Most landlords have heard the typical horror stories about tenants: loud noises late at night, unruly animals and failure to pay rent on time are just a few of the hassles that can occur during a lease. These are never lighthearted matters to deal with, but exactly what constitutes as legal grounds to evict a tenant in California?
Some tenants may put up a good fight to remain in a home, but there are valid and legal reasons for eviction. According to rental resource Landlordology, the following are grounds for eviction: lease violation, failure to pay rent, property damage, expiration of lease and illegal activity. When it comes to the greyer areas, Landlordology stresses that landlords must have a valid reason that will uphold in court. For example, one would need to outline the area of the lease that the tenant did not follow; unauthorized pets and unapproved subletting are some common violations. If a tenant is guilty of drug activity, landlords in California are not required to give notice of an eviction. Of course, there are those who refuse to leave after a lease has ended, and Landlordology confirms that this is another legal reason to take matters to court.
While there are a plethora of valid reasons to evict tenants, Findlaw points out that these cases need to stay within legal boundaries. To avoid an illegal eviction, a landlord must follow his or her state's eviction process. Though this process can differ depending on the state, the general rule of thumb is to refrain from actions such as changing locks, cutting off utility services and ordering the tenant to leave. It is usually wise to first send tenants a termination of lease notice, and then to take matters into the court's hands when the tenant refuses to vacate the property. Findlaw recognizes that following the state regulations on eviction may be more costly, but can protect landlords from having to jump over more tedious hurdles down the road.