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CalAttorney2
CalAttorney2, Attorney
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Satisfied Customers: 10238
Experience:  I am a civil litigation attorney with experience representing both landlords and tenants in residential and commercial property disputes.
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Tenants lease has expired and no rent was paid months rent

Customer Question

tenants lease has expired and no rent was paid for last months rent and this month. She has been notified for over thirty days about this. Can I change the locks and evict tenant.
Submitted: 5 months ago.
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Expert:  CalAttorney2 replied 5 months ago.

Dear Customer,

Thank you for using our forum. My name is ***** ***** I hope to assist you today.

Yes, you can go through the eviction process (you can give notice to pay or quit (the number of days depends on state), I also recommend issuing a notice of lease termination at the same time (again, the precise number of days depends on state) so that even if they do pay you can still terminate their tenancy and evict them).

HOWEVER, YOU CANNOT CHANGE THE LOCKS.

The law prohibits "self help" measures such as changing locks, cutting off utilities, etc. and doing so exposes you to monetary damages (so you can end up owing your tenant money!).

Customer: replied 5 months ago.
Tenant in has not picked up the 30day notice on her door and I have been texting her
aboutut this problem for the last 30 days and no reply has been received. Can I evict with out a court order. she still has her belongings in apartment. tenant has no lease and behind in rent
Expert:  CalAttorney2 replied 5 months ago.

You need a court order, self help is not permitted.

If you have already given 30 days notice, that means you can proceed directly to filing and serving your Unlawful detainer/forcible entry and detainer (eviction) action with the court.

But you need to go to court. (Given the tenant's history, I would speculate that it is likely you are going to get a "default judgment" - and receive possession of the property quickly, but you must go through the steps.)

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