6 Steps to Commercial Unlawful Detainers
Step 1: Communication
The tenant’s landlord will likely be contacting the business tenant. They’ll want to know why the tenant isn’t making payments. The tenant may be able to explain that sales are down and request some leeway. If it’s a private landlord, they may be more open to negotiating with the tenant. In this high vacancy market, it’s better to have a tenant who is paying something rather than an empty unit.
Step 2: Three-Day Notice
Before an action for unlawful detainer can be brought, the landlord must send a three-day notice. This notice has very specific requirements and must be followed exactly. If the notice is not correct, the tenant may object to the action for unlawful detainer later on in the process. This notice, for example, should be in writing, describe the premises, be signed, demand possession, demand rent, and specify the precise amount of rent due or specifically mention that the amount is estimated.
The three-day notice provides the tenant with notice of the “problem.” The most common problem is failure to pay rent. The three-day notice should be served on the tenant before any complaint is filed with the local courthouse. It may be personally served on the tenant or a senior employee at the tenant’s location. If this is proving difficult, there are other options available such as posting the document on the front door or serving the notice using Certified Mail with return receipt. However, these alternative options should be used as a last resort after speaking with a knowledgable attorney on the subject.
Once the three-day notice is serviced on the tenant, the tenant has three full days to remedy the problem; otherwise, the eviction process will continue to the courthouse.
Step 3: The Unlawful Detainer Complaint
If the problem is not corrected within the three days of the tenant being served with the three-day notice, the landlord may then file an actual complaint for unlawful detainer with the local courthouse.
The landlord must have a summons issued and a complaint filed with the courthouse. The California Courts provide a form summons: SUM130. The California Courts also provide a form complaint for unlawful detainer: UD100.
Step 4: The Tenant Responds
There are several options available to a tenant after they receive the complaint for unlawful detainer. The tenant may answer, move to quash service of summons because of some defect, file a demurrer, and/or file a motion to strike. Deciding which response to utilize all depends on the facts of the case, the three-day notice, the complaint, and the summons. This decision requires experience and knowledge of unlawful detainer laws. The tenant may be able to have the case completely dropped at this stage. Our Rancho Cordova commercial unlawful detainer attorneys are skilled and spotting defects and negotiating these actions.
The California Courts also provide a form answer for unlawful detainer: UD105.
Step 5: Discovery and Trial
If the commercial tenant is not able to have the case dismissed based on their response, then discovery and trial will ensue. Discovery is the process of obtaining evidence to help prove the parties’ case. During this stage, parties may file for summary judgment or take other actions. Assuming the case isn’t dismissed during this stage, the parties will go to trial and attempt to prove their case in open court.
Step 6: Eviction
Assuming the tenant loses the case and a judgment was issued, a writ of possession and execution will be provided to the landlord by the court. These documents will permit the landlord to proceed through formal eviction with the sheriff delivering the eviction notice to the tenant. The tenant may then apply for a stay of execution or the tenant will be evicted.
Helpful Documents for Commercial Unlawful Detainers
- Unlawful Detainer Summons
- Complaint for Unlawful Detainer
- Unlawful Detainer Answer Form
- Unlawful Detainer Proof of Service Form
- Unlawful Detainer Declaration Form
- Declaration for Default Judgment by Court (Unlawful Detainer—Civ. Proc., § 585(d))
- Form Interrogatories for Unlawful Detainer
- Judgment – Unlawful Detainer
- Stipulation for Entry of Judgment
- Request/Counter-Request To Set Case For Trial-Unlawful Detainer
Contact Rancho Cordova’s Unlawful Detainer Attorneys
Do you have a commercial unlawful detainer action pending? Our Rancho Cordova unlawful detainer attorneys provide free consultations and will work with you to find the best outcome. Contact our Rancho Cordova business attorneys to set up a consultation today.
By: Trevor Carson Google+
*The information provided in this post does not constitute legal advice or opinion. The information is for guidance purposes only. Individual situations vary and you should contact us for a consultation. Image: Jeroen van Oostrom. Feel free to contact our attorneys to further discuss 6 steps to commercial unlawful detainers.