Evictions can be a tricky process if you are not experienced at handling them. For most landlords, the law can be too convoluted, leaving them missing out on rental payments or getting into legal trouble. With a Palm Springs eviction lawyer on your side, you can skip the hassle and get everything right the first time. Here’s what you need to know about evictions in Palm Springs as a landlord.
The eviction process follows a very specific formula. In order for the eviction to stand up legally, you must follow this formula exactly. That can be difficult if you are not familiar with the law and are trying to learn it as you go.
It all starts with giving notice. This is something that you have to do in written form in order to initiate an eviction. While you are within your rights to evict a tenant, the idea of the notice period is to give them a chance to correct any issues that have come into play – or to move out of the property. At the end of the notice period, if nothing has been solved, then the tenant must vacate the premises.
If they do not, that is when you can take further legal action.
This starts with filing an Unlawful Detainer Lawsuit in Superior Court. This is a legal document which forces your tenant to face the music. Of course, your Palm Springs eviction lawyer will be able to guide you through this process so that the tenants are removed in due course. If everything has been filed correctly and due procedure has been followed, the court will be on your side. This will allow you to quickly return to making money from leasing your property.
The process of posting an eviction notice seems fairly simple on the surface, but it can be complicated by the fact that you need to be very careful about the wording you choose. The law is in place to protect your tenant’s rights as well as your own, keeping everything fair on both sides.
As you might expect, there are some terms and stipulations that you absolutely must include in your eviction notice. There are some things that you can include, although you are not legally required to do so. Finally, there are also some things that you must not add to the notice. Knowing the difference is very important, as writing the wrong thing – or missing the right thing – could mean your eviction notice does not hold up legally. You could even face legal action from your tenants if you get your eviction notice wrong.
This is where your Palm Springs eviction attorney comes in. They can check your notice over or even write it for you, ensuring that you stay on the right side of the law. The same is true with your Unlawful Detainer Lawsuit.
The first kind of notice that you can post is very simple. It’s used when your tenant has broken the terms of their lease agreement. Usually, this means that they have not paid their rent on time and you are now owed money.
You must deliver a 3 Day Notice to Pay Rent or Quit to your tenant in order to signify that you intend to evict them if they do not pay up. This is a formal process which begins from the day the notice is served.
Be aware of the timeframe involved as it is not as straightforward as you may think. Very often in practice, your tenant may have more than three days to pay up. The term begins from the day following the 3 Day Notice to Pay Rent or Quit, rather than on the day it is served. From here, only the next three business days count. This means that weekends or court holidays are not included.
Let’s take an example. Perhaps you serve your 3 Day Notice to Pay Rent or Quit in Palm Springs on a Friday. The notice period will not officially start on the Saturday or the Sunday, as the weekend is not included. If Monday just so happens to be a court holiday, then this day would not count either. Their notice period would begin on the Tuesday, giving them Wednesday and Thursday to gather the rent and pay it back if they are able to do so. You also cannot serve the notice on a day which would not be classed as a court day.
Now let’s examine what you can and cannot put into your 3 Day Notice to Pay Rent or Quit wording. You do have to list the full amount of rent owed so that there can be no confusion. However, you are not permitted to include any other charges, such as utilities or damages, which are owed to you by the tenant. This particular type of notice is to be used for rent only.
Next, you must also make it as easy as possible for the tenant to make the payment. This means adding in the details of the person to be paid, whether in person or through a financial institution. Not only must you give them contact details and times when you are available for in-person payments, but you must also offer the same information for any bank that you wish them to use. This is a crucial step as it means the tenant cannot claim that they did not know how to make the payment in time.
If the issue you are dealing with is something other than failure to pay rent, then the same idea applies. You must include instructions for how the tenant can rectify the situation so that they understand what is legally required of them.
If you simply want to evict the tenant, you must give them at least 30 days to look for alternative accommodation. This will be outlined in your 30 Day Notice to Vacate or Quit, for which the rules are slightly different.
