As a landlord, you know your job is tough. You rent and manage property as a business and have to make the difficult decisions that come with it. Part of the not so pleasant duties of your job can include raising rental rates on loyal tenants - or worse, having to go through the eviction process.
Understanding evictions is essential to your duties as a landlord or property manager. California law requires a specific procedure for eviction, and landlords who fail to follow this process can be subject to fines and other penalties. It's no secret that rental rates are rising around the country, and this is putting more and more tenants at risk of falling behind on payments.
Demand, foreclosure and eviction
Tenants are struggling in areas that were most affected by the foreclosure crisis. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the population in the Santa Cruz area has risen approximately 10 percent in the last decade, leading to a natural rise in rental rates. Combine this with California's status as one of the states hit hardest by foreclosure and it's no wonder why tenants might be feeling the pinch.
Indeed, many more tenants are struggling to pay rent in full. According to Bloomberg, tenants with lower income are more likely to make partial payments. The approximate breakdown by income for tenants who did not pay in full within the last three months is as follows:
- Less than $30,000: 30 percent
- $30,000-60,000: 15 percent
- More than $60,000: 10 percent
California landlords must follow a specific procedure for eviction
State law protects tenants from mistreatment during the eviction process. As stated, landlords who do not follow the law can be subject to fines. To evict a tenant, you must take them to court and file a writ of possession.
When you and a tenant sign a lease, you agree to a contract, granting both parties certain rights. The legal procedure ensures that your tenant has the chance to tell their side of the story while allowing you to show your rightful claim to the property and payments.
While tenants should honor their side of the lease, landlords have the duty to follow the law in their transactions.