Posted in

5 Ways to Improve Real Estate Marketing to Seniors

In 2020, more than 39 percent of homebuyers were over 55 years old, according to the National...

Digital Marketing for Real Estate Agents: 5 Rules to Know

Digital marketing works. There’s no getting around it. For something that didn’t exist just a...

3 Mistakes to Avoid When Entering the Real Estate Market

Real estate can be a tricky market to master. If you’re buying your first starter home or buying...

5 Steps To A Healthier Home

Being healthy at home isn’t just about your diet. Sure, healthy eating is a wonderful...

Home Improvement: Adding Flare to a Builder Grade Home

Purchasing a new home an exciting, emotional experience – and going with a professional builder...

Homes & Land Blog > Rental Evictions: What You Need to Know

Rental Evictions: What You Need to Know

Author: David Pruitt, REALTOR at Zenith Real Estate Services Inc.  

Arguably the most sensitive topic in landlord and tenant law involves evictions because no one wants to be removed from their home. On December 14, 2014, The Orange County Register reported that 6,600 Orange County renters were evicted in 2014, which ends up being equivalent to one eviction for every 63 tenant households.  Among the immediate parties involved, the process is often contentious, yet California courts apply a systematic approach to eviction cases.  A landlord must go to court to evict a tenant and if the court rules in favor of the landlord and a sheriff performs the eviction, not the landlord.

A California landlord can evict a tenant with or without cause. If the landlord has cause to end a lease, the landlord can terminate the agreement early and evict a tenant for a variety of reasons such as; failure to pay rent, significant violation to the rental agreement, or committing an illegal act. Before terminating the agreement, a landlord must give a tenant written notice. The reason for the termination will determine the type of notice needed. In most instances, a three-day notice is all that is legally required to be given to a tenant.

To end a rental agreement without cause becomes a case of whether the tenant is in a fixed term or periodic lease (i.e. month-to-month).  Under a fixed term lease, the landlord cannot end the agreement without cause until the term's maturity. The landlord is not required to give notice to the tenant to move out at the end of the term unless it is spelled out in the lease.  If the agreement is periodic and the tenant has lived in the dwelling for less than one year, then a 30-day notice is required to be given by the landlord. If the tenant has lived in the dwelling for more than one year and the lease is periodic, then a 60-day notice is required to be given to the occupant.

Another way a landlord can evict a tenant is through “constructive eviction”. Constructive eviction occurs when the living conditions of the dwelling become unlivable and if the landlord fails to cure the conditions then the tenant has the option of moving out.

Implied in every lease in California are two promises or “covenants” as they are called in legal circles. These covenants include: (1) Quiet Enjoyment and; (2) Warranty of Habitability. The first covenant provides surety to the tenant that the landlord will not enter into the dwelling without permission and the tenant has the right to enjoy the property peacefully. The second covenant requires the unit to conform to all health and safety regulations. The landlord is obligated to maintain the dwelling and to fix problems in a timely manner if the problem substantially impacts the use of the property.

In all cases, a tenant must inform the landlord of the unfavorable conditions in writing and allow a reasonable time to cure. The question then becomes, "What is a reasonable time?" Generally, if the problem has not be addressed after 30-days’ notice, the tenant has a strong argument to vacate.  For tenants, it is wise to take pictures of the problem as an additional means of protection should the dispute find its way into court. In summary, if a landlord breached either the covenant of habitability or quiet enjoyment, the tenant may vacate the premises without incurring additional financial obligations under the concept of “constructive eviction.”  

If you find yourself facing eviction – actual or constructive, consult with an attorney that’s well versed in landlord and tenant law. Keep records of all communication between you and the landlord and support your communication with photographs.

Renting a Home

Select a Category

See all

Recently Added

5 Ways to Brand Yourself as a Real Estate Agent

Attention to detail is everything when it comes to personal branding for real estate agents. Real estate branding is not unlike any other business…

Read More »

Buying Your First Home During Uncertain Times

Buying your first home in the best of times is a major life decision. Buying your first home during uncertain times can be a truly terrifying prospect…

Read More »

10 Real Estate Marketing Strategies to Grow Your Business

Here's the worst kept secret in the real estate industry: it's tough! It ebbs and flows. It moves from a buyer's market to a seller's market, sometimes…

Read More »

Leave a Comment Below