Open/Close Menu
Your Rental Housing Solution
Home · Property Management · Latest News : My Day in Eviction Court

by Leilani Souza

landlord helpI was accompanying a client to court for an unlawful detainer hearing and had the pleasure of listening to a few unlawful detainer cases at the newly built Bill Santucci Justice Center in Roseville (Placer County), California.

As I sat there listening to each side present their case, I found that I agreed with the judge’s rulings:

CASE #1

Previous homeowner showed up with her arm in a sling as the Defendant in an eviction after foreclosure. The Plaintiff was an investor who bought the property at a trustee sale. Plaintiff had a verbal agreement with the Defendant that she was going to vacate the premises within a couple of weeks. Defendant did not move out and told Plaintiff she was waiting for a refund check from the bank to pay for her moving expenses. Plaintiff filed an unlawful detainer action and Defendant claimed discrimination against her because she was “disabled” (note: the only evident “disability” I saw was her arm in a sling). Defendant also asked for additional time to stay in the home because she had lived there for 50 years and was disabled.

The judge dismissed the Defendant’s discrimination claim, denied her request for additional time in the home, ruled in favor of the Plaintiff and issued a Writ of Possession and Judgment.

CASE #2

Tenant (Plaintiff) sublet a room in a home to another tenant (Defendant) and filed an unlawful detainer action for non-payment of rent. Defendant claimed he had not been allowed access to the home and was physically threatened by the Plaintiff since the rent had been unpaid. Defendant stated they had a verbal agreement that he was to provide yard clean-up and regular housecleaning services in exchange for the room and that no rent was due. Plaintiff denied this, saying there was no such agreement and that rent was past due.

Since the Plaintiff’s lease agreement stated that any subletting of the home needs prior written approval from the Landlord, the judge ruled in favor of the Defendant since there was only a verbal agreement.

CASE #3

Previous homeowner filed an unlawful detainer action against Defendant, but lost the home to foreclosure before the trial date so the case was canceled. Previous homeowner claimed he did not rent the home to her and had reported trespassing by squatters to the police when he went to the home and found unknown people living there. Current owner (Plaintiff) bought the property at a trustee sale and filed an unlawful detainer action after Defendant did not move out as verbally agreed. Defendant argued that she was entitled to stay in the home for 90 days due to being a bona fide tenant after foreclosure. Plaintiff responded saying the rent amount claimed by the Defendant at $1000 per month (which she has not paid to the previous owner nor the current owner) was significantly below market value rent of $1700 per month and that disqualified her bona fide tenancy.

The judge found that the Defendant was not a bona fide tenant, denied her request for additional time in the home, ruled in favor of the Plaintiff and issued a Writ of Possession and Judgment.

Do you agree with the court’s rulings?

Leilani Souza, CRS, e-PRO, TRC is with Souza Realty in California, and specializes in auction bidding at trustee sales, real estate investments, residential rentals, leasing & property management, lots & land and custom home design & development.

See our feature, Documentation: A Landlord’s Best Friend in Court.

American Apartment Owners Association offers discounts on products and services for landlords related to your rental housing investment, including rental forms, tenant debt collection, tenant background checks, insurance and financing. Find out more at www.joinaaoa.org.

  • Gary Carlson

    Whenever a Writ of Possession and Judgment is issued by a judge, I am in full agreement.

  • [email protected]

    The defendants have the right to petition for an appeal if they feel that they have been wronged. I doubt that they will win, given the stated facts, but who knows what new legal ground may be paved by advancing a new theory. Rulings sound right.

  • essayam

    when trouble ocures in real estate it is frequebtly the property owners fault. the
    owner runs the venture on an emotional bassis for he feels ‘sorry’ for the tenant and wants to ‘help’. property ownership is a profit making business. the government SHOULD give out welfare to those truly in need not the owner. ( (except in new york state where the past 65 years of residential rent regulation has caused the destriction of entire once viable neighborhoods, the burning of millions of units of low cost housing and the obscene rise of rental prices all across the board. )

    the following steps are an absolute :

    1) no verbal agreements. everyone must have a legal written lease.

    2) TENABT MUST COMPLETR A FULL RENTAN APPLICATION.

    3) WONER MUST JHIRE A LICENSED EXPERIECED FIRM TH VERIFY THE VERSAITY ON THE TENANTS STATEMENTS.

    4) THE TENANT MUST PAY 100 % OF THE COST CASH ONLY

    5) T MUST SUPPLY PROOF OF THE STATEMENTS MADE

    6) THE LEASE MUST BE SIGNED WITN DOZENS OF RIDERS TO PROTECT THE OWNER

    7) NEVER RENT AN APT WITH JUST ONE MONTH RENT AS SECURITY. I ALWAYS ASK FOR FOUR MONTHS SECURITY AND OFFER THE TENENT 20 % INTEREST. IF THE APPLICANT SAYSTHAT HE WOULD RATHER KEEP HIS MONEY IN THE BANK ( NOW AT 1 %) HE IS STUPID AND WILL SKIP. YOU DONT WANT HIM.

    8) NEVER GIVE A GRACE PERIOD. RENT IS DUE AND PAYABLE ON THE FIRST.

    9) BEFORE BEFORE…. BEFORE THE SIGNING OF THE LEASE THE TENANT MUST SUPPLY A RENTERS INSURANCE POLICY WITH THE OWNER NAMED AS THE ASDITIONAL INSURED. AKE YOUR AGENT WHY……..

    THE ONLY THING THAT YOU ARE FLEXABLE ON IS THE RENT

    WANT TO PLAY WITH FIRE ????????????????

    GET EMOTIONALLY INVOLVED A STRICTLY BUSINESS DECISION

    IF YOU WANT JUST A TINY BIT OF THE HELL YOU CAN GET IN TO SEE THE MOVIE
    ” PACIFIC HEIGHTS ” WITH MELINY GRIFFIH AND MICHEL KEETION IF THE TENANTS DO NOT LIKE YOUR RULES LET THEM MOVE

  • Anthony

    I also agree with the judges rulings given the facts of the cases. However Gary’s comment that he agrees whenever a judge issues a Writ of Possession and Judgement shows a high level of bias and lack of respect for fairness. As a recent college grad I have come across lots of sleazy landlords and seen situations where landlord neglect has resulted in the death of tenants with little available recourse due to the burden of proof. At the same time good landlords are often victim to the system for the same reason This article definitely highlights the golden rule (platinum in my opinion) that agreements should always be put in writing no matter which side you are on. Although I read between the lines I think it would have been helpful to get an explanation of why the judge ruled the way he did in each case.

  • Gary Carlson

    Anthony has probably never been a landlord. Here are some facts, Anthony:

    1. The percentage of sleazy tenants far outweighs the percentage of sleazy
    landlords.
    2. In 99.9% of cases where trouble arises, it is generated by the tenant who is not
    regular in monthly payments or there are other conditions of the lease not being
    honored by the tenant.
    3. It is amazing how many “rights” scofflaws are entitled to. By protecting these
    sleazes, good tenants end up paying a higher rent premium to make up for all
    the “legal remedies”. Is this fair to the good tenants, Anthony? Most of the court
    cases only serve as a stall tactic enabling the freeloaders to some free occupancy.

    You’re young, Anthony. Get back with us in about 15 years – especially if/when you become a landlord.

Copyright © 2004 - 2016 AAOA.com. All Rights Reserved.