Eviction and Lease Enforcement Litigation

Ownership of rental property in California-whether it is a single-family residence or hundreds of units in large community developments-can be an excellent investment. Unfortunately, it can also be frustrating, particularly when your tenants violate the terms of their leases. As the owner or landlord, ensuring that your tenants comply with the terms of their leases is critical to protecting your properties and realizing the returns on your investments. Sometimes you are left with little options and must resort to litigation to effectively protect and enforce your legal rights.

The rights and responsibilities of landlords and tenants are well-defined under California law, and you need to be able to identify what options are available to you to enforce the terms of your lease. For this reason, if you are having problems with a commercial or residential tenant, please discuss your situation with an experienced landlord attorney as soon as possible.

Our Office Represents Landlords in Various Types of Litigation

Many types of litigation can arise in relationships between landlords and tenants. We regularly work with landlords who have legal disputes with tenants. The following are just a few of the many issues we've helped to resolve.

Eviction and Lease Enforcement Litigation

Your residential or commercial lease is the legal contract that memorializes your and your tenants' legal rights and responsibilities. It exists to protect all of the parties' interests. Tenants who violate the lease can have a detrimental impact on your investments and the condition of your properties. I, Joshua B. Clark, will thoroughly review the terms of your leases, determine whether your tenants are in violation of the lease, and take appropriate action. In some cases, that may involve direct communication with the tenants to cure the lease violations, while in others, it may require initiating eviction proceedings in the appropriate court.

  1. Nonpayment of Rent
    Nonpayment of rent is the most common type of lease violation a landlord will encounter even though its payment is the most fundamental responsibility a tenant has to a landlord. When a tenant fails to pay rent, a landlord must act quickly to avoid a significant loss in rental income. In many cases, a notice to pay rent on law firm letterhead is enough to induce delinquent tenants to pay rent, solving the problems without needing to resort to judicial intervention and incurring additional unnecessary expense.

    Sometimes, however, a tenant simply refuses to pay, leaving a landlord with few options other than eviction. Importantly, a landlord does not have the immediate right to enter into the property and remove the tenant’s belongings, you still are required to go through the judicial process set forth by California law.
  2. Lease Violations
    Most leases contain provisions that restrict the ways in which tenants may use leased properties. These lease terms or "covenants" can range from clauses that prohibit residential tenants from keeping pets to those that restrict the types of business in which commercial tenants can engage. When tenants violate these provisions, they can hurt the value of the properties and may even completely deprive landlords of the economic use of the properties. As a result, landlords must do everything they can to enforce the provisions of their leases.

    As in cases where non-payment of rent is at issue, not every lease violation requires that a landlord take a case to court to rectify the situation. In some cases, tenants may not even be aware of the violations and are happy to correct them once the matters are brought to their attention. In others, however, tenants may deny the existence of the violations or simply refuse to take corrective actions, leaving landlords with few options other than eviction. An eviction based on a lease violation is subject to certain complex procedural rules, however, so a landlord needs to consult with an attorney before pursuing eviction against a tenant in violation of a lease.
  3. Nuisance
    You may encounter Tenants that engage in nuisance conduct that can result in complaints, police involvement and other legal issues, and difficulty renting out other units in multi-unit buildings.

    Examples include: 
    • Late Night Parties and Other Noise Disturbances
    • Obnoxious Odors from the Accumulation of Garbage and Waste
    • Loud and Aggressive Pets

      Under certain circumstances, a landlord can evict tenants for nuisance conduct, and an attorney can help determine whether eviction is an appropriate or desirable resolution in your circumstance.
  4. Serious Lease Violations
    Some lease violations are so serious that they warrant immediate legal action. Landlords should never tolerate drug dealing, violence or threats of violence, or any other type of criminal activity that puts others at risk of harm. If you believe your tenant is engaging in these or other serious lease violations, immediately call an attorney.

Speak to a Landlord Litigation Attorney Today

If you have a tenant who you believe is in violation of a lease, call our office as soon as you can to ensure that your legal rights are protected. We are committed to helping landlords protect their properties and their investments, and we use every legal means necessary to ensure compliance with the terms of every lease. While we are fully prepared to take every case to court if necessary, we also aggressively pursue settlements with tenants to save everyone involved the costs associated with taking cases to trial.

A Proven History of Success

No matter how diligent and proactive you are as a Landlord, inevitably you will one day need to evict your tenant. When that time comes, you want to take the uncertainty off the table and feel confident that your property will be restored to you. I, Joshua B. Clark, have successfully litigated over 5,000 eviction cases. I am an aggressive advocate of Landlord rights in both the community and with the courts. Based in Sacramento, California, my office provides representation and eviction services to landlords, property managers and owners in all of the surrounding counties.