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What you need to know about the eviction process as a landlord

Gary Whitehead
(Courtesy of Gary Whitehead)

Since landlord – tenant evictions draws the most interest with Realtor’s and their clients today, I see the need to advise the unknowing of a process that is NOT in the Landlords favor, this is a system fraught with error-prone technicalities and often Court Clerk errors or deliberate miss-quoting of procedures that compounds an already cumbersome task.

Even uncontested non-payment of rent evictions can take many months no matter the begging, pleading or Attorney participation. And property owner sobbing at the Court Clerks counter will not work! YES, I have witnessed that plea for mercy!

Despite most Covid Pandemic rules having faded, the backlog of eviction cases is staggering. Only one Court handles eviction cases and that Judges calendar is admittedly packed.

All eviction paperwork filings are either e-filed, mailed or placed in a receiving box at the Courthouse. There are no over-the-counter filings anymore. Mistakes are not caught until the Clerk begins the review process of the documents

And that’s where the problems begin. Couple that error-prone delaying process with multiple changes in the law and changing processing procedures and that eviction process is on it’s tediously teetering path. Be advised that more than 60 % of Eviction Court filings are rejected by the Clerks and rejections means time lost.

And after all the drama described above, when the Court or Judgment Clerk finally signs off approval, the next hurdle is the Sheriff’s Department Lock-Out process. This also takes several weeks after the correct documents are received. And again, a claim of being over-loaded with Lock-outs is often repeated.

My experience has proven that good tenants rarely go bad and bad tenants never turn good. It’s compassionate to extend time to offending tenants and for those who can afford this gesture, fine. BUT REMEMBER, each day of lost rent means the carrying cost of the property continues, and in almost all cases, the lost rent will NEVER be collected. Yes, you have a Court Judgment, just try collecting!!

Owning rental property is certainly rewarding and challenging. Successful operation of the investment property begins with detailed screening of the applicant. A well written lease agreement and proper maintenance of the property. Professional management and mutual respect for all parties is critical. And if after all the described success, a problem with the tenant surfaces, focus strongly on immediate solutions and if the tenant needs to vacate, don’t waste time hoping for miracles, become versed with the legal facts and procedures and act immediately to reach a solution.

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