Navigating the Perils of Landlord Evictions

Gary Whitehead
(Courtesy of Gary Whitehead)

As a rental property owner, you have responsibilities and expect results from this responsibility, meaning entitlement to rent. Here is your rental property that costs a mortgage payment and other expenses whether or not it’s occupied. Also, the largest expense is vacancy time or more dreaded, a non- paying tenant. An occupant that has your property hostage.

Evictions are tedious and complicated. Especially now with new and changing series of laws and procedures that can baffle and torment the most experienced legal technician and the Court Clerks who must enforce them!

Detailed paperwork must be prepared. Legal and filing fees advanced. Often embattled tenants fight the process, further damaging the property in retaliation. More vacancy time is lost, but mortgage expenses and property taxes continue.

Good tenants rarely go bad and bad tenants don’t turn good, so waiting for a divine miracle to turnaround is like waiting for an ocean breeze from the desert, it won’t happen so quit wasting time listening to tenant excuses. The check is NOT in the mail, there is no new job for the delinquent tenant and, Aunt Sylvia Save-The-Day is not going to pay the back rent, and NO, the tenant is not moving out next week!

Judges are pro-tenant. Count on that. Why? Because of the abuses of other landlords who try to skirt the law and prepare deceptive or incompetent ‘unlawful detainer’ actions. Some Judges actually sympathize with the tenant who is being “bullied” by the landlord. Some Judges carefully look for, or even interrogate the parties for possible procedure flaws to side with the tenants.

Therefore, any eviction procedure must be impeccable and this impeccable process begins with a properly prepared lease-rental agreement, notices to vacate or 3 day Notice to Pay - Quit. All follow up Court filed documents MUST be precise and accurate or your case can be dismissed and you will have to start all over and no refunds are given!

Understand too that the Court Clerks are besieged with evictions right now. Rules change. Clerks make mistakes and they take no responsibility. Evictions previously taking six-eight weeks, now take double that time to complete. Sheriff Lock-outs take double the time to process as well.

Owning real estate is a financially rewarding experience and like any profession has challenges. The key to navigating these challenges is consistent management follow-up with proper tenant screening, realistic rent and a properly maintained property that attracts high-quality tenants.

You’ve earned the right to a return on your sacrifice and investment, but realism of these complications and technical assistance from professionals experienced in the area of Landlord-Tenant law always facilitates higher returns than approaching this dilemma with an attitude of righteousness or blind faith in a legal system that can baffle the Judges and Court Clerks that enforce this system.

Gary Whitehead can be reached at (858) 705-9270 daily SANDIEGOAC@AOL.COM

Gary Whitehead MBA, LDA*, Notary

Notary Commission # 2281614

Registered Process-Server # 3343

*Licensed Document Assistant # 201 exp 5/24, San Diego County