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  1. #1
    TrueKnight is offline Junior Member
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    Tough? How to file unlawful detainer for a tenant that no longer has a written lease.

    What is the name of your state (only U.S. law)? California

    I am a licensed real estate agent. I am helping a family member manage a rental property with no compensation (free). The house is rented for $1500 to 3 individuals (each person $500), one of which has a girlfriend.

    Two individuals has a signed written lease for 1 year. I don't have a problem with these two. The individual with the girlfriend used to have a signed written lease but I managed to talk to them into giving it up so they no longer are in possession of the papers. They are currently 3 months behind rent and neither works (they just sit in the house, in their bedroom all day watching TV). The boyfriend is collecting UE and using it as beer money because he has several cases of empty cans right outside the bedroom door. For getting their papers, I told them that I wanted to add the girlfriend to the lease so that she would have rights as a tenant of the property but I would only do that once they were current on their rent. I told them to gave me their papers because the old one (with only the boyfriend's name) wouldn't be valid anymore and so they did. They don't have hardly any furniture (just a mattress in the room) so I seriously doubt they made a copy of it. My original idea (bad idea) was to just change the locks if they continue to not pay, throw their stuff out, and say they were trespassing. But then I also know that verbal agreements was valid for periods less than 1 year so I think even if I have physically removed their papers, they still have a lease one way or another and have tenant rights. Right?

    So on the unlawful detainer Complaint form (UD-100) page 3, it states whether I have a written or verbal lease with them, I don't know what to put down. I'm not quite sure how to proceed forward on this eviction... Any advice is GREATLY appreciated.

    Some added info:

    Lease was originally under 1 guy who moved out in March. He sublet to the guy with the girlfriend around February. The other two individuals, I found and lease the other rooms in the house to.

    As far as rent payments and deposits, the only money that they have given me $500 is in cashier's check for the security deposit, payable to me, not the landlord.
    Last edited by TrueKnight; 05-10-2012 at 08:59 PM.
  2. #2
    ecmst12 is offline Senior Member
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    I wonder if you could lose your license for this shady behavior. Don't you have a code of ethics to follow?

    You holding the only copy of their written lease does not mean it doesn't exist or they are not protected by it anymore.

    If they are behind on rent, you serve them a pay-or-quit notice according to your state's laws, and then proceed with eviction if they don't pay or move. Given your level of cluelessness on the law, I would suggest you get the owner to hire a lawyer to do this because you are going to get them sued for illegal eviction.
  3. #3
    TrueKnight is offline Junior Member
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    Actually, my original intent was to provide them an updated lease should they become current on their rent. It never happened. They're still deadbeats. And I do realize that there's enough evidence and witnesses to show proof of a lease so the idea of changing locks didn't last for more than a second. Really appreciate your "helpful advice". And they already have been served with a 3-Day notice... TWICE. I've given them plenty of chances. They've stalled, lied, hid from me (other housemates said so) so I'm sick of their bull. If they're not paying the rent, then they're stealing.
    Last edited by TrueKnight; 05-10-2012 at 10:02 PM.
  4. #4
    sandyclaus is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by TrueKnight View Post
    Actually, my original intent was to provide them an updated lease should they become current on their rent. It never happened. They're still deadbeats. And I do realize that there's enough evidence and witnesses to show proof of a lease so the idea of changing locks didn't last for more than a second. Really appreciate your "helpful advice". And they already have been served with a 3-Day notice... TWICE. I've given them plenty of chances. They've stalled, lied, hid from me (other housemates said so) so I'm sick of their bull. If they're not paying the rent, then they're stealing.
    Wow. If you are supposed to be a licensed real estate professional, then you are supposed to know what the LL/Tenant laws are and how to apply them to rental properties. I am shocked and surprised you think that you are somehow right in what you want to do.

    Absent a written lease, the tenants are considered month-to-month. If they have not paid rent for 3 months, then you need to serve them with a 3-day notice. If you have already done that, and the 3 days has passed without payment, then you need to evict them with an Unlawful Detainer action. It is ILLEGAL to force a tenant out of a property by way of threats, removing their property from the premises, disconnecting utilities, changing locks, or blocking access to the property. If you even try to any of these things, you face an illegal eviction lawsuit - and if THEY win that, you can kiss your back rent goodbye.

    As for the answer to that question on the UD form, if there is no existing written agreement, then it's a verbal agreement. Keep in mind that if there ever was a written agreement, you may be asked to produce it in order to prove your position. If there wasn't, then you'll have to prove what the rental rate was by showing payments you have previously received.

    Last, but certainly NOT least, if you are having this much difficulty with evicting these people on your own, I would recommend hiring an attorney to do it for you. Eviction attorneys out there know what they are doing and will do it RIGHT instead of fumbling around and trying to figure out what to do every step of the way. If you want these people gone, best to hire a professional to do it right the first time.
  5. #5
    Stephen1 is offline Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by TrueKnight View Post
    The house is rented for $1500 to 3 individuals (each person $500), one of which has a girlfriend.
    As it is now, if the one individual leaves then you will be receiving only $1000 a month or if two leave only $500 a month, but you are responsible for finding compatible roommates for whoever is left.

    I recommend that in the future instead of renting to 3 individuals you rent the entire house for $1500 and don't worry about who pays what. Make the individuals jointly and severably responsible for the entire rent.
  6. #6
    Ohiogal is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by TrueKnight View Post
    Actually, my original intent was to provide them an updated lease should they become current on their rent. It never happened. They're still deadbeats. And I do realize that there's enough evidence and witnesses to show proof of a lease so the idea of changing locks didn't last for more than a second. Really appreciate your "helpful advice". And they already have been served with a 3-Day notice... TWICE. I've given them plenty of chances. They've stalled, lied, hid from me (other housemates said so) so I'm sick of their bull. If they're not paying the rent, then they're stealing.
    You are acting stupid. If they didn't leave then you file an eviction IF you have the right to act on behalf of the owners of the house. Your unethical behavior could result in you losing your real estate license. The fact that you do not comprehend this shows how uneducated and ignorant you actually are.
    Parents should remember 3 things: Love your kids more than you hate your ex; when you have children the relationship with the other parent is until death; your children determine what type of nursing home you end up in.
    Nothing stated by me should be taken as giving you legal advice or forming an attorney/client relationship.

    Attorney-GAL in Ohio.

    I've removed the knife from my back, polished it, and will one day return it -- long after you think I have forgotten.
  7. #7
    TrueKnight is offline Junior Member
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    So much personal attacks. Is it really necessary?

    This ISN'T the first time I've evicted someone. I'm just asking on HOW to file the UD Compliant for a tenant no longer in possession of the written lease.

    I do know of the proper process: It's Unlawful Detainer Compliant + Summons, Serve Compliant, Wait for Answer (5 Days), File for Default, File for Writ of Possession, File for Sheriff's Evictions (Another 5 days). All in all, it takes 3+ weeks, 4 trips to the County office, hours in line, nearly $500 in Clerk/Sheriff fees.

    The process sucks and it's expensive. Hiring a lawyer to do exactly the same thing is $1,000. All this costs is on top of the back rent that we'll never get even with a judgement because they're deadbeats and you can't get blood from a stone. Can you really blame me for a state that is so pro-tenant that "alternative" options can't even be discussed here?
  8. #8
    ecmst12 is offline Senior Member
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    The tenant has a written lease. I don't know why this is a question - if you were even considering claiming that he did NOT have a written lease, that would be unethical and fraudulent.
  9. #9
    divona2000 is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by TrueKnight View Post
    ...The individual with the girlfriend used to have a signed written lease but I managed to talk to them into giving it up so they no longer are in possession of the papers...
    You might be surprised to get into court and have the renters bring out a copy of said lease that they made before you waltzed off with their original.
  10. #10
    Ohiogal is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by TrueKnight View Post
    So much personal attacks. Is it really necessary?

    This ISN'T the first time I've evicted someone. I'm just asking on HOW to file the UD Compliant for a tenant no longer in possession of the written lease.

    I do know of the proper process: It's Unlawful Detainer Compliant + Summons, Serve Compliant, Wait for Answer (5 Days), File for Default, File for Writ of Possession, File for Sheriff's Evictions (Another 5 days). All in all, it takes 3+ weeks, 4 trips to the County office, hours in line, nearly $500 in Clerk/Sheriff fees.

    The process sucks and it's expensive. Hiring a lawyer to do exactly the same thing is $1,000. All this costs is on top of the back rent that we'll never get even with a judgement because they're deadbeats and you can't get blood from a stone. Can you really blame me for a state that is so pro-tenant that "alternative" options can't even be discussed here?
    ILLEGAL actions and UNETHICAL actions are not "options" that we discuss here. Why? This is a legal site. You want to evict someone, you do it according to the law. Your behavior shows that you are unethical and willing to at illegally. Hence, you should lose your real estate license.
    Parents should remember 3 things: Love your kids more than you hate your ex; when you have children the relationship with the other parent is until death; your children determine what type of nursing home you end up in.
    Nothing stated by me should be taken as giving you legal advice or forming an attorney/client relationship.

    Attorney-GAL in Ohio.

    I've removed the knife from my back, polished it, and will one day return it -- long after you think I have forgotten.

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