Being a landlord is no easy endeavor and sometimes dealing with evictions comes with the territory. Although the state of California puts laws in place to help owners with evictions, don’t let it fool you. Evicting a tenant can be a daunting task and not one any landlord really wants to face. However, when you do, it’s important to know how to properly handle the process in order to protect yourself and your investment.
Fortunately for us, Action Properties in Roseville, our office has almost no evictions. Since the beginning of the year, we’ve only encountered two and both times we inherited the evictions from a private landlord. Typically, the landlord comes to us because they are unable to collect their rents and are unsure of what to do. From there, we evict the tenant and find the owners a new one, so they can start generating income.
Tenancy is an investment and if your tenant doesn’t pay rent, you lose out financially. Generally, the most common reason for evictions is a tenant’s failure to pay rent. Although evictions are not simple, you need to address the issue and do so right away.
When these situations do come up, we follow certain guidelines to ensure the process is done correctly. Our policy with rent payments is the rent is due on the 1st, considered delinquent on the 2nd and by the 3rd a late fee is assessed. By the 4th or 5th of the month, our office prepares and gets ready to post three-day notices on the properties.
By law, a landlord is required to give their tenant notice before serving them with an eviction. One of the ways to do so is through a three-day notice. According to the Department of Consumer Affairs, if the landlord gives the tenant a three-day notice because the tenant hasn’t paid the rent, the notice must accurately state the amount of rent that is due. In addition, the notice must state:
- The name, address and telephone number of the person to whom the rent must be paid.
- If payment may be made in person, the usual days and hours that the person is available to receive the rent payment. If the address does not accept personal deliveries, then you can mail the rent to the owner at the name and address stated in the three-day notice. If you can show proof that you mailed the rent to the stated name and address, the law assumes that the rent payment is received by the owner on the date of postmark.
- Instead, the notice may state the name, street address and account number of the financial institution where the rent payment may be made (if the institution is within five miles of the unit). If an electronic fund transfer procedure was previously established for paying rent, payment may be made using that procedure.
Once you’ve decided to evict a tenant, it’s strongly recommended you hire a qualified, professional evictions attorney. The laws surrounding the evictions process are complicated and detailed. Hiring an attorney who specializes in evictions ensures the process is done correctly the first time.
It’s important you do things right the first time because if one thing is messed up, the judge will throw it out and the whole process will start over. With an attorney, plus court fees, the cost for an eviction is fairly inexpensive. Additionally, the process is not a long one; only taking four to six weeks. So, landlords have no excuse not to follow through with an eviction.
Keep in mind, too, that just because it has gone to an attorney’s office, doesn’t mean a tenant can’t stop the process. While in the hands of the evictions attorney, the tenant may call to make payment arrangements.
On the other hand, if the tenant refuses to pay and it goes to court, it’s good to have a property management company on your side as well. Property managers appear in court on the landlord’s behalf saving them the inconvenience. Property managers not only preserve your time, but ensure that the next tenant placed in your unit is a reliable one.