3 Ways to Evict a Tenant in California Today – 2021

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Evictions are result of multiple violations of the terms of the lease

3 Ways to Evict a Tenant in California Today – 2021

Ways to Evict a Tenant

Eviction is an ugly word that everyone wants to avoid.  No one wants to evict a tenant. However, if the tenant has not paid their rent or has violated the terms of the lease multiple times, what choice do you have?

It is a difficult and stressful decision to make. When deciding whether or not to evict a tenant, consider the following:

  • Were your tenants victims of the pandemic?
  • Are your tenants trying to catch back up?
  • Are your tenants just in a tight spot but still making efforts?
  • Until recently, were your renters reliable and kept their word?

If you can answer yes to these, then eviction might not be the best choice. Reach out to them and see what kind of arrangement will work for you both.

However, if you get heartburn every time you think about your rental situation, you need to consider ending the rental relationship altogether.

Stressed when thinking of ways to evict a tenant

What are my eviction options?

There are three general ways to evict a tenant. Each option has its pros and cons. An eviction can unfold the three ways:

  1. Voluntarily quitting the property
  2. The Courts
  3.  A Payoff

Don’t let your emotions get in the way. Remember both you and your tenants are protected by law for a reason.

Before proceeding with an eviction, make sure you have considered the following:

  • Cover your legal bases as a landlord
    • Did you do everything you could to make the residence a safe place to live?
    • Did you make the repairs in a timely fashion?
    • Did you respect your tenant’s privacy?
  • Document your efforts to work with your tenant
  • Not sure? Check out California’s Department of Consumer Affairs handbook on Tenants’ and Landlords’ Rights and Responsibilities.

If you have to end the rental relationship, you must do it legally or risk legal action being taken against you.

#1 – Voluntarily Quitting the Property

Assuming the tenant fulfilled the duration of the lease, your easiest and least stressful option is when your tenants choose to voluntarily leave the property.

In this option, the tenant starts the process by giving “notice to vacate” the property as described in the lease agreement. Then leaves at the appointed time. Once the property is vacant, the landlord reviews the property and sees how much of the security deposit to return.

As the path of least resistance, voluntarily leaving has minimal risks. Any damages are covered by the security deposit.


  • Less stress
  • No forms to fill out
  • No legal action to take


  • Cannot enter the property until after the time listed in the notice to vacate has passed.
  •  No guarantee of collecting past due rent
  •  Any damages that exceed the security deposit belong to the landlord

#2 – The Courts

Eviction via the courts is the most expensive of the ways to evict a tenant. Legal action also carries the most risk of the three. The typical scenario begins with attempts to collect the rents owed and an unhealthy tenant-landlord relationship. When attempts to collect past rent fails, the landlord begins the legal proceedings necessary to evict the tenants.

Letter with a Summons is just one of the ways to evict a tenant

Pursuing a legal eviction carries the most risk.


  • If the court approves, the police can escort the tenant off of the property
  • Legal right to past due rent
  • The court can fine the tenant and hold them legally accountable


  • The cost
  • Required paperwork and wait times
  • Retaliatory actions of upset tenants can cause more damage than the security deposit covers
  • The courts could rule against you

After rental protections expired in September of 2021, the courts have been slammed with eviction cases. No one really knows how big this backlog will become or how soon it will die back. If you choose this way to evict a tenant, plan for the extra wait times.

#3 – A Pay-Off

Some landlords have crafted a third alternative solution in states where the legal process to evict is long, detailed, and not guaranteed success.

Some landlords are paying their tenants to leave.

In this arrangement, the landlord offers the tenant a certain amount to leave the property undamaged and within a specific time frame. The pay-off amount usually covers a deposit, the first month’s rent, and some moving costs.

When you add up all the time, unpaid rent, back rent, fees, forms, and worry, paying a tenant to move is cheaper and much less stressful.

In short, you are paying your tenant to move to cut your losses.


  • Less paperwork & fewer government fees
  • Private
  • Less chance of revenge destruction
  • Faster


  • A bad tenant’s actions won’t appear on their rental history
  • Unless this agreement is in writing, the tenants can back out and keep the money
  • The upfront cost

Which option is right for you?

Figuring out the best ways to evict a tenant depends on your relationship with the tenant.

  • If the relationship is healthy and valued, consider talking the tenant into leaving voluntarily or with a small payoff.
  • However, if the relationship has deteriorated or does not exist, pursuing the legal option or the payoff might work.

Keep in mind there is a connection between how an eviction unfolds and the amount of damage and debris left after a tenant vacates.

Eviction Resources in Placer County, California

Before taking any action, get informed.

Text us when you decide which ways to evict a tenant is for you

Once you decide which of the ways to evict the tenant works best for you, you need to make cleanup plans. Junk Bandit is here to help.

We have multiple options to help you and y our tenant make the moving experience easier.

Call us today at (916) 970-0790 for a free no-obligation estimate!

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