There are a few legal aspects rental property owners need to be aware of when dealing with evicting tenants in Contra Costa County. The key legal part to evictions deals with the removal of the tenants. The only way you can legally remove or evict a tenant in California is by going through the courts and winning an eviction lawsuit or an unlawful detainer suit. Even after winning the lawsuit, a sheriff is actually the person that will perform the lockout, not the owner or property manager.
California Law and Permitted Lockouts
It is not the responsibility or the job of the property manager or owner to be the person contacting the tenant for lockouts or notices of removal. We cannot knock on the door and insist that the tenants leave. A sheriff is the only legal party who has the jurisdiction to do so. You cannot make changes to the property that might nudge the tenant towards leaving, either. You cannot change the locks or shut off the water. These would be considered illegal actions, and you’d be in some trouble.
California law has made it illegal for landlords to perform the removal of tenants from a property. It is important as an owner or property manager to follow all the rules and procedures of the California law when evicting a tenant. If not, the eviction will not be valid, and can cause unwanted delays and larger expenses in the process.
Each County has Different Laws
Some cities in the Bay area have rent control, and in those areas, landlords and property managers are subject to just cause evictions. These types of evictions will come with their own set of rules. Just cause eviction statutes are laws that protect tenants from eviction for an improper reason. Cities or states that have just cause eviction statutes allow landlords or owners to evict a tenant only for certain reasons, such as failure to pay rent or for violation of the lease terms. You have to make sure you have the grounds to evict, and legal compliance in these situations is even more important.
It’s extremely necessary to educate yourself on these rules and guidelines. Property managers and owners need to be aware of the ordinances of all the cities in which they conduct work. If you own rental properties in multiple locations, be sure to know the laws for each county are, because they will often differ depending where the property is located.
The legal process for evictions can be a lengthy one depending on the choices and decisions made by the tenant, property manager, and owner. If all the laws are understood and the guidelines are followed, the process can be successful and beneficial because it means you get your property back and you can re-rent it to a good tenant who pays rent and follows the terms of the lease.
If you have any other questions regarding any part of the eviction process, please don’t hesitate to contact us at A. Meadows Property Management.