Paralegal Essentials – Landlord Tenant Law (Part 2)

Terminating a Tenancy . . .  Getting a tenant out

As with all good things, a tenancy sometimes has to end.  Contrary to popular belief, all tenancies don’t end in evictions.  Many tenants move out at the end of their lease, some move out because the landlord served them a 30-day notice to terminate the tenancy, and others have to be evicted because they violated some covenant under the lease or failed to pay their rent.  For the Landlord, getting a tenant out who doesn’t want to leave can be difficult and expensive.

In the good old days (Common Law), self-help remedies were allowed, but as you might expect, they led to violence. Gradually, the law progressed, and no forcible entry is allowed today.  In California, if a landlord wants to get a tenant out for non-payment of rent, they have to follow certain notice procedures and then file an unlawful detainer action (a.k.a. an eviction)

The following are some of the bases for terminating a tenancy:

  • Expiration of a fixed term
  • Tenant’s death
  • Destruction of the leasehold
  • Breach of covenant
  • Mutual consent

If the tenancy is being terminated for nonpayment of rent or breach of another covenant of the rental agreement, the 3-day notice to terminate is used.  A sample of a 3-day notice can be found under Forms and Templates.


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