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Evicting a commercial tenant is not an easy or fast process

Sometimes, business relationships do not work out as intended. The lease arrangement between a commercial tenant and landlord could degrade to the point where eviction becomes an option. However, a California property owner cannot simply tell a renter to leave. A legal process must be followed first.

Even though property owners have rights, so do their tenants. In order to legally remove a tenant, the landlord must follow California law. If a commercial tenant failed to pay the contractually agreed to rental amounts, the process begins with posting a "three-day notice," demanding a prescribed amount of past due rent be paid within three days after delivery of the notice. This notice must comply with certain legal requirements.

If this fails to work, then the legal proceedings begin. An unlawful detainer can then be filed. Again, there is a waiting period before taking the next steps.

If the tenant files an answer and requests a trial, it will more than likely take place within 20 days of the filing of the answer. Even if the court rules for the property owner, another waiting period begins before the tenant can be locked out. If a mistake is made at any point during this process, it will only add to the amount of time.

A landlord who wants to evict commercial tenant would do well to make sure that every step in the legal process is followed correctly. The sooner that the process is completed, the faster the space can be turned around and readied for a new tenant. A lawyer familