How to Find and Download California Eviction Forms

California landlords can remove tenants who violate month-to-month property agreements or leases. This process can be tedious and time-consuming for a first-timer (or for a landlord repeating the process, for that matter) since they must file several court forms and a California eviction lawsuit. These forms include summons, complaints, the plaintiff’s mandatory cover sheet as well as any supplemental allegations, and a civil case cover sheet to start the eviction case.

Delays could result in lost rent money, and potential late fees with banks over loan repayments. Landlords may also risk losing other tenants if the wayward tenant is affecting the living conditions of your property. The right action is critical. How to find and download the proper California eviction forms, and how do you submit them and to whom is the subject of this article.

Understanding the California Eviction Process

You must inform tenants of your intentions to evict them with written notice. It is illegal to just lock them out. Otherwise, you risk a penalty as provided under the California Tenant Protection Act of 2019.

Once you’ve given the notice, you must file a court case, ask for a trial date, attend the trial, and wait for the judgment. Here’s a brief overview of the California eviction processes:

Giving a Termination Notice

A California eviction process starts with giving the tenant a written tenancy termination notice if they don’t move out or fix a problem. However, you should contact them to resolve your situation before giving the notice.

A proper legal notice should state the reason for your decision. In California, landlords can only give an eviction notice for the following reasons:

  • The tenant doesn’t pay rent promptly
  • The tenant has broken the rental or lease agreement and doesn’t fix the problem
  • The tenant has damaged their property, making it worthless
  • The tenant has become a serious nuisance by disturbing their neighbors or other tenants even after being requested to stop
  • The tenant is doing something illegal on your property

Please note that a proper “serving of a legal eviction notice” requires the landlord to personally give the notice to the tenant or leave it where they can find it if they refuse to take it. Ensure that the eviction notice has the following information before you submit it:

  • The landlord’s name, address, and phone number
  • The time that the landlord or an assigned financial institution is available to receive rent from the tenant
  • Date of service to the tenant
  • The tenant’s name and address
  • The total amount of the due rent
  • Certification of service specifying how you provided the notice
  • The landlord’s signature

You can serve a tenant with three types of eviction notices: a three-day, 30-day, or 90-day notice. You should issue a three-day notice if you want the tenant to pay up their rent within three days or move out or have violated your lease agreement and you need them to move out. You should issue a 30-day notice if the tenant has violated a month-to-month rental agreement and a 90-day notice when evicting a tenant from Section 8 subsidized housing.

If the tenant doesn’t respond to the notice or fails to move out within the days it provides, the landlord can move forward into the next step of the California eviction process.

Starting a California Eviction Court Case

You can start an eviction court case if the deadline for the notice has passed or the tenant doesn’t rectify what you’ve asked in the notice. This process begins with filling out four court forms and gathering necessary papers proving that you had served the tenant with an eviction notice.

There are four court forms that you should fill out to start the eviction case.

  • Summons – Unlawful Detainer eviction form
  • Complaint – Unlawful Detainer form
  • Plaintiff’s Mandatory Cover Sheet and Supplemental Allegations – Unlawful Detainer form
  • Civil Case Cover Sheet form

You must submit the Civil Case Cover Sheet and Unlawful Detainer Complaint forms to the local courthouse that handles eviction cases. The courthouse clerk then gives you the summons and a stamped copy of the complaint form. You should pick a copy of the Prejudgment Right of Possession and print one if filing an eviction case against a tenant not listed in your rental agreement.

Seek Trial or Default Judgment

Tenants have five days to respond to the summons and complaints forms—or fifteen days if you did not serve them in person. Your decision to seek trial or default judgment depends on their response. You can ask the judge to order an eviction if they don’t respond after three days. This is referred to as default judgment.

Your tenant could file an answer form to indicate their willingness to fight the eviction. They should send a copy of the answer, or you can check with the courthouse if you don’t receive the copy. If they respond with the answer form, you should file a Request to Set Case for Trial-Unlawful Detainer or form UD-150 with the clerk’s office to move the case forward.

The court clerk should then mail the letter indicating the trial date. Tenants can counter this request by filling out a counter request form or form UD-150 if there’s a valid reason, such as asking for a jury trial if you didn’t ask for one.

Tenants can also seek a motion to demurrer or squash your case. You should seek legal help if they decide on this option. They can also move out or seek to settle your complaints. This should prompt you to close and dismiss the case.

Your tenants can also file a COVID-19 pandemic or declaration of financial distress to counter your request for a trial date. In this case, the court will set a court date to determine whether there’s a good cause for turning this declaration after receiving the eviction notice. If the judge finds a good course, the case will not move forward at this point.

Attend the Eviction Trial

The eviction trial follows a typical court process where the judge listens to both sides of the story and makes a ruling based on the evidence presented. Therefore, landlords should present sound evidence to support their case. This means you should prepare your testimony and evidence before the trial date. Evidence includes emails, papers, or photos showing a legal reason to evict your tenant.

The judge or jury can rule in your favor or in favor of the tenant. If they rule in your favor, the court will issue a Writ of Possession, allowing the sheriff to physically lock out the tenant from your property. The judge can also order the tenant to pay their unpaid rent, attorney’s fee, or a penalty of up to $600.

Please note that using the correct eviction forms is crucial to complete this process quickly. You should also fill them out with factually accurate information to avoid any issues that may prolong the eviction process or have the case dismissed by the court.

How SueYa Can Help

The California eviction process can be daunting. SueYa offers a fully-integrated online platform to complete your tenant eviction process easily. With our cutting-edge service, you can comfortably complete the following procedures:

  • Preparing and delivering notice of termination
  • Preparing unlawful detainer documents
  • Submitting and uploading copies of all necessary eviction forms to the court
  • Guiding you on the eviction enforcement process

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