You can only issue a notice for a 30-day period if you fulfill the correct requirements. These are as follows:
- Your tenant has been renting the dwelling or unit for less than a year and you have a month to month rolling contract
- You have agreed to a sale of the dwelling or unit within the past 120 days with a genuine buyer, who fully intends to live on the property for at least one year after the purchase
These stipulations are quite strict so if you cannot meet them fully – for example, if you have a buyer who intends to live there for six months or you just expect to find a new tenant – then you must issue a 60 Day Notice instead.
Note that if your agreement term is longer than 30 days and they have not broken the terms of the lease in any way, you will need to observe the lease by giving them an appropriate notice period. Consult, a Palm Springs eviction lawyer if you are not sure on how long this will be.
As the landlord of your property in Palm Springs, you do not have to give a reason for wanting to evict your tenant. However, it is against the law to evict a tenant for retaliatory or discriminatory reasons. This might be because you have had an argument with them, for example, or because you do not agree with their lifestyle.
If your tenant makes a payment after the notice has been served, which would cover a term after you are asking them to move out, you are obligated to return the payment. If you do not, it could invalidate the notice period and give your tenants the right to remain in the property for as long as they are paid up.
You also need to know how to calculate the 30 days of the notice period. It starts on the day after the notice has been served, not the day of. The 30 days do include weekends, but you can’t end the notice on a day that is not a business day. If the 30th day is a Saturday, Sunday, or holiday, the notice period extends until the next business day.
When your tenant has been staying in your unit or dwelling for more than a year, they gain more rights. This means that you must issue them with a 60 Day Notice to Vacate or Quit instead of only 30 days.
Other than this point, everything else is done in the same way. You have to serve the notice in the same way, and the days are calculated using the same method you’d use with a 30 Day Notice. You also cannot accept payments which would take them over the notice period, and you must not break Palm Springs eviction law in any way.
The longer time period may mean you struggle to calculate things properly or that you are more likely to make a mistake, so make sure your eviction attorney checks everything over for you.
A section 8 tenant has their rent subsidized by the government, and as such, they are more at risk than other tenants. As part of the deal which allows them to be subsidized, they also get a longer notice period if you decide that you want them to move out. This can be for any legal reason, including that you are ending your contract with the government.
These tenants will receive a 90 Day Notice allowing them to find new accommodation and move out. During this time, you may not make any other changes such as raising the rent. The 90 days are calculated in the same way as the 30 or 60 day periods, including weekends and ending only on a business day.
If you have given your tenants notice but they have not moved out at the end of the period given or fixed any issues that broke the terms of their lease, then you’ll have to take legal action. Start by asking your Palm Springs eviction attorney to file an Unlawful Detainer Lawsuit.
If your lawsuit is successful – which it should be, if you have followed the correct legal steps – then the Sheriff will serve a 5-Day Notice To Vacate and your tenants will legally be removed from the property.
All residential evictions follow the procedures that we have outlined above. Be careful not to try to take matters into your own hands. If you are found forcibly trying to remove your tenants, such as by changing the locks or throwing out their belongings, then you could be subject to a fine of $200 per day!
Commercial evictions may feel very different, and you will certainly be under pressure as evicting a tenant could mean the failure of someone’s business. However, you must remember that you are protecting your own investment by demanding the payment that you are due.
The major difference with a commercial eviction is that if you are demanding your tenant pay their owed rent, and they manage to pay it before the period is up, you must allow them to stay. If they make only a partial payment, however, they must leave. You should make this clear in your eviction notice and update court documents to reflect new totals if you do receive partial payment.
These are the details for the Palm Springs court where evictions are handled:
SUPERIOR COURT OF CALIFORNIA
COUNTY OF RIVERSIDE – Palm Springs Court
3255 E. Tahquitz Canyon Way
Palm Springs, CA 92262
When you need to evict a tenant, make sure that you get real legal advice on your precise situation instead of trying to handle it on your own. You can contact us directly to be matched with a Palm Springs eviction lawyer who will be able to help you.