Evictions | Unlawful Detainers
The eviction process, though expeditious in theory, has become an onerous and expensive obstacle course riddled with tenant friendly delay tactics, such as the increase of jury trial demands from tenants.
I've personally hired several UD firms and yet to be satisfied with the service. The attorney in the office is not the same in court. No one responds to emails, no one asks me clarifying questions and no one wants to go to trial against a defaulting tenant it seems. These firms scold clients and treat landlords like they are the nuisance. It was ultimately this poor service that led me to do my own evictions.
Unlawful detainers can appear straight forward but the myriad of ever developing laws has changed the dynamics.
While the day to day of property management can be overwhelming, here are the files landlords should have ready at hand before any notice is sent out to a tenant, especially a notice about rent.
Lease & Addendums
Itemized Tenant Ledger (rent separate from any other charges and surcharges)
Itemization of Past Due Amounts
Any Rent Registration Certifications
Tenant File (past notices, warnings, communications, rent increase notices, etc)
CAM Fee breakdown (commercial)
You may not have all of this or a great portion of it, but in the event you have a residential eviction and the tenant files an answer, they are likely to throw every defense at you, such as rent control violations and uninhabitability. It is better to prepare for the worst than to be shocked by it.
It is always a good idea to consult with an attorney before serving any notice. Having a candid conversation about an eviction can avoid getting to the first day of trial and being advised to dismiss because of a technicality.