Evicting a tenant is a costly, time-consuming process. Evicting a tenant in California is especially difficult, so knowing the letter of the law is a must. There are several steps in the eviction process and we will go through most of them with in this blog. First your must verify that you are legally allowed to evict the tenant. There are several reasons as to why a landlord need to evict a tenant such as, failing to pay rent, violating the lease, using the rental unit for an unlawful purpose. A tenant may be evicted for manufacturing or dealing illegal drugs in the rental unit or the unlawful use of a weapon or ammunition. Some tenants are evicted for materially damaging the rental unit or for causing a significant nuisance to other tenants. The process starts by serving the tenant with a 3-Day Notice to Pay Rent or Quit form. The landlord can take the completed form to the tenant and hand it to him or her. If he or she refuses to take it, leave it on the ground near the tenant. If the landlord is unable to serve it directly to the tenant, leave it with someone who is at least 18 years old at the rental unit or with an adult at the tenant's place of work. A copy must also be mailed to the tenant in this situation. If for some reason the landlord in not able to serve the form directly to another person, post it on the tenant's door and mail a copy of the form to him or her. The tenant has 3 business days (Monday to Friday) after delivering the notice to remedy the situation. The 3-day period begins the day after the notice is served. Once this part of the eviction is completed the landlord must file an Unlawful Detainer Complaint, a Civil Case Cover Sheet, and a Pre-judgment Right of Possession form and submit the paperwork to the courthouse in the county that the property is in. The County Clerk will give the landlord a Summons and a stamped copy of the Unlawful Detainer Complaint. Now someone other than the plaintiff (landlord) will serve the tenant with the Unlawful Detainer Complaint, the Summons, and the Pre-judgment Right of Possession form. These document can be served in the same way the 3-day Notice to Pay Rent or Quit form. Generally, the tenant has 15 days to respond. If he or she fails to respond the landlord can file for judgment. If the tenant does not answer the judgment within 5 days after being served, the landlord will request a default judgment from the court. If a default judgment is issued, the landlord will be given a Writ of Possession. The landlord will take this form to the local Sheriff and have him or her evict the tenant. If the tenant decides to challenge the eviction, the landlord or the tenant may request a trial in front of a judge or jury. The trial will occur within 21 days of the request. If the landlord wins the case, they will be awarded possession of the property and possibly monetary awards. If the tenant wins the case, the court will order the Sheriff to post a notice giving the tenant 5 days to vacate the rental unit. If the tenant does not leave, the Sheriff will forcibly remove him or her. If the tenant wins the case, he or she will be permitted to remain in the rental unit and the landlord may have to pay the tenant’s court fees and he or she may be ordered to pay any past-due rent. If the tenant leaves items behind, the landlord must store them for 18 days and attempt to arrange for the tenant to retrieve them. If anything remains after the 18 days, the landlord may keep, sell, or dispose of the items.