One popular form of entrepreneurship for many is owning investment property. If you own a rental home, you need to stay in front of legal troubles. California law provides tenant a great deal of legal protection, often at the expense of the homeowner. I work with landlords to help avoid and minimize the effects of a disastrous tenant.
Evictions / Unlawful Detainer
One common theme I run into with independent landlords, is the compassion and generosity they show tenants. They generally are not heartless, but they also typically rely on timely rent payments to make ends meet. If you have a tenant that has not paid rent, you should not delay in taking action. The legal term for an eviction is Unlawful Detainer, and it means that a tenant has improperly stayed beyond their legal right. This can be for non-payment of rent, for staying after having their rights terminated, or at the end of a fixed term lease. The entire unlawful detainer process typically takes between 45-60 days before the property can be reclaimed and made productive again.
Because California law protects the tenants’ rights so strongly, if a landlord makes any technical mistakes with the termination notice or the complaint, the tenant will prevail and the landlord will have to start the process over again.
I offer landlords professional legal counsel for evictions at a flat rate basis. As an experienced eviction attorney, I know the ins and outs of the process and can help you decide the most effective and efficient way to get your property back to income producing with good tenants. Tenant negotiations are important as well. If communication with your tenant has broken down, effective legal counsel can sometimes overcome this and help resolve matters more quickly than an eviction lawsuit. A common mistake I see with landlords is not getting legal counsel at the first instance of tenant problems. Don’t serve a termination notice that you find online. The laws change and many you find there are outdated and invalid. And often they aren’t server properly. Nothing is more frustrating than telling a landlord that his 60 day notice needs to be reserved because it does not comply with current statutes. If you have a tenant and issue have arisen, don’t ask yourself if you can afford an attorney. The real question is whether you can afford not to hire one.
The best way to avoid tenant problems is a careful and thorough screening process and a robust lease that is protects the landlords interest to the fullest extent allowed. Taking a shortcut on your lease is the quickest way to tenant disputes. My office offers lease reviews and lease drafting to help put the landlord tenant relationship on solid footing from day one.
Edward Younger, Attorney at Law
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"I contacted Ed regarding a landlord/tenant dispute. He was able to guide me through the process and because of his assistance, we were able to evict a tenant that had not paid rent in 2 months. I later discovered that she had falsified her rental application and was a professional scam artist. She had also moved in several other people into the residence without my knowledge. Because of his assistance, I was minimally impacted financially. Having been a landlord for many years, I know how difficult it is typically to evict a problem tenant and squatters who refuse to pay. I know that if I had not contacted him, they would have stayed there for several more months or longer. I would definitely recommend him to anyone who is faced with a similar situation."