How to be a Property Manager

How do you evict a tenant in Contra Costa County California?

System - Wednesday, May 9, 2018

There are 5 Steps to evicting a tenant.


Prepare and serve a 3-Day Notice to Pay Rent or Quit. Once the three business days are over and the tenant has not paid nor left the premises, you can file the eviction lawsuit.


In California, an eviction lawsuit is call “unlawful detainer” suit. You need to draft and file the unlawful detainer summons and complaint in the local Superior Court. You can file this yourself or hire a local attorney to do this.


It can take several days to serve your tenant(s) with a copy of the lawsuit. Once served with the unlawful detainer suite, they have 5 calendar days to formally file an Answer to the lawsuit. If they choose to fight the action, they will need to file an answer with the court. You will receive a copy of this answer by mail. In this case, you will need to file for a request for a trial, it is required by law that your eviction case be heard in court within 20 days. Eviction is a quick civil suit for California landlord to regain possession of their property. You are seeking the court’s help to obtain physical possession.

Step 4:

If your tenant(s) do not file an answer within 5 days from date of service, you need to request for default and get a Judgment for possession. Once you get the judgment, you will need to prepare a writ of possession. This is the document that you will be giving to the local Sherif to physically help you remove your tenant(s).

Step 5:

The writ of possession needs to be delivered to the sheriff’s office.

A writ of possession is a court order that tells the Sheriff to put your tenant out of the place where they live. The Writ gives your tenant's 24 hours to move out. The 24 hour time period starts from the time the Writ of Possession is posted on their door. If they have not completely moved out by the time the Sheriff comes back, the Sheriff’s crew will move them out. This is called “Execution of the Writ”. The Sheriff’s crew will move them out even if someone is sick, pregnant, or has another good reason why they don’t think they must leave your home.