In California, there is a requirement that to remove someone from their residence, it must be a just cause eviction. Which means you have to have a constructive violation of the lease to remove a tenant from their apartment. There are minor exceptions like remodeling of a unit or moving in a family member. These require you to pay the tenants thousands of dollars to get them to leave.
That being said, if that situation does not apply to you, there is only one legal way to remove a tenant, eviction. You can no longer give a 60-day notice in Long Beach. In some cities, this has been the case for years, but this now applies to all of California, depending on what type of rental unit you have. For those of you who have done an eviction, the process is not fun, and for those of you who haven’t, it should be avoided whenever possible.
There are a few strategies to avoid going through the eviction process. First, you must make it very clear to your tenants that an eviction will make it very hard for them to rent another apartment. An eviction is a huge red flag in our industry, and letting a tenant know that it will be really difficult to find another place with an eviction on the record is key. If they promise to move, you might want to give them a few extra days to move out to avoid the eviction. Timelines must be firm and if they don’t move, you must proceed with the eviction.
Another strategy is to pay someone to move out. This is an unpopular strategy, but considering that you can’t collect rent for the time period of the eviction, at least 6 weeks and longer if they fight it in court. Your attorney’s fees will most likely be 1000 dollars or higher. Cash payment upon vacating the rental property might be the cheapest and quickest solution to your problem.
We can usually avoid evictions with the first method, but in a minority of cases, we will bite the bullet and pay them. That being said, you must be willing and able to evict the tenant if they can not follow through with their move-out.
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