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The Eviction Process

Dear Phyllis,
I look forward to your real estate advice. I have a new problem. My father sold his home two years ago. The buyer could not get a loan, so my father gave the buyer a loan. The buyer stopped making payments several months ago and we hired an attorney to initiate foreclosure. I am concerned that the buyer won’t move after the foreclosure is complete. Can you explain the eviction process?


Dear JK,
I am so sorry that your father is in this position. I wish both of you the best. It’s advisable to hire an attorney due to the complexity of this process.

Initiating with The Notice: The eviction process commences with “The Notice,” which is served on the tenant.

Advancing to The Lawsuit: Following the expiration of “The Notice” your attorney will commence the “Unlawful Detainer” by preparing and filing a lawsuit. The suit is then transferred to the process server. Most tenants are served within a week from the filing date.

Moving through The Default Process: If the tenant fails to respond to the lawsuit, additional paperwork must be filed for the court’s review. Subsequently, the court is expected to issue a “Judgment For Possession,” a process that often takes 10 or more days.

Engaging The Sheriff: Once a judgment is secured, a “Writ of Possession” is delivered to the LASD office. The sheriff deputies processes it and proceed to the property, posting a “5-Day Notice To Vacate” on the tenant’s door. Following the five-day period, the deputy arranges a lockout date and time requiring you or your representative to meet them to rekey the property.

Handling Personal Property Left Behind: In California, landlords must adhere to a specific legal process when tenants leave their belongings. Disposal is not immediate; instead, landlords must notify the former tenant, store the property for a specific period, and follow precise steps for selling or disposing of unclaimed items.

Concluding with The Money Judgment: At this stage, it’s wise for your attorney to file a money judgment for the amount owed.  This allows your father to go after any assets the tenant may have, such as bank accounts or wages, to collect what is owed.