Tenant Evictions

To evict a tenant from a residential or commercial apartment or space, a landlord needs to initiate an eviction proceeding or file an Unlawful Detainer action which is basically an accelerated action for the recovery of possession of leased/rented premises.

Our Los Angeles Eviction lawyers handle Unlawful Detainer Actions for both commercial and residential leases. We provide eviction services in Los Angeles for all types of evictions. We charge a flat rate fee for all Unlawful Detainer Actions.

Eviction Trials—Trials for possession are often the last necessary step to a successful eviction. Although the issue of possession is the singular issue in front of the eviction court, it is nuanced enough to pose problems for the landlord if the eviction action was not properly executed from the start. The 3/30/60 day notice must meet all technical requirements, service of the notice must meet legal standards and rent amounts demanded must be calculated with precision. Our eviction attorneys are well versed in court trials for possession and understand the singular yet complex issue of possession having gone through the trial for possession several times over.

Landlords—Keep in mind that although eviction trials are usually quick and deal with the issue of possession, they are real trials nevertheless. Evidence needs to be properly presented, authenticated and argued. Our Los Angeles Eviction Attorneys are regularly preparing and conducting eviction trials and are equipped with the skillset necessary to properly execute a trial and deliver a judgment for possession.

Residential Evictions—Our Unlawful Detainer Attorney represent landlords exclusively for residential evictions. We charge a flat rate fee plus costs for uncontested evictions. The flat rate fee is marginally higher for contested evictions. Residential Landlords who have properties subject to the City of Los Angeles Rent Stabilization Ordinance (LARSO) must be in strict compliance and be aware of the requirements landlords are expected to meet. LARSO statutes (Chapter 15 of the Municipal Code) are online and available here: LARSO RULES

Commercial Evictions—Our Unlawful Detainer Lawyers at ABA Family Law Group represent both landlords and tenants for commercial eviction actions. We have prosecuted eviction actions on behalf of landlords seeking to evict a commercial tenant, and we have defended businesses who are fighting an Unlawful Detainer action.

Flat Fee Evictions—We charge a flat fee to prepare the filings including (1) The Verified Complaint; (2) Civil Case Cover Sheet; (3) Civil Case Cover Sheet Addendum; (4) Summons; and (5) the Prejudgment Claim Of Right To Possession. In addition to the flat fee for preparing and filing the eviction, the landlord pays costs such as the filing fee which starts from $240 for evictions wherein rent owed is $10,000 or less. The landlord also pays the service of process fee. This is a one time fee paid to serve the tenant(s) with the Summons and Complaint, regardless of how many attempts are necessary to properly serve. The proof of service is also included and is delivered and filed in a form that will stand the scrutiny of the courts. We also have form 3/30/60 day notices that we provide free of charge to our landlords if necessary.

Eviction costs include:

  • Superior Court Filing fee $240 to $435
  • Writ of Possession Fee—$25
  • Sheriff Lock Out Fee—$125 for most Branch Offices

IMPORTANT INFO REGARDING EVICTION COSTS: Landlords keep in mind that many so-called "eviction services" offer very low rates to initiate your eviction action, however, the introductory rates charged by many of these services are for evictions that proceed uncontested by the tenant. Uncontested evictions are the exception and not the norm. Once your eviction is contested and you need to have a trial to win possession, these eviction services cannot represent you without an attorney and your legal fees and costs go way beyond what you may have been quoted initially. Also, when quoted very low initial rates for an eviction, ask the law firm or eviction service quoting you a price whether their prices include responding to discovery, jury trials, motion practice, trial document preparation and most importantly whether they use appearance attorneys (who will have reviewed your file the morning of trial along with the several other evictions they are "appearing" on).

Our Los Angeles Eviction Attorneys treat your eviction like a real case and trial because it is. We don't use appearance attorneys and the same attorney handles your eviction from filing through judgment.

Should your tenant contest the eviction and force a trial for possession, then we charge a flat fee for conducting the trial including: (1) Trial Briefs; (2) Witness Lists; (3) Exhibit Lists; and for jury trials; (4) Statements of the Case; (5) Special Verdict Forms; and (6) Jury Instructions. Eviction Trials are real trials and subject to the same rules as any other civil trial. We prepare our landlords and their witnesses (i.e., property managers, agents, etc...) for trial including putting on your case in chief for possession and rebutting defenses such as violations of rent control ordinances and breach of the implied warranty of habitability.

If you are a landlord or property owner and you have a tenant who has breached the lease or rental agreement by failing to pay rent, you will need to move quickly to regain possession and get the space leased and producing income again. There are strict guidelines that must be followed with respect to notice, filing the complaint, proof of breach and regaining possession. Failing to adhere to these strict guidelines will ultimately delay your ability to regain possession.

Our Los Angeles Unlawful Detainer Attorneys offer competitive rates for both uncontested and contested unlawful detainers, from proper notice to filing the unlawful detainer action, obtaining judgment for possession, submitting Sheriff's instructions for eviction, and up until you regain possession of your commercial or residential premises.

Commercial And Residential Leases

Our Los Angeles Real Estate Attorney Christopher S. Reyes provide legal services in matters concerning commercial and residential lease disputes, unlawful detainer actions, zoning matters and real estate transactions. California, and in particular, the Greater Los Angeles area, provides for a dynamic yet boisterous real estate market. Real Estate contracts concern the simple and straightfoward purchases of a single family dwelling to property management agreements and the more tenuous option agreements. However the issues present themselves, our attorneys will consider the client's ultimate goal when evaluating the remedies sought, costs, timeline and the likelihood of success.

If a real estate breach or other wrong has occurred, the type of claim, whether it lie in contract, negligence or fraud, will determine the remedies available in real estate transactions. Common remedies include, enforcing the transaction through specific performance, or rescinding the contract. Claimants may also sue for damages or enforce liquidated damages clauses. Procedures such as a lis pendens are also available remedies.

If you were involved in a real estate transaction, whether it be a commercial lease or a purchase and sale agreement contact us for a consultation and case evaluation.

Lis Pendens

Our Los Angeles Real Estate Attorneys litigate real property claims involving the recording of a lis pendens (notice of pendency of action). If you are a property owner seeking to protect your interests in real property, or you are a real property litigant and seek to advance your claims, or if you are attempting to purchase a property with a lis pendens recorded, contact one of our Lis Pendens Attorneys today for a free consultation and case evaluation.

California Law regarding the Notice of Pendency of Action "Lis Pendens"

A lis pendens (Latin for "suit pending") recorded on a property is a Notice of Pendency of Action in which a real property claim is alleged. See C.C.P. § 405.2. A lis pendens may only be recorded when an action is pending in state or federal court. See Manhattan Loft, LLC v. Mercury Liquors, Inc., (2009) 173 Cal. App. 4th 1040, 1051. (i.e., no reference to arbitration proceedings). The purpose of the lis pendens statutes are to protect the rights of property owners and advance the interests of litigant claimants. Manhattan Loft, LLC supra at 1053.

A lis pendens is sought and recorded in order to provide notification to all persons of the pendency of an action therein binding any person who may acquire an interest in real property after the institution of a civil action and by any judgment in the civil action affecting the property. See C.C.P. § 764.030. Thus the lis pendens provides both actual and constructive notice when recorded.

Recording A Lis Pendens

A civil litigant who asserts a real property claim may record a lis pendens ("notice of pendency of action") in which the real property claim is alleged by recording the notice in the office of the recorder where the real property is located. C.C.P. § 405.20. The notice must contain all the information related to the civil action. (e.g., names of parties, description of the property.)

An attorney of record in an action may sign a notice of pendency of action. Alternatively, a judge of the court in which an action that includes a real property claim is pending may, upon request of a party thereto, approve a notice of pendency of action. A notice of pendency of action shall not be recorded unless (a) it has been signed by the attorney of record, (b) it is signed by a party acting in propria persona and approved by a judge as provided in this section, or (c) the action is involving eminent domain. C.C.P. § 405.21.

Prior to recordation of the notice, a claimant must mail, by registered or certified mail, return receipt requested, a copy of the notice to all owners of record. If there is no known address for service on an adverse party or owner, then the claimant must record a declaration under penalty of perjury regarding the unknown addresses. Immediately following recordation, a copy of the notice shall also be filed with the court in which the action is pending. Service shall also be made immediately and in the same manner upon each adverse party later joined in the action. C.C.P. § 405.22.

Expunging The Lis Pendens

At any time after a lis pendens has been recorded, any party, or any nonparty with an interest in the real property affected thereby, may apply to the court in which the action is pending to expunge the notice. However, a person who is not a party to the action shall obtain leave to intervene from the court at or before the time the party brings the motion to expunge the notice. C.C.P. § 405.30.

The Motion to Expunge a notice of lis pendens may only be brought in the court where the action of which notice has been recorded is pending. The grounds for expungement of an improperly recorded lis pendens are: 1) invalid service of the notice (C.C.P. § 405.22); 2) failure to plead a real property claim (C.C.P. § 405.31); 3) failure to establish the probable validity of the real property claim(C.C.P. § 405.32); and 4) a showing that adequate relief can be secured to the claimant by the giving of an undertaking(C.C.P. § 405.33).

C.C.P. § 405.32 States

In proceedings under this chapter, the Court shall order that the notice be expunged if the Court finds that the claimant has not established by a preponderance of the evidence the probable validity of the real property claim. The Court shall not order an undertaking to be given as a condition of expunging the notice if the Court finds the claimant has not established the probable validity of the real property claim.

Giving Of An Undertaking

Litigants may be required to post an undertaking (e.g., put up money) in order to maintain the lis pendens during the pendency of the civil action. C.C.P. §405.34 states:

Subject to the provisions of Sections 405.31 and 405.32, at any time after a notice of pendency of action has been recorded, and regardless of whether a motion to expunge has been filed, the court may, upon motion by any person with an interest in the property, require the claimant to give the moving party an undertaking as a condition of maintaining the notice in the record title....An undertaking required pursuant to this section shall be of such nature and in such amount as the court may determine to be just. In its order requiring an undertaking, the court shall set a return date for the claimant to show compliance and if the claimant fails to show compliance on the return date, the court shall order the notice of pendency of action expunged without further notice or hearing.

Recovery on an undertaking required pursuant to this section may be had in an amount not to exceed the undertaking, pursuant to Section 996.440, upon a showing (a) that the claimant did not prevail on the real property claim and (b) that the person seeking recovery suffered damages as a result of the maintenance of the notice. In assessing these damages, the court shall not consider the claimant's intent or the presence or absence of probable cause.

Withdrawal Of The Lis Pendens

A lis pendens may be withdrawn by recording a notice of withdrawal executed by the party who recorded the notice. The notice of withdrawal shall be acknowledged. C.C.P. § 405.50.

Award Of Attorneys' Fees C.C.P. § 405.38 States

The court shall direct that the party prevailing on any motion under this chapter be awarded the reasonable attorneys' fees and costs of making or opposing the motion unless the court finds that the other party acted with substantial justification or that other circumstances make the imposition of attorneys' fees and costs unjust.

Just because a party prevails on their expungement motion does not mean an attorneys' fees award is automatic. California courts utilize the "practical approach" when deciding whether to award attorney fees upon successfully bringing an expungement motion. Under the practical approach, a trial court must determine whether the moving party is the prevailing party under section 405.38 by analyzing the extent to which each party has realized its litigation objectives. To determine litigation objectives, it is not enough simply to consider that the lis pendens has been withdrawn; the court must consider and decide whether the moving party would have prevailed on the motion.

If you have further questions concerning any of your Real Estate, tenant evictions, rental contracts and breach of contract issues contact our attorney at ABA Family Law Group or make an appointment for a Consultation at one of our offices in Los Angeles area at (844) 289-4847.