Eviction Law in Fresno, CA

What Is an Eviction?

An eviction is the forceful exiting of tenants following a formal notice from the landlord. Evictions usually happen due to failing to pay rent or breaking the terms of the lease. However, evicting a problem tenant can be a long and costly experience as landlord-tenant laws favor tenants. Getting a better understanding of how Fresno, California eviction law can help.

Even though eviction notices happen due to serious problems with the tenant, not all eviction notices lead to an actual eviction. Oftentimes, eviction notices serve as a final warning for the tenant. If the tenant can then pay rent, or begin to follow the lease agreement, they may avoid eviction.

When Can Landlords Send a Termination Notice?

The Tenant Doesn’t Pay Rent

If a delinquent Fresno, CA tenant frequently pays rent late or has not paid rent at all, there is a good reason for eviction. Some states do have a grace period for an occasional late payment. However, if a tenant always pays late, that grace period does not apply.

Fresno renters had protections from losing their rental units, but moratoriums ended on October 1, 2021. The Judicial Branch of California allows evictions to move forward for legal reasons like unpaid rent.

You should always provide your tenant with “late rent” notices and keep a copy for yourself in your files. That way, if the eviction case goes to court, you have paper evidence of their failure to pay rent on time.

The Tenant Violates the Terms or Conditions of the Lease Agreement

Lease agreements are legal contracts. As a result, violating any of its terms can be a cause for eviction. For example, consider a situation where you say a tenant cannot have someone else living in the unit. Disobeying that rule can justify starting the process of removing them from the premises.

The lease agreement is also legally binding for the landlord. This means that any Fresno landlord must also follow the rules in the agreement, such as making repairs, and performing maintenance written into the lease.

The Tenant Damages the Property

Tenants are going to cause damage to the property; it’s unavoidable. Wear and tear when living in a home is normal. Still, there’s a difference between scratches on the wall or broken blinds, and intentional destruction of property.

If it’s clear that your tenant is causing severe damage to your property, such as breaking through walls or smashing windows, this may justify an eviction. However, if your tenant makes repairs themselves, and doesn’t make any major changes to the property, this might not be grounds for eviction.

The Tenant Uses the Property for Illegal Purposes

If your tenant is using your Fresno property for illegal purposes, such as selling drugs or weapons, this can be clear grounds for eviction. Reporting the issue might also bring criminal charges against the tenant.

However, you should prepare to provide evidence that the tenant is using the property for illegal purposes. If law enforcement came to the property to address these issues at any time, these reports could prove helpful.

How to Evict a Tenant in Fresno, California

If you want to evict a tenant for any reason, then you need to understand the eviction process. Here’s how it works.

Step 1. Check Your Local Laws

Eviction laws are different in each state and can also depend on city laws. Therefore, it’s important to familiarize yourself with local laws. You must ensure you have a legally valid reason for an eviction before giving notice. An eviction attorney in Fresno can help review your case to determine if you do.

The City of Fresno has protections available to tenants through municipal and state programs. For example, options exist for those making less than 80% of the median income. Or, unemployed locals can apply for assistance with overdue rent. Additional protections exist at the time of writing for those facing financial hardships due to the pandemic.

Step 2. Give a Formal Notice of Eviction

If you have tried to reason with your tenants and they continue to violate the terms of your lease, you should then provide them with a formal notice of eviction. Your eviction notice will serve as an ultimatum or final warning. It should explain how your tenant is in violation, as well as what they can do to stop the eviction process.

The eviction notice should also include a deadline to either pay rent or move out. It must also describe the amount owed.

The Fresno County Sheriff’s Department can act as a neutral third party for this process. They also make a point to remind locals that any fees remain with them regardless of success or failure. If you decide to cancel a scheduled eviction, the authorities will need a signed and dated instruction.

Step 3. File the Eviction with the Court

You must file the eviction notice with the court within a few days. The court will then set a hearing date and will notify the tenant of the hearing by a summons. Generally, these court documents and adjudication of evictions go to the Superior Court of Fresno.

Step 4. Contact an Experienced Eviction Attorney in Fresno and Prepare for the Hearing

You should find an eviction attorney in Fresno as soon as possible to help you prepare for the hearing. Then, you should bring the following documents:

  • Lease agreements
  • Records of payments
  • Bounced checks
  • Record of communication between you and the tenant
  • Record of the eviction notice
  • Proof that the tenant received the notice

Step 5. Evict the Tenant

If you’ve won the hearing, your tenant will have time to move out of your property. The amount of time allowed is dependent on the state, but it typically ranges from 48 hours to one week. If the tenant refuses to leave, you can contact Fresno, CA law enforcement to forcibly remove them from the property.

Step 6. Collect Past-Due Rent Payments

If your tenant owes you rent money, you may still have a long fight to collect past-due payments. You can try to collect these payments through these methods:

Work with an Experienced Eviction Attorney in Fresno, California

The tenant will likely try to argue that you did not follow proper procedures for providing an eviction notice. Having a qualified Fresno attorney on your side can relieve the pressure. We can even help you connect with an attorney across California state lines.

Submit a request online or call us today at (866) 345-6784 to get in touch with a Fresno eviction attorney!

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