02-21-2013 08:11 PM - edited 02-21-2013 08:14 PM
I know the web is filled with info about evicting tenants and all, but I thought we might share some advice on this forum. I understand that we are not providing legal advice, rather personal opinions.
So... I have a tenant, who hasn't paid rent in a while. I served them with a 60 day notice, and the 60 days is over, so I went to LA Courthouse today and filled out an unlawful detainer ($240), which I need to have served to them. I can either have someone serve it to them, or pay the Sheriff $35 to serve it. I am thinking to have Sheriff serve it so it shows the tenants I am serious. Whenever, I have told them, they have just said, "I need a couple months more".
I believe the next part of the process is that if they:
A) Do not reply to the detainer within 5 days: Then the sheriff comes back to take them out of the house.
In this case, do I have to pay ther sheriff again?
Also, what do I do with all their belongings?
B) If they do reply to the detainer: Then a court date is set and I have to go to court and show that I am the owner, etc. etc. Anything else I need to know about the court process? If I want to get the last two months of rent that they have not paid, do I have to set up another court date to get them to pay?
Any opinions would be greatly appreciated. This is a SFR in the Harbor Gateway. I called LAHD and they said that they don't cover SFR, so I guess that's a good thing for me.
02-21-2013 10:29 PM
I recommend you go get the Nolo Press "Every Landlord's Legal Guide" book, available at bookstores, Amazon and at their web site:
They're a California outfit, so most of their stuff is California-oriented.
02-22-2013 01:22 AM - edited 02-22-2013 01:32 AM
I am dealing with the same issue right now, I just went to court last week. Regardless, if they respond to the detainer or not, you will still have to set a court date and notify the tenant of the date before you can do a lockout. If the tenant shows up, the judge will ask all parties including your lawyers to go outside and try to come to a agreement. If no agreement can be reached, it will go to trial. If you win the trial, you can get a lockout date. If the tenant doesn't show up for court you most likely will win by default and a lockout date can be set. Yes, you can ask for a judgment for back rent and some of the court costs in your case. I was told it takes about 3 weeks to get a the sheriff to do a lockout. Also, if it goes to trial, it's a good idea to have the server present to attest in person that the tenant was served properly. Once the tenant is locked out, all possessions in the rental unit are forfeited. The tenant will have gotten a notice of the date of lockout, and should have their crap removed by then.
I strongly suggest getting a lawyer that specializes in evictions. If you forget to dot an I or cross a T during the eviction process, your case will be thrown out, and you will have to start all over. Plus it really intimidates the other party when you show up with a lawyer. When I met the tenant at court, he was uncooperative and all set to go to trial. When my lawyer showed up and explained the situation, he agreed to leave on his own and signed a statement saying so and waiving all his rights of tenancy. No trial needed.
02-24-2013 11:09 AM
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