How to Evict A Tenant in Oakland California
Every time we look for a new tenant we have always been very careful on who we rent our property to. Unfortunately, no matter how careful we are, we sometimes run into bad tenants who don't honor their promises and deliberately do damages to our property. If you are a landlord, hopefully you are more lucky than we are, it would be helpful to know your rights and how to exercise them should you face a tenant who hasn't paid rent for months and refuses to move out. Eviction is a more direct way to move a tenant out legally. You can either hire a lawyer or handle the eviction yourself.
Hiring A Lawyer to Evict A Tenant
Hiring a lawyer to evict a tenant can save you time and energy. Well, assuming the lawyer that you hire is a good one. You might feel less frustrated knowing someone is taking care of the headache of getting rid of the bad tenant.
The cost of hiring a lawyer to do the eviction is at least $1,000 for a simple case. If, however, there is court time involved, there will be additional hourly charges for a lawyer to represent you at court.
You will have less control over when to start the eviction process because if the lawyer has lots of cases on hand, he/she may not take your case in as a priority.
Evict A Tenant by Yourself
If you have the time, evicting a tenant by yourself can be faster and could save you money. If your rental property is in Alameda county in California and has met the Good Cause Required for Eviction, here are the steps to take to evict a tenant:
- Serve your tenant a Three Days Notice to Quit,
- If the tenant is still occupying your property when the Three Days Notice to Quit has expired, go to Self-Help Center at 1225 Fallon St. #250 in Oakland and ask for instructions on eviction. You will receive essential forms to file to the court: SUM-130, UD-100 AND CM-010. You should also receive instructions on how to file out the forms. Or if you prefer, you can find these forms on the internet.
- Fill out the forms SUM-130, UD-100 and CM-010 and bring two sets of these forms, one set of the signed lease agreement, Three Days Notice to Quit, any supporting documents, and your check book to the Clerk's Office at René C. Davidson Alameda County Courthouse. The clerk's office doesn't accept credit card and the cost for filing an eviction is $240 as of 2012.
- After the clerk gives back the summons, complaints and cover sheet (SUM-130, UD-100 AND CM-010) with the case number on, make a set of copy for yourself to keep and have someone who is 18 or older to serve the original to the tenant. You can hire a professional server if you want. We paid $55 for a professional server for three attempts last time. After the tenant is served, the server needs to fill out a form called PROOF OF SERVICE OF SUMMONS.
- If the tenant doesn't respond to the summons within 5 days of service, you then go back to the Clerk Office and request for Entry of Default. Once the Clerk's judgment entered, a Writ of Possession is issued and you can take it to sheriff department for eviction.
I keep my fingers crossed hoping that our tenants are responsible tenants.