The California eviction process can be simple in most applications but it may become more complicated if the tenant decides to challenge the eviction. Regardless of why a landlord is evicting a tenant, he or she must follow the applicable laws or risk having the court dismiss the action or even face substantial monetary damages if the landlord attempts self-help measures.
What is Self Help
For example, if the landlord undertakes such actions as denying access to the property by changing the locks or barring entry, shutting off utilities or removing the tenant’s personal belongings, he or she is subject to damages of $100 per day for each day the illegal method is used. California law also awards damages of $2,000 for each time the landlord threatens the tenant, such as by reporting him or her to immigration authorities, or by violating the tenant’s right to quiet enjoyment of the premises such as entering the unit without notice or cause or by committing other unlawful violations against the tenant.
California Eviction Notices
The California eviction process generally begins with service of a written notice to the tenant. If the lease has expired and the landlord wishes to evict the tenant who has lived on the property for less than one year, then a 30-day written notice is required, which may be served by certified mail. If the tenant has lived on the premises for more than one year, then the California eviction notice is 60-days.
A 3-day notice is required for the following types of evictions:
- Nonpayment of rent
- Breach or noncompliance with a material provision in the lease agreement
- Creating a nuisance such as by accumulating trash and debris on the property
- Conduct that materially affects the health and safety of others
- Unlawful activity on the premises