The eviction process in California – and particularly in Orange County – can seem like an almost automated process, as the Los Angeles Times reported recently. But the truth is that these are highly contentious matters that require an attorney's attention.
An eviction procedure may happen at breakneck speed. By law, if a landlord pursues a tenant for eviction, he or she has the right to a trial within just 20 days after a tenant files an answer. On the other hand, a tenant who takes a landlord to court may have to wait a year or more for a trial - even if for problems like illegal rent hikes, harassment, stalking, or failure to accommodate disability.
On What Grounds Can a California Eviction Be Granted?
A landlord may evict a tenant for a host of reasons, according to the California Courts. These include:
- Failure to timely pay rent.
- Violation of rental or lease agreement without effort to address the issue (i.e., having a pet when one is expressly barred by the lease).
- Damage to property resulting in reduction of property value.
- Use of property for purposes of illegal conduct.
Many cities also have ordinances that allow landlords further cause of action, such as:
- Tenant overstaying the lease term;
- Landlord’s proper notice of lease cancellation.
City ordinances that allow rent control could mean no one of these reasons may be grounds to initiate an eviction.
Eviction Process in California
If you are served with a written notice of eviction, or if you need to evict a problem tenant, the smartest thing you can do is contact an experienced attorney in Orange County. Fighting for a favorable outcome is going to require someone with intimate knowledge with the law.
In general, the process will go like this:
- Landlord submits notice of eviction
- Landlord files complaint with court and tenant receives court papers
- Tenant has opportunity to file a response with the court
- Eviction trial
If you're involved in a tenant-landlord dispute, it's best to contact an attorney at the Law Offices of Daniel C. Carlton and find out how we can help you.