If you have received a 3-day Pay Rent or Quit notice from your landlord it can be a very traumatic experience. Stay calm, and remember these tips and facts about the eviction process:
1. Don’t panic
No landlord wants to go through a lengthy and expensive eviction process. Often times, property owners are on a tight financial position as well, and they cannot afford to have a property occupied with a tenant, not paying rent.
A non-paying tenant means the owner has to cover ALL the expenses for owning the property from another source of income. This can include a mortgage, property taxes, HOA fees, repairs and regular maintenance.
Unfortunately, the laws in California dictate that serving a 3-Day Pay or Quit Notice is the first step in the process. Because the process can be lengthy and expensive, the owner will most likely start the process as soon as a lack of payment or rent occurs.
2. Communicate, communicate, communicate!
Do this proactively with your property manager as soon as you know you will be late paying rent. When you let them know the rent will be late, let them also know when you will be paying the rent. They will appreciate the communication and trust you more as a tenant and respectable person.
This is known as a “Promise to Pay”. If you give a “Promise to Pay,” you need to keep that commitment. If you miss the “Promise to Pay” and make the property manager chase you for the rent, they will most likely advise the owner to go forward with the eviction, as you a have shown yourself to be unreliable.
3. A good landlord always gets the eviction (aka writ of possession)
Assuming they abide by the law, there is no legal reason for a landlord to not win a judgement against a tenant who has failed to pay rent within the required period.
4. Try to work out an exit strategy
If you are facing an eviction, try to negotiate with the property manager to prevent the eviction from going to court. Try to negotiate that, if you vacate voluntarily, they will not go after you for your unpaid balance.
Do everything you can to leave the property in the same condition as when you moved into the property. If you have caused excessive damage, expect to see your landlord again defending yourself in a Small Claims Court.
Eviction notices are frightening, but the stress can be drastically lessened if everyone in the situation stays calm and follows these tips for a swift and smooth process.