Eviction laws in California have undergone several upheavals over the past three years, due to the economic and financial instability created by the pandemic. The Governor and Legislature have worked together to create laws that alleviate financial distress for both tenants and landlords, such as the COVID-19 Tenant Relief Act, the COVID-19 Rental Housing Recovery Act, and the California COVID-19 Rent Relief Program.
While these laws have tried to strike a balance between landlord and tenant welfare, things are still not back to normal. As the laws are constantly changing, landlords are finding it difficult to keep up with the amendments, leading to ambiguity about whether or not they can evict tenants.
In this article, we provide information about the steps landlords can take to help them navigate the changing eviction laws with ease.
Understand California’s Eviction Laws
California Eviction Moratorium was in effect from March 2020 to September 30, 2021. From October 01, 2021, new laws have come into effect that generally allows landlords to evict tenants for non-payment of rent. Note that some tenants are still protected from eviction due to rental debt.
Landlords are also required to seek rental assistance before starting the eviction process. Also, tenants can block the eviction process based on unpaid rent, if they are approved for government assistance.
We recommend checking the current rules and regulations regarding eviction on California’s official government website or contacting a property manager for help.
Identify A Valid Reason to Evict Your Tenants
You need to have an iron-clad reason to evict your tenants. Common reasons for eviction currently include non-payment of rent, violation of lease agreement, having pets on the property without your permission, or conducting illegal activities on the premises.
Also, follow the proper legal procedure required to evict a tenant. Visalia landlords are not permitted to lock the tenant out, damage their belongings, or shut off power and utilities that might cause harm or inconvenience to the tenant in any manner.
Tenants’ Eviction Defenses
As a landlord, you must know what steps tenants can take to protect themselves from being evicted. Tenants can file a countersuit to contest the eviction. In such cases, if the tenants are amenable, you can settle the matter out of court. However, beware of unscrupulous tenants who might try to take advantage of your procedural mistakes, such as serving the pay-or-quit notice improperly or not giving them the requisite time to respond.
Consider hiring an attorney or taking help from a professional property management company when it comes to dealing with evictions in Visalia. Primarily because there are provisions in California’s Landlord-Tenant law that can be difficult for a layman to understand. Also, even a small misstep on your part can open the floodgate for countersuits, leading you to waste a lot of sleep, time, and money in litigations.
If you are finding it challenging to keep up with every minute amendment to California’s changing eviction laws, reach out to us at The Equity Group.
We are a full-service property management company in Visalia, also serving Tulare, Hanford, Lemoore, Dinuba, Reedley, and Porterville. We have years of experience in managing residential, commercial, and rental properties and our team can help you easily navigate the legal process and carry out a successful eviction process.
For more information, contact us at The Equity Group.