Frequently Asked Questions
HOW LONG TO EVICT--Generally it takes 4 to 6 weeks to evict your tenant. The lawsuit must be put into each tenant's hand. If your tenant evades service or refuses to answer the door a delay is inevitable. A lawsuit can be served by posting on the door but this would require a court order. This is done in a small minority of cases. Generally the lawsuit is served within the first few days in over 85% of our cases.
SHOULD YOU ACCEPT RENT FROM YOUR TENANT--If this action is based on non-payment of rent, you can accept rent only if it is the full payment AND within the 3 day period. If this occurs, call this office immediately. Acceptance of any rent thereafter will void the court action. If your tenant mails you a check that is late, make a photocopy of it and return the original check to your tenant without explanation. Please keep the tenant's envelope as proof of mailing. If this action is based on any other reason, DO NOT ACCEPT ANY MONEY WHATSOEVER.
WHAT HAPPENS WHEN THE TENANT IS EVICTED--Our office will call you to set up a lockout time. You must meet the Sheriff/Marshal at the premises with a person capable of changing the locks. Please arrive early. Any personal property left by the tenant can be immediately removed and put in a locked storage area. If the tenant wants his belongings, YOU MUST give it to him without any conditions. If the tenant does not claim his belongings, please call this office and ask to be mailed an "abandoned personal property" form. This form will explain the procedures for disposing of the tenant's belongings. We also have a LOCKOUT SERVICE that can meet the Sheriff/Marshal for you and change the locks and prepare an inventory of the tenant's belongings.
WHAT ABOUT THE SECURITY DEPOSIT--Even though the tenant owes you money you must send a security deposit itemization form to the tenant within 21 days from when the tenant vacates the unit. If you need a form, we can send out one from this office.
HOW DO I COLLECT THE MONEY THAT THE TENANT OWES--Our office will mail the money judgment with an accompanying letter which will explain your options for collecting. We will not stop until the money is
is fully collected.
LOS ANGELES RENT CONTROL--If your property is governed by the Los Angeles Rent Ordinance, be sure your unit has been registered before any notice is served on your tenant. In addition, your SCEP
(Systematic Code Enforcement Program) fees must be paid. Also each year interest on your security deposit must be paid to the tenant or a credit given in the notice to pay rent or quit. A copy of the registration notice must be given to each tenant.
ONLINE STATUS-Check on the status of your case by visiting our website: . Click on the "Case Status" button. You will need your invoice number and the zip code of the property. You can also pay your invoice from this location. You can also check the status on your smart phone. Download the free app, "EVICT123"
ONLINE FORMS & INFORMATION-Need a form or general information? Check out our website, . There are many valuable forms all available at no charge. In addition common legal issues are discussed.
INITIATING A CASE AFTER HOURS-Use our intake form located at: New Case Form After you fill it in, you may fax or email back with the notice and the rental agreement. You can also call our office and press 2 to leave your name and phone number for a prompt return phone call.
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Generally a notice is the first step in the eviction process. Either the landlord or our Law Firm can fill out this notice and have it served on your tenant. If our firm is filling out the notice you can be assured that it will be filled out and served in accordance with the law. We now wait to see if the tenant complies with the notice.
After the notice expires, our Law Firm will initiate the Unlawful Detainer action. A lawsuit is prepared by our staff and filed with the court. It is then transferred to the process server for serving. Most tenants are served in 3 to 4 days from when the lawsuit is filed. Thereafter, we obtain a report from the process serving company and we will either fax or mail you a letter regarding service of your lawsuit.
THE DEFAULT PROCESS:
If your tenant has not answered the lawsuit, we will then prepare additional papers for filing with the court. These papers will be reviewed by the court and they will issue a Judgment For Possession. This generally takes 7 to 10 days.
THE SHERIFF IS ENGAGED
Once a judgment is obtained, a "Writ of Possession" is delivered to the Sheriff's office. They will process it and then go out to the property and post a "5 Day Notice To Vacate" on your tenant's door. After the 5 days, the Sheriff will set up a lockout time where you or your agent will have to meet the Sheriff and have the locks changed. We offer a "Lockout Management Service" which will meet the Sheriff, do an inventory, and will change the locks for you. You will receive more specific information on this service near the conclusion of your case.
PERSONAL PROPERTY LEFT BY THE TENANT
If your tenant leaves any personal property behind, please contact our office and we will send you a form which explains the legal process for disposing of your tenant's belonging. The form is also on our website.
THE MONEY JUDGMENT
You will be receiving information near the conclusion of the eviction process for obtaining the money judgment and its collection.
CONSIDERING THE SALE OR EXCHANGE OF YOUR PROPERTY?
If you are considering the sale or exchange of your property, either voluntarily or by short sale, know your options. Senior associate, Daniel Costas, has represented landlords for Dennis P. Block for the past nine years. He is a licensed real estate broker and owns real estate throughout the country. The initial phone consultation is free.