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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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We have filed an unlawful detainer and the tenants' lawyer

Customer Question

We have filed an unlawful detainer and the tenants' lawyer responded within five days requesting for a court date but now seems that the tenant has moved out before the hearing without any notice and haven't returned for five days. Can I change the locks and close the case?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Real Estate Law
Expert:  CalAttorney2 replied 1 year ago.

No, you either need the Court judgment for possession, or an agreement from the tenants to a stipulation for possession.

If the tenants moved out, contact their attorney and see if they are willing to stipulate to possession, you may still need to go to trial for damages (most unlawful detainers also include damages for unpaid rent, if you just want your property back, you may want to offer a waiver of money damages in exchange for possession).

But you cannot change out the locks - doing so will constitute an "illegal eviction" and you will potentially cause yourself more trouble.