When a tenant fails to pay rent timely, or breaches any of the contractual terms of the lease, a landlord may “evict” the tenant.
Evictions are accomplished by a legal procedure known as an “Unlawful Detainer”. This is a lawsuit and is a “summary” court procedure. This means that the court action moves forward very quickly, and that the time given the tenant to respond during the lawsuit is very short. In most cases, the tenant must file a written response to the unlawful detainerwithin five (5) daysafter being served with a copy of the landlord’s complaint.
Unlawful Detainers require the landlord to follow strict rules in order to be successful.If the landlord fails to follow any of the specific requirementsthe landlord will not only lose his or her case, but may be exposed to money damages.
Possession of the Property. If the court decides in favor of the landlord, the court will issue a writ of possession which authorizes the sheriff to physically remove and lock the tenant out.The landlord is not entitled to possession of the rental unit until after the sheriff has removed the tenant.
Unpaid Rent, Damages and Attorney Fees. The court also may award the landlord any unpaid rent if the eviction is based on the tenant’s failure to pay rent,damages, court costs, and attorney’s fees.
The foregoing information is offered to help inform you, however it is not intended as a substitute for professional legal help. Only a licensed lawyer can provide such help. Contact us online or call 949-855-0600 to set an appointment.