Eviction Moratorium - What You Need to Know When Owning a California Rental Property

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The eviction moratorium has finally ended in California, which gives San Diego rental property owners a bit more flexibility when it comes to removing tenants who are not paying rent. If you have tenants in place who are currently or continuously receiving government benefits to avoid eviction, you’ll need to honor those programs. 

However, if tenants stop paying rent or give you any other just cause for eviction, you’re now permitted to move forward. 

Remember that eviction restrictions remain in place through the Tenant Protection Act of 2019. 

What are Just Cause Reasons for Eviction?

Since the Tenant Protection Act went into effect, you need a reason to evict that tenant from your property. This is your just cause. You can evict for:

  • Nonpayment of rent. This is the most common eviction. You’ll serve a standard notice to pay or quit, but even the notice period will depend on your situation. Talk to your property management company about how to prepare and file an eviction for nonpayment of rent. We can serve property notices and make sure your lease agreement reflects all the necessary disclosures. Have an attorney review your notice before you serve it. Recently, we haven’t had a lot of evictions for nonpayment because of the COVID Tenant Relief Act. The speed with which things are picking up depends on your county court system.
  • Clear lease violations.
  • Illegal or criminal activity. Prepare to be able to prove this is happening at your property. You’ll need a lot of documentation. 

In any of these cases, if you have a problematic tenant and you feel you have to prove just cause, documentation is going to be essential. 

Eviction Process in San Diego

When you’re preparing to evict a tenant, you need to follow a set of specific steps in order to legally remove your tenant. 

  • File a Three Day Notice to Pay or Quit

  • Your lease should have a specific and enforceable rent collection process. Tenants need to know how much rent is due, when it’s due, and how it should be paid. After any grace period has expired and rent is officially late, the first step any landlord needs to take is to complete and serve a Three Day Notice to Pay or Quit. This essentially and officially informs the tenant that rent has not been paid, and they have three days to catch up with the payment or vacate the property. 

  • File for an Unlawful Detainer

  • If the tenants do not respond, you’ll need to file the necessary unlawful detainer lawsuit in court. The tenants will be served with a summons and complaint and a court date will be set. 

  • Attend the Eviction Hearing

  • On the scheduled date, go to court with all the necessary documentation, where the judge will either require a mediation, reject your eviction, or provide a judgment for eviction. 

    Eviction Timelines in San Diego 

    Eviction TimelinesIf you are going to move ahead with an eviction now, prepare to be patient. A lot of landlords have been waiting for the opportunity to begin evictions again. There’s going to be a backlog, so working out a payment plan or working with your tenants to get them current might be a better use of your time than waiting for an eviction hearing date. 

    If you’re looking for San Diego property management services so you don’t have to worry about the costs and risk of eviction, please contact us at Mercer Properties. The eviction moratorium has ended, but it’s still a tricky process to evict a tenant in San Diego.