The Eviction Process

In California, a landlord may evict a tenant for several reasons such as: failure to pay rent on time, breaking the lease or rental agreement and not correcting the problem, or damaging the property bringing down the value. However, a landlord must follow several steps in order to evict the tenants. It is against the law for a landlord to evict tenants without a court order. In order to get a court order the landlord must file an unlawful detainer action.

An unlawful detainer action (eviction) is a proceeding that allows Landlords to evict the current residents. There are several steps involved in this process.

  • The Landlord gives the Tenant all of the statutory-required notices (3-Day Notice to Pay Rent or Quit, 3 Day Notice to Quit, or a 30-Day or 60-Day Notice to Vacate.)

  • Landlord files Summons and Complaint (Unlawful Detainer Lawsuit) and serves the Tenant.

  • The Tenant then has 5 days to respond. If the Tenant does not respond, the Landlord will get an automatic Default Judgment and the Tenant will have limited time (usually 5 days) to vacate the premises.

These Notices must be served properly. If they are not, they are ineffective which means the landlord must start all over again.

Tenants Rights

Even if a Tenant has not paid rent, a Landlord cannot:

  • Physically remove the tenant;

  • Sell or take possession of the tenant’s personal property;

  • Lock the tenant out by changing the locks; or

  • Shut off the utilities, like water or electricity.

Additionally, a landlord must meet certain standards of habitability. This means a landlord must make sure the premises are fit for residential occupation. If the premises are not fit for standard living conditions, and the Landlord has filed an unlawful detainer action, the Tenant may be able to justify the non-payment of rent and may be able to stay on the premises.

To protect your rights, you must file a response within the time required by law (5 days). If you fail to respond, your Landlord will get an automatic default meaning you lose your case.


Please fill out this form and click on the “Submit” button at the bottom of the form.  By doing so, you will be providing us with the basic information we need to contact you and assist you with an Unlawful Detainer that has been filed against you or that you think may soon be filed against you.  You should hear from us within one business day of submitting this information, but usually much faster.  There is no charge for doing this evaluation.

This is not a substitution for a telephone or in-person interview with you, both of which are FREE.  Once we have this information, we will call you and discuss our views over the phone or setup an in-person interview.  If you do not hear from us within one business day of submitting this information please contact our office at 619-233-7770.

By submitting a free case evaluation, you understand and agree that this is for an informational request and request for a free case evaluation. No attorney-client relationship is created by merely submitting an inquiry through this website.

  • Your Information

    The information requested here is confidential and will never be shared with anyone.
  • Our Understanding With You

    DISCLAIMER - I understand that I am only requesting a free evaluation, and that by doing so Hyde & Swigart and I are not creating a business or legal relationship between us. This will only happen if we both agree to this later. Further, I also understand that if I do not hear from Hyde & Swigart within one business day after I send this I should call them at (619) 233-7770 to be sure they received this information.
  • Lawsuit Information

  • And Finally



Hyde & Swigart has helped thousands of consumers in Colorado, Minnesota, Arizona, California and Texas with their legal issues, and we have never seen two cases that were identical. We also have attorneys who have helped consumers in Florida, Michigan, Nevada, New York, Oregon, Wisconsin, Washington, and Washington, D.C. You should never assume your situation is the same as something that is described on this web site, or that you read elsewhere on the Internet. Each situation is unique, and in our opinion, each situation needs to be thoroughly and independently reviewed by a competent consumer rights attorney. While we are happy to do that for you for free, we cannot do that solely on this web site. Even our evaluation forms are mere starting points. You should never assume your case, your situation, or your set of facts, are covered in their entirety by this web site. If you have questions about your potential case, we will be glad to discuss them with you at no charge. However, do not act, or fail to act, simply because of something you read or see on this web site. Click here to read more.