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EVICTION


Eviction is the act of removing someone from real property. There are typically three methods by which a tenant is evicted from a rental property:

  1. Legal action - A lawsuit for unlawful detainer may be filed if a tenant keeps possession of real property without a right. This includes maintaining occupancy after a lease has expired, after being served with a notice to quit (vacate, leave) for non-payment of rent or other breach of lease, or being a "squatter" on the property. The suit for unlawful detainer asks for possession by court order, unpaid rent and damages. Unlawful detainer lawsuits take priority over most legal cases and are usually scheduled quickly for trial.

  2. Claim of superior (actual) title to the property

  3. Actions which prevent the tenant from continuing in possession - this is known as a "constructive eviction", and could include such actions as changing the locks, turning off the drinking water, blocking the driveway, constantly harassing the tenant, nailing the door shut, or otherwise making the property uninhabitable.

Usually eviction consists of removing a tenant who has breached the terms of a lease or rental agreement by:

  • Not Paying Rent
  • Staying after the term of the lease has expired (holding over)
  • The tenancy agreement was on a month-to-month basis.
30-DAY NOTICE

If the tenant holds over (stays after the lease term expires) or the lease agreement is for a month-to-month basis, the landlord may issue a notice to a tenant to vacate (i.e. leave) the premises within 30 days. Such notice does not have to state any reason and is not based on a tenant's failure to pay rent. The landlord's service of the notice and the tenant's failure to vacate at the end of 30 days provide the basis for a lawsuit for unlawful detainer (eviction) and a court judgment ordering the tenant to leave. While this is a common notice period, it does not apply in all states or all circumstances, such as local rent control ordinances.

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