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Eviction is a legal process by which a landlord forces a tenant to move out of the landlord's property involuntarily and usually permanently.
In some areas, landlords can evict their tenants without cause. In other areas, the law requires landlords to have a "just cause", which usually includes nonpayment of rent or damaging the property.
The requirement of notice also varies; in some areas, landlords must post an official eviction notice on the property a certain number of days before the tenant can be forced off the property. In some areas the landlord must get the police to post this notice.
Some jurisdictions require the landlord to obtain a court order before a tenant can be evicted. This usually involves filing a lawsuit in the local eviction court, which is then heard by a judge, magistrate, or referee. If the landlord is found to have a just cause for eviction, the tenant is given a specified number of days in which to move. If he fails to do so, some jurisdictions allow the landlord to take possession immediately, while others require a peace officer (sheriff, bailiff, police officer) to be present for the set-out.
Eviction law varies widely from state to state, and sometimes county to county or city to city. Any landlord faced with a tenant they must evict, or a tenant faced with a threat of eviction, should seek legal counsel to determine the practice in their community and their respective rights and obligations.
Evictions in California
Notice Preceding Complaint
Under California law, a landlord must serve the tenant with a notice before an eviction procedure can commence. If the tenant is behind on rent, a 3-day Notice to Pay Rent or Quit must be served. If the lease has been violated, then a 3-day Notice to Perform Covenant or Quit must be served, and the landlord should try and collect evidence to prove that a breach has occurred. These notices must be stated in the alternative (providing tenant an opportunity to correct the breach) to be valid. If the breach is serious (as defined by law) and not curable, (e.g. the tenant has been using or selling drugs), the notice does not have to be phrased "in the alternative", and a 3-day Notice to Quit may be served, stating the incurable breaches.
If landlord wishes to terminate a month-to-month rental agreement without good cause, 30 days notice must be given, and 60 days notice must be given if the tenant has lived on the premises longer than one year.
Laws differ under Section-8 housing and in some rent-control jurisdictions, making it more difficult for the landlord to terminate the tenancy, especially without good cause. Eviction laws for mobile homes (where the home as well as the tenant must move) require longer notice periods and must be for just causes.
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This article is licensed under the GNU Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Eviction".