Yes! You can still evict a bad tenant. Call us to start the process. (661) 489-3369
We are an eviction service in Bakersfield and throughout Kern County.
An eviction, known as an unlawful detainer in California, is the removal of a tenant from a rental property by the landlord. An unlawful detainer is only for possession of the property, but not for recovery of monetary damages. Monetary damages may be recovered after control of the property is taken.
Supreme Court Strikes Down Moratorium – August 26, 2021
The eviction moratorium is over, but not really.
On August 26, 2021, the United States Supreme Court struck down the federal eviction moratorium, explaining “The moratorium has put… millions of landlords across the country, at risk of irreparable harm by depriving them of rent payments with no guarantee of eventual recovery… If a federally imposed eviction moratorium is to continue, Congress must specifically authorize it.”
This decision has little, if any, impact on California landlords and tenants because the California moratorium, and the moratoriums in many cities and counties, remain. Nonetheless, we continue to successfully file evictions for cause as well as for non-payment of rent where the non-payment is not the result of Covid-19.
The Supreme Court’s full decision can be read here.
What can go wrong?
We have been forced to raise our eviction rates to $1,100 for the Summons, Complaint, and default and $85 for notice because of the multiple issues and problems that are beyond our control. The Covid rules are confusing and contradictory, and the courts appear to heavily favor the tenants. We prepare papers quickly and accurately, but this does not mean that there won’t be problems. These are some of the recent problems we have experienced.
- Most courts allow a three day notice when the tenant is damaging the property. This appears to be the proper procedure under the law, but several courts, without citing any authority, have required a fifteen day notice.
- A Covid declaration is only required for evictions based on nonpayment of rent, but some courts are requiring Covid declarations for all evictions.
- The statutory Covid declaration has a date on the top of it reflecting when the moratorium was passed or extended. There are, therefore, multiple contradictory Covid notifications. Some courts have required that every notification be served.
- Some courts allow a property manager to evict a tenant, but others require an attorney to appear if the property is owned by a corporation. This sometimes includes closely held corporations, such as a husband and wife L.L.C.
- Some courts require multiple attempts to serve all documents, including three day, fifteen day, thirty day, sixty day, and ninety day notices.
- A new form is required for all evictions, form UD-101. This form contains paragraph 3(b)(1), which states, “All defendants names in this action maintain occupancy described in Civil Code section1940(b).” This concerns whether the tenant is in temporary housing, such as a residential hotel. The two options are Yes and No. Some courts believe Yes means that the tenant is in temporary housing, and some believe that No means the tenant is in temporary housing. To make matters worse, different clerks in the same courthouse disagree as to how this question should be answered, so some pleadings are rejected for checking Yes and some are rejected for checking No.
- Tenants sometimes file motions, demurrers, or other pleadings that delay the eviction process, even if the pleadings are without merit. There are firms throughout the state that specialize in delaying evictions, and Nolo even publishes an article entitled, “How to Delay an Eviction in California – Here’s what you can do to postpone your eviction, or maybe stop it altogether.”
- Tenants and their lawyers sometimes make claim designed to delay and make the process more expensive and burdensome, such as claiming that the tenant was improperly served, the process server entered the house, the person serving was not properly licensed, the landlord refused to fix a leak, etc. No matter how meritless the claims, the court will still consider them.
- Tenants and their lawyers sometimes ask for extensive discovery, such as the production of documents related to the case or answer to interrogatories (questions). These can be burdensome and cause delay.
These issues are completely beyond our control, and there is nothing we (or anyone else) can do to prevent these issues.
A landlord can generally evict a tenant if one or more of the following is true:
- The renter fails to pay rent on time.
- The renter breaks the lease or rental agreement and will not fix the problem, like leaving trash in the yard, failing to keep the water turned on.
- The renter becomes a serious nuisance by disturbing other tenants and neighbors.
- The renter damages the property, such as breaking out windows.
- The renter uses the property to do something illegal, such as sell drugs.
- The renter stays after the lease is up.
- The landlord cancels the rental agreement by giving proper notice.
Temporary restrictions due to Covid-19 may hamper or delay an eviction.
Steps to evict:
- Give proper notice
- Fill out forms
- File forms in court
- Serve tenant
- Wait for tenant to respond
- Take a default if the tenant fails to respond or go to trial if the tenant does respond
- Post judgment proceedings, such as appeal or removal of the tenant by the sheriff
What will you do for me?
- Initial consultation with registered Legal Document Assistant to assure compliance with state and local filing requirements.
- Preparation of the initial notices.
- Professional process service of the initial notices.
- Professional preparation of unlawful detainer summons and complaint and supporting documents by Registered Legal Document Assistant.
- Electronic filing of unlawful detainer case documents.
- Professional Process Service of initial court filing to all tenants including prejudgment claim of right to possession.
- Subsequent filings for default judgement trial setting and sheriff lockout, if necessary.
- Management of eviction case all the way through sheriff lockout.
Our low flat-fee of $550 does not include significant payments to others, such as court filing fees, Sheriff’s fees, process service, or attorney fees. We do pay the cost of electronic filing. The cost of service of documents is heavily dependent location of the property and the difficulty serving the tenant, so costs vary greatly depending on the location of the property and the availability of process servers. If you have a friend willing to serve papers for you, we can give them instructions as to how to do it. It is common for our clients to only pay our fee and the court filing fee, which is currently $240 for the the initial lawsuit documents. The court’s fee schedule can be found here.
Representation in court
We do not, will not, and cannot represent you in court. We are a document service providers, not an attorneys. In most cases, no court appearances are necessary, but you can represent yourself at the court trial if needed. A hearing and appearance is only needed if the tenants file an answer to the unlawful detainer. If you would feel more comfortable being represented by an attorney or you just don’t want to go to court, we can introduce you to an experience eviction lawyer to represent you on a limited scope basis for a flat-fee of around $350 per court appearance. There is usually only one appearance per case. We know contract attorneys all over California.
We are located in the historical Haberfelde Building at 1706 Chester Ave, Ste. 348, Bakersfield, CA 93301. We can be reached by phone at (661) 873-4423. Payments can be made here.
Kern County has multiple court locations. We serve all locations in the county and prepare paperwork for evictions throughout California. Evictions are generally filed in the closest courthouse to the location of the property.
- Evictions in Bakersfield are filed in Bakersfield courthouse at 1415 Truxtun Ave. as are evictions in surrounding areas of the county that are near Bakersfield, such as Oildale, Greenacres, and Rosedale.
- Evictions in Lamont are filed in the Lamont courthouse at 12022 Main Street as are Taft evictions and areas around Taft because the Taft courthouse is currently closed. This generally includes McKittrick, Derby Acres, Valley Acres, New Cuyama, San Emidio, Lebec, and Maricopa.
- Evictions in Shafter and evictions in Wasco and Palmo are filed in the Shafter courthouse at 325 Central Valley Hwy.
- Evictions in Mojave are filed in the Mojave courthouse at 1773 State Highway 58 Business as are Tehachapi evictions, California City evictions, Willow Springs evictions, and Rosamond evictions.
- Evictions in Ridgecrest are filed in the Ridgecrest courthouse at 132 E Coso Avenue as are evictions in China Lake, Indian Wells, and Inyokern.
- Evictions in Lake Isabella are filed in the Kern River courthouse at 7046 Lake Isabella Blvd. as are evictions for Wofford Heights, Kernville, Mountain Mesa, Weldon, and Bodfish
- Evictions in Delano are filed in the Delano courthouse at 1122 Jefferson Street as are evictions in McFarland, Jasmin, Pond, Earlimart, and Richgrove.