Over the past 18 months, tenants have been given extended protection to help them avoid being evicted due to financial hardships caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. Traditionally, a landlord has had the ability to evict a tenant for almost any reason, but the current moratorium shields tenants from being evicted due to no cause. California leans heavily towards protecting the rights of tenants, but investors and landlords have rights as well.
For example, if a tenant is paying at least 25% of their rent and qualify as a low-income tenant, they can apply for rental assistance through the state. Small landlords who have suffered a loss in receiving rent also have the ability to obtain a subsidy for what they haven’t received, up to 100% of rent due.
So, what happens if your tenant isn’t paying rent? Or, you don’t qualify as a small landlord and your tenant doesn’t quality as a low-income tenant? The good news is that you still have rights as a landlord and if you can prove just cause, you do have the legal right to evict your tenants even with the current moratorium in place.
The moratorium cannot stop eviction if the landlord can prove just cause, where the tenant is accused of doing something wrong.
Examples of just cause include, but not limited to:
(1) Nonpayment of Rent – tenant isn’t paying at least 25% of their monthly rent payment
(2) Criminal activity, including serious threats against the landlord
(3) Illegally assigning or subletting any or all of the property
(4) Seriously damaging property
(5) Breach of an important part of the rental agreement
(6) Causing a nuisance
(7) Refusing access to landlord to make necessary repairs or show the property
(8) Use of property for illegal purposes
(9) Resident manager failing to leave upon termination
(10) Failing to leave upon tenant giving notice to landlord
It is important for a landlord to seek proper legal guidance when they find themselves in a situation with a non-paying, non-cooperative tenant that they need to vacate. It is even more crucial that they follow each step of the process carefully, as one technical error can cause them to lose their case and allow the tenant to stay in the property.
Here is a link to California’s site to gather more information about evictions and current guidelines:
Here is a link to a local law firm that specializes in Landlord rights:
This is for informational purposes only and should not be relied on as legal advice