Problem tenants that violate the lease or do not pay rent need to be evicted.
I recommend trying to speak with the tenant face to face, and working it out among yourself before filing an unlawful detainer (fancy name for eviction lawsuit). Tell your tenant “when you did/do ______, you are in violation of the lease. You have X days to find a new place, pack up your things and move out. Otherwise I will contact my eviction attorney and begin an eviction. An eviction goes on your credit report for seven years and it will be hard for you to find a new place to live- I’d like to avoid that so hopefully we can solve this problem ourselves without the need for an eviction.”
If the tenant doesn’t voluntarily vacate the unit the first step to begin an eviction is posting written notice. **WARNING** If you have never posted a notice before I strongly recommend hiring an eviction attorney to do it for you. These notices have very specific information that must be included on them and if you make a mistake, you will have served a defective notice which will not stand up in court. Some examples of common mistakes on 3 day notices are putting late fees as money owed- you can only put the rent. Another mistake is not filling out the business hours and times that rent can be delivered.
There are two different types of notices; notices that are correctable (such as pay rent or remedy breach) and non-correctable (landlord is moving into a unit, notification of termination of tenancy, or property is being demolished). For eviction notices that are correctable, the law requires 3 day notice. If the notice is not correctable, then a 30-day or 60-day is required.
3 Day Notice to Pay or Quit Form – Tenant has not paid rent when rent is due.
3 Day Notice to Remedy Breach– tenant has breached the lease (example: lease says ‘no pets’ and now tenant has a pet, the tenant has subleased their apartment without authorization, unauthorized storage), damaged the property, has been a serious nuisance to other tenants or neighbors (creating loud noise, throwing parties), using the rental for illegal purposes such as selling drugs, tenant who has no lease or is on month to month lease and refuses to sign a 1 year lease.
30 Day Notice to Vacate– Landlords giving tenant notice to end month to month lease. (if the Property is for sale, is a house or condo, and is in escrow, a 30 day notice to vacate may be used instead of 60 day).
60 Day Notice to Vacate– Landlord giving tenant notice to end month to month lease where the tenant has rented the property for a year or more.
An unlawful detainer lawsuit 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.
Evictions work differently for rent control properties versus non rent controlled properties. The main difference is rent control properties require JUST CAUSE evictions. With a non rent controlled property you can terminate a month to month tenancy at any time with proper notice for any reason. For Los Angeles rent control your eviction must comply with one of the 12 legal reasons for eviction.
For properties under Los Angeles Rent Control, The following reasons for eviction require that a landlord to file an additional “Landlord Declaration of Intent to Evict” form with the LAHD:
#3 – Nuisance, related to illegal drug or gang activity
#4 – Illegal purpose, related to illegal drug or gang activity
#8 – Owner, family member, or resident manager’s occupancy
#10 – Permanent removal & Demolition
#11 – To comply with a governmental order
#12 – HUD eviction