Landlord Tenant Disputes
There are federal, state and local laws that regulate the actions of both a landlord and tenant when renting a house or apartment. Not following these rules, or breaching a lease contract, can quickly lead to a landlord tenant dispute. If not resolved, this type of dispute can escalate and eviction proceedings may begin.
What is a Court-Administered Eviction?
Strict laws regulate eviction proceedings in California. By requiring all eviction processes to be court-administered, California is ensuring the tenant has an opportunity to argue their side of the dispute before the judge. This prevents unscrupulous landlords from locking tenants out, turning off utilities or seizing belongings in order to force the tenant from the residence.
The eviction process begins with a three day notice. If this notice does not lead to the payment of rent in full or a voluntary move, the landlord would then file an unlawful detainer lawsuit against the tenant. Once a summons is received, the tenant typically has five days to file a response. All eviction cases are usually heard within the month, and the judge will hand down his decision within that time.
What Are The Possible Outcomes?
There are two possible outcomes from an eviction hearing. When the judge rules in favor of the tenant, the eviction is halted. The landlord may be held responsible for all court costs, and may also be asked to pay attorney fees on behalf of the tenant. If any improper conduct was committed in an attempt to illegal force the tenant from the property, other fines may also apply.
When the court rules in favor of the property owner, a writ of possession will be issued. This document gives the tenant five days to leave the rental unit voluntarily. If this does not occur, they may be removed by the sheriff. The tenant may also be required to pay any rent due, damages, attorney fees and court costs.
How Can I Find An Experienced Attorney?
A knowledgeable real estate lawyer is often necessary in order to successfully evict a tenant, or to stop an eviction. The Attorney Referral Service of The San Fernando Valley Bar Association matches San Fernando Valley residents with local lawyers who will represent them during these proceedings. Call (818) 340-4529 to see how we can help you.