Pursuing unlawful detainer (evictions) on behalf of landlords and property managers throughout the Bay Area.
What Is an Unlawful Detainer Action?
Eviction cases are called “Unlawful Detainer” cases. Unlawful detainer (eviction) cases are statutorily governed and successful when all rules and procedures are followed to the letter of the law. An unlawful detainer (eviction) action is a special court proceeding which usually happens when a tenant stays after the lease is expired, the lease is canceled, or the tenant has not paid their rent.
DISAGREEMENT HAS TO BE ABOUT THE TENANT MOVING OUT:
An Unlawful Detainer decides if the landlord can take the property back from the tenant. The landlord is the plaintiff. The tenant is the defendant.
ONLY THE SHERIFF CAN PHYSICALLY EVICT SOMEONE:
If the landlord wins the case, they will get a “judgment” and the tenant has to move out. The Sheriff can enforce this judgment. This means the Sheriff can physically make the tenant leave.
A landlord cannot evict a tenant without going through the proper steps. It is against the law. Only the Sheriff can evict someone. A landlord may not do any of the following without a court order:
- Make the tenant move out,
- Get rid of the tenant’s possessions,
- Lock the tenant out,
- Cut off the water or electricity, or
- Remove outside windows or doors.
To legally evict the tenant through the process of an Unlawful Detainer, the landlord has to:
- Serve the tenant with the appropriate written notice (there are several types of notice, and the one you serve on your tenant must be appropriate to your specific case circumstances),
- Wait for the time period in the notice to end, and
- File an Unlawful Detainer (eviction) action if the tenant does not do what the notice asks.
An Unlawful Detainer case is fast. Usually, the defendant has 5 days to file a response. You can have a trial 20 days after that. In general, the defendant cannot file a cross complaint (counter-sue).
Why Hire Ghantous Law Corporation?
No matter how diligent, landlords often find themselves engaged in costly litigation with tenants represented by counsel specialized in taking advantage of statutes enacted to protect tenant rights. Landlords in these cases bear the burden of proof in demonstrating compliance with the detailed unlawful detainer (eviction) statutes governing these disputes. These disputes require a reasoned approach to problem-solving, knowledge of all potential liabilities, and an aggressive defense when litigation ensues.
We regularly advise property owners and property management companies in various landlord tenant law disputes including unlawful detainers (evictions), lease disputes, rent ordinance compliance, breach of habitability claims, mold litigation, toxic-tort matters, and fair housing act claims in all Northern California jurisdictions.
With over 20 years of litigation experience, we can assist your business with the drafting of important lease provisions to maximize your legal rights in the event of a landlord tenant dispute or litigation. The firm can provide solid and accurate counsel in the interpretation of rights and legal obligations of any dispute as they occur. By retaining counsel before litigation commences, you can more likely ensure an expedient resolution of whatever civil action or unlawful detainer (eviction) you face.