Kern county 600
Kern County Law Library

Landlord Procedure

WHEN YOU ARE EVICTING SOMEONE, it generally takes 45-60 days, from the time that the notice expires.

To start, YOU MUST GIVE THE PERSON A NOTICE. The notice will be for 3, 30, 60, or 90 days. There is a set of requirements for each of these notices:

  • 3 Day Notice to Pay Rent or Quit- this is only if the tenant is behind on their rent, and in the case of this notice, if they offer you the rent in those 3 days, you are required to accept it.
  • 3 Day Notice to Perform Covenant or Quit- this applies if part of your agreement with the tenant requires them to do something and they aren't doing it. Like the 3 day notice to pay rent or quit, though, if they meet your demands you are required to accept it.
  • 30 Day Notice- If the tenant has been on the property for less than 1 year and it is not low-income housing, you can use a 30 day notice to evict them. This does not require that you give them a reason or justification.
  • 60 Day Notice- If the tenant has been on the property for more than 1 year and it is not low-income housing, you can use a 60 day notice to evict them. This does not require that you give them a reason or justification.
  • 90 Day Notice- If the property is low-income housing, you are required to give the tenant a 90 day notice if the eviction is not for non payment of rent or a failure to perform a required duty.

If the tenant is still on the property after the expiration of whichever notice you chose to use, you can begin an Unlawful Detainer. Beginning an Unlawful Detainer requires 3 forms: The Summons, Civil Case Cover Sheet, and the Complaint. There are a couple of things to remember and to carry throughout the paperwork:

IF YOU THINK THERE MAY BE PEOPLE OVER THE AGE OF 18 THAT ARE NOT ON THE RENTAL AGREEMENT BUT ARE LIVING ON THE RENTAL PROPERTY, you will want to include does (i.e. John Doe and Jane Doe). If you DO include unknown tenants, you need to include a BLANK Prejudgement Claim of Right to Possession with the packet. This is something that they will be able to fill out if they want to add their name to the case. If you do not include this at the beginning of the case, they can potentially stop the lockout on the lockout date, and you would have to start over in order to include them in the case. Make sure you spell everyone's names consistently, (if you put a middle name, put it through all the papers). Finally, you can ONLY ask for back rent if you are evicting the tenant based off of a 3 Day Notice to Pay Rent or Quit.

Once you finish the forms, you need to FILE THE ORIGINAL PLUS 2 WITH THE CIVIL DEPARTMENT. You have to either call the Civil Department to find out if your papers are ready or check with them in person (they will not contact you when your papers are ready to be picked up). After receiving your papers back, you have to have the defendant served with the papers.

SERVING THE DEFENDANT: Someone other than you 18 or older has to hand the forms to the defendant IN PERSON. The person who gave them the papers will then need to fill out and sign a Proof of Service of Summons. DO NOT file your Proof of Service of Summons yet, hold on to it, you will need it later.

The named defendants have 5 days from the time you give them the papers to answer. Unnamed defendants have 10.

IF THE TENANT ANSWERS- You will need to file a Request to Set Case for Trial and your Proof of Service of Summons. File the original plus 1 copy (you ONLY need to file the ORIGINAL of the Proof of Service of Summons). Keep in mind that the trial will be set for no later than 20 days after you file your request.

IF THE TENANT DOES NOT ANSWER- If the tenant does not answer, you can file for a default judgement. The default paperwork to be filed is comprised of 4 forms: The Request for Default, the Judgment, The Writ of Execution, and the Application for the Writ of execution. You will also need to file your Proof of Service of Summons with this. File the original plus 1 copy of everything(EXCEPT the Proof of Service of Summons. You are only required to file the original of this form)

Once you have a judgment, you should file for a Writ of Possession. Once you receive your Writ of Possession back from the clerks, whether you got your judgment through trial or default, you can take it to the sheriff's civil division to get a lockout date. The sheriff's department will go to the property and leave notice to the tenants that there will be a lockout on that date. On the designated lockout date, at the lockout time, you must go to the property with the sheriff to change the locks.

For Samples, Instructions, and Information, visit The Kern County Courts Website.