A Step-By-Step Overview Of The Eviction Process In Los Angeles

by | Apr 29, 2014 | Law


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If you are renting property or leasing an apartment then it is important to have a good understanding, in progression, of how to go through the eviction process in Los Angeles. By understanding the process you will know if and when you need to file an Unlawful Detainer action with the court or if the tenant will voluntarily leave or correct the problem.

First Notice

When a tenant fails to pay rent, violates the lease, damages the property, causes a nuisance or engages in illegal activity on the property you can ask them to voluntarily leave. This is the first step in the process.

This has to be done in writing and should be done on what is known as a 3-day notice or a 30 or 60 day notice. A 3-day notice gives the tenant a chance to pay rent, correct the violation or simply gives them 3 days to vacate. The 30 or 60 day notices simply give notice to vacate.

The day the notice is served counts as day 1 and it is calendar days, not business days, in determining when the time period is expired for the tenant to act. There is an exception to that if the last day of the notice falls on a holiday or weekend day.

Second Step

If he or she fails to correct the problem or move out voluntarily, your next step is to file an Unlawful Detainer action and begin the eviction process in Los Angeles. You will need to file all necessary documents, including a summons, complaint and cover form and pay the filing fee.

You will then need to have the tenant served, but you cannot do that yourself. You can have someone not involved and over 18 do it, or you can hire a licensed process server to do this. The tenant then has 5 days to respond to the court with an answer after which you can proceed through the court system.

The eviction process using the Unlawful Detainer action does not address any issues such as security deposits or other bills and services not paid for as per an agreement. During the process the tenant may remain in the residence until a judgment is made and the landlord cannot turn off utilities, hold property or attempt to prevent the tenant from accessing their unit.