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CalAttorney2, Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 10244
Experience:  I am a civil litigation attorney with experience representing HOAs, homeowners, businesses and others in real estate matters.
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I rented a home to a women who also had her boyfriend living

Customer Question

I rented a home to a women who also had her boyfriend living with her. She left and no rent has been paid for 10 months along with utilities. The power and water has been turned off but he continues to stay in the house. The local authorities have inspected the house and declared it non habitable and considered it to be condemned. We have not been able to get him to stay out of the house. What can we do? The Police say their hands are tied. We have given a 5 day notice of pay or quit, then a registered letter with the 14 day eviction notice. They are telling us we may have to still give him 30 days to move. He is not even the one we rented to!
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Real Estate Law
Expert:  CalAttorney2 replied 2 years ago.
Dear Customer, I am very sorry to learn of this situation.You do have a very significant problem here. While terminating this person's occupancy is generally fairly straightforward (you do need to treat them like a tenant, give them notice and go to court for unlawful detainer (a 5 day notice of non-payment would be sufficient), the fact that there are no utilities is a significant problem. If you are the one responsible for the utilities being shut off, you have engaged in "illegal eviction" and the occupant can defend any eviction action (unlawful detainer) that you file, and you may even end up owing them money! (If this is the case, hire a local landlord tenant attorney right away. It is still possible to deal with this situation, but you need to proceed very, very carefully.If the tenant (the woman) is the one that allowed the utilities to be cut off, this is less troubling and you can proceed with your 5 day notice, then follow the procedure for unlawful detainer (see the process below).Here is a link to another website (it is a fee based site, but it specializes in offering landlords forms and information on the unlawful detainer process to help them get through the eviction process quickly and easily with all the forms in one place): a tenancy-1) Notice: The first step in any termination is giving notice, the landlord can simply give notice that they no longer want the tenant to live there (this is usually 30 days, or 60 days, and it can be done for no reason whatsoever, there is no fault, and while the tenant must relocate, they are not being "evicted" and there is no blemish on their rental history), they can give a "notice to pay or quit" (usually 3 day or 5 day depending on the state, and the tenant has this amount of time to pay rent that they missed or move out), "notice to "cure or quit" (the tenant has breached the lease - broken something, noisy, etc. and must stop it or fix it within the notice period, again 3 days, 5 days, or 10 days), or a "notice to quit" (this is a 3 day or 5 day notice that says the tenant has messed up so badly they can do nothing but move out within the notice period - there is no chance to "cure" - this often happens when there is illegal activity on the property). 2) Unlawful detainer/forcible entry and detainer (this is the legal proceeding where the landlord goes to court and sues the tenant to get possession - the tenant has an opportunity to appear and defend the action, common defenses include improper notice, breach of the lease (such as failure to maintain the property - "inhabitable conditions"). If the tenant answers the complaint, the parties can take "discovery" from one another and get additional information before a court trial before a judge. 3) A judgment of possession/writ of eviction - if the landlord wins the trial, they get a judgment of possession and the court will issue a "writ of eviction." 4) Forcible eviction - this happens when the Sheriff or Constable serves the writ of eviction - some jurisdictions give a courtesy notice the day or two before the eviction, others do not, but the end result is the sheriff overseeing the landlord's movers removing all of the tenant's possessions from the property and placing them on the curb, and the tenants are forcibly removed from the property. At that point, the landlord can change the locks and the tenant can no longer return (They have been "evicted").

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