As the first of the rent moratoriums are expiring, landlords throughout California are eager to file unlawful detainer actions to obtain possession of their properties from tenants who have failed to pay rent or comply with repayment obligations. While it is natural for landlords to want to immediately initiate unlawful-detainer proceedings, they should proceed with caution. Landlords who issued 3-day or 30-day notices to their tenants for failure to pay rent during the moratorium period would be wise not to rely on those notices as the basis of an unlawful detainer action.
Many of the moratoriums specifically prohibit the issuance of those notices during their operative period. For the overly eager landlord filing a prompt unlawful-detainer action, that action may fail because it is based on a defective notice issued at a time when it was specifically prohibited by a moratorium.
While it is understandable that landlords want to recoup their rents and obtain possession, care must be given to ensure that the unlawful detainers are based on enforceable notices, which do not violate the moratoriums. Only valid notices will permit landlords to obtain possession and judgments for past rent as expeditiously as possible. Proceeding on the basis of an invalid notice will be counterproductive and delay matters further.
The lawyers of Weintraub Tobin are able to discuss any notices a landlord may have provided to confirm their appropriateness for an unlawful-detainer proceeding to avoid newly enacted defenses.