This encompasses violating the lease, not paying rent, or even if you cancel the lease. On the other hand, it’s significantly important to reliably document the situation and understand your legal basis for eviction before making your case to the appropriate local courts.

There are several situations in which unlawful detainer can apply. Keep reading to have a clue regarding the three most prevalent.

Example 1: The tenant refuses to leave after the lease ends.

Classified among the most usual reasons you might use unlawful detainer to evict a tenant is if the tenant refuses to move out even after the lease has expired. Legally, you cannot force a tenant to move out when their lease ends. Changing the locks, calling the sheriff, or any other attempts to do so are illegal and could end up with you being sued by your tenant on the contrary. Instead though, if you have a tenant who refuses to move out, you should document the situation and file a petition with the local court. You must additionally make certain that your tenants are served with the court documents. On that basis, you will be required to follow the eviction process laid out by the court system to get a judge’s ruling before going forward with the rest of the eviction process.

Example 2: The tenant stops paying rent.

Another reason to apply unlawful detainer to evict a tenant is that they quit paying their rent. Nonpayment of rent is a prevalent case and has multiple different root causes. Some tenants may be waiting for paychecks or may simply forget. However, if you have a tenant who has not paid their rent after multiple reminders and requests, you may need to resort to eviction. If that time comes, ensure to definitely follow any grace period set out in your lease, and give your tenant one more chance to pay. If you don’t, your petition may not be effective in court.

Example 3: The tenant refuses to leave after the landlord terminates the lease.

An unlawful detainer may result if your tenant refuses to move out even after you have terminated your lease with them. There are several reasons why a landlord may terminate a lease, whether resulting from the tenant violating one or more terms or for other reasons. If you must terminate a lease, and your tenant refuses to leave, you can then put to use the legal basis of unlawful detainer to petition the court to order them to move out. Disregarding what, keep in mind to document everything and follow the legal process step by step. Even an instance of unlawful detainer is not an excuse to violate a tenant’s rights.

Once you have a judgment from the court, you will usually receive a writ that gives your tenant one more chance to move out of your rental property voluntarily. In many states, this writ is delivered to your tenant by local law enforcement, not by you directly. With a judgment and a writ in hand, you can then obtain the support of law enforcement to remove your tenant and regain possession of your property.

Even while they are usually part of owning rental property, evictions are a time-consuming legal process that can instantly turn out to be a serious hassle. If you need aid with a tenant who is in violation of their lease or refuses to leave, why not give Real Property Management Agile a call? Our professionals can help you bring off the eviction process safely and legally and get your property back in your possession as quickly as possible. To converse freely with a Seal Beach property manager, contact us online or call at 949-503-5300 today!

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