Last Updated on December 1, 2023 by Kelvin Nielsen
Are you a tenant and are wondering whether your landlord can evict you for no reason in California? Worry no more; this blog has you covered. The following is everything you need to know in this regard!
California law CA Civil Code 1940-1954.06 gives renters certain responsibilities. Once there is a lease between you and your landlord, you must abide by all terms of the lease agreement. Including, paying rent, reporting maintenance issues on time, keeping the unit clean and sanitary, and respecting the peace of quiet of other tenants and neighbors.
If you fail to do these things, your landlord may be able to evict you from the property. The landlord must go through the state’s eviction process to remove you from the property.
So, can a landlord evict you for no reason in California? Absolutely not! The landlord must have a legitimate reason to do so! Your landlord cannot just wake up one day and decide they no longer want you around.
According to the Tenant Protection Act, a landlord in California can only carry out two kinds of evictions. That is, a “just cause” eviction and a “no-fault” eviction.
What is A Just Cause Eviction in California?
Here, a landlord must have a legally justified reason to evict a tenant. These are usually based on tenants’ actions that violate a term of the lease agreement. Under California law, a landlord can evict a tenant for any of the following “at fault”/“just cause” reasons.
- Failing to pay rent after it becomes due.
- Damage that exceeds normal wear and tear.
- Engaging in illegal activity while at the rental premises.
- Violating a term of the lease agreement, such as subletting the unit illegally.
- Refusing landlord entry.
- Failing to move out of the property after the term of the lease expires.
- Staying at the property without a lease.
To evict you from the property, the landlord must follow a proper eviction process. Which includes, serving you an eviction notice (3 Day Notice to Pay or Quit for nonpayment of rent, for instance), serving you a Summons and Complaint, and attending the court hearing.
The consequences for not following the proper eviction process usually result in severe penalties for landlords in California. In addition, you may be able to leverage that to your advantage to stop, delay, fight, or win the eviction case.
What is a No Fault Eviction in California?
Unlike a just cause eviction, a no fault eviction in California is where the eviction doesn’t result from the tenant’s action. You may be paying rent on time, caring for the property, and abiding by all other lease terms, but the landlord may still be able to remove you from the property.
This, however, isn’t to mean that a landlord can evict you for no reason in California. The landlord must still meet California eviction laws when carrying out a no-fault eviction.
The following are examples of California no-fault evictions.
- If the landlord or their family member is looking to move into the property.
- If the landlord is looking to renovate the property, and the renovations may impact the unit’s habitability.
- The landlord no longer wants to continue renting out the property.
- If the landlord is looking to demolish the property.
- The unit has been deemed uninhabitable by a local government agency and the order requires the tenant to move out.
- A court order that requires the tenant to move out.
- There is a local ordinance that requires the tenant to leave.
To evict you from the property, the landlord must provide you with a written eviction notice. The amount of notice to give will depend on the specific reason for the eviction. For instance, to evict you for planned renovations, the landlord must serve you a notice of at least 60 days.
The notice must be in writing and the renovations must begin within 7 days of getting served.
What are California tenant Rights in an Eviction?
California tenants enjoy a smorgasbord of rights once a lease is established. Including, the right to live in a habitable property, enjoy the property in peace and quiet, fair and equal treatment, and proper notice before landlord entry.
Even during an eviction, you still enjoy a number of rights under state law regardless of whether the eviction type is just cause or no fault. Including, a right to:
- A proper eviction process. Your landlord must not try to remove you from the property through illegal methods. For example, as a retaliatory tactic, discriminatory reasons, or “self-help” means.
- A proper notice. Your landlord must provide you proper notice before they can evict you. For example, for tenants on a month-to-month notice, a landlord must serve them a 30/60 days’ notice.
- A right to continue staying on the property until the landlord has obtained a court order. It is only a court order that can evict a tenant from their rented premises. And until then, you have a right to continue living on the premises.
Can a Landlord Evict a Disabled Person in California?
Yes and No! Yes – if the disabled tenant has failed to uphold the terms of the lease agreement. Just because you’re disabled doesn’t mean that you can violate the terms of the lease as you please. If you fail to pay rent, maintain the property, or abide by other rental policies, your landlord can evict you.
What your California landlord cannot, however, do is try to evict you solely on the basis of your disability. As a disabled tenant, you are protected by the Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA), Federal Fair Housing Act (FHA), and the Americans with Disability Act (ADA).
Among other things, the landlord cannot deny you housing, refuse to renew your lease, or refuse to make reasonable modifications/accommodations. The following is a list of other things that a landlord cannot do in California.
So, can a landlord evict you for no reason in California? No! Under California law, a landlord must either carry out a just cause eviction or a no-fault eviction. What’s more, the landlord must go through the proper eviction procedures as per state law. They cannot engage in retaliatory, discriminatory, or self-help evictions.
Disclosure: The content herein isn’t a substitute for advice from a professional attorney. It’s only meant to serve educational purposes. If you have a specific question, kindly seek expert attorney services.
Hi, I’m Kelvin Nielsen, an experienced landlord and accomplished real estate lawyer. My focus is on answering your questions about renting in the hopes of making your life as a renter or a landlord a bit easier.