And Stay a California 60-Day Eviction Notice Compliant
Tenants can use a variety of legal defenses to avoid eviction after receiving a California 60-day eviction notice. From insisting that they do not owe the money you claim, to noting that you did not provide the Notice to Quit correctly, tenants can try to avoid eviction or get more time to stay in the property. As a landlord, you need to respond carefully to those defenses in order to protect your rights and move tenants out of the property more effectively.
California’s Laws on Eviction
In California, to legally evict a tenant, you will need to file a lawsuit and wait for a court order. Landlords must have what California law considers just cause to evict a tenant, including:
- Failure to pay rent
- Lease violations that can be fixed, but that the tenant chooses not to fix
- Lease violations that the tenant cannot fix, including subletting without permission or causing substantial damage to the property
Landlords can decide to end a tenancy for other reasons, including a decision to revoke a month-to-month tenancy; however, the landlord must follow proper procedure, including filing a Notice to Quit and having eviction paperwork served if needed. If the tenant has been in the property for at least a year, even on a month-to-month agreement, the landlord will need to provide a 60-day Notice to Quit before tenants must move out of the property.
The California 60-Day Eviction Notice
Filing an eviction in California is a complicated process. A 60-day Notice to Quit is used when tenants are required to leave the property for an at-fault reason, and the tenant has lived in the property for one year or more. The eviction process can take months, starting with when the eviction court forms are delivered to the tenant.
- Initial notice period: 3-90 days
- Serving the summons: up to 60 days
- Tenant response period: 5-15 business days
- Court ruling: 20 business days or more
Working with SueYa can help streamline the eviction process and ensure that you follow those steps correctly.
Seven Common Defenses Tenants Give Against Eviction in California (and How to Respond)
Tenants can use a variety of defenses against eviction. By preparing for them ahead of time and working with SueYa, you can help protect against some of those defenses and help the process go more smoothly.
1. Failure to Give Proper Notice
A landlord must provide proper notice before initiating an eviction, including filing the California 60-day eviction notice. If you fail to provide that essential notice, your tenants may have more time to leave the property.
Where Do I Get a California 60-Day Eviction Notice?
Visit our evictions page to learn about how to file an eviction notice and how to ensure that your tenant receives proper notice. As a landlord, you may need to argue that you did provide adequate notice and that the tenant did not respond or vacate the premises.
A tenant who has exercised their rights, including complaining about housing code violations or joining a tenant union, may try to argue that the eviction comes as a form of retaliation. If your tenant tries to use this excuse, you may need to show a valid reason for eviction, including nonpayment of rent.
You cannot evict tenants on the basis of religion, race, or gender. A tenant who falls into a protected class may try to argue that you have started the eviction process due to your own biases. You will need to show a legitimate reason for eviction.
As a landlord, you are responsible for keeping the rental unit in habitable condition. If the tenant lets you know about possible problems, it may serve as a defense against eviction. You will need to show a valid reason for the eviction or establish that the tenant caused the defects.
5. Tenant Right to Repair
A tenant may have the right to make repairs to the rental unit and deduct the cost of those repairs from the rent. You cannot evict a tenant for using that right and may need to show that the repairs were unneeded or done incorrectly.
6. Illegal Unit
If you do not have the right permits for your unit, you may not have the right to evict a tenant from that unit while you take care of permits and challenges.
7. Tenant Has Paid Rent
The tenant may attempt to argue that they have paid rent on time, leaving you without grounds to evict them. You may, however, have the right to evict for other reasons, including failure to uphold the terms of the lease.
Evicting a Tenant? Let SueYa Handle It!
There are a number of common defenses tenants can use to fight the eviction process, including retaliation, discrimination, and more. With the right defense, however, landlords can show that they did their due diligence and that the tenant needs to comply with the eviction notice. Instead of fighting on your own, let SueYa handle the eviction process for you! We have successfully filed more than 20,000 evictions and recovered $10 million for our clients. Get in touch today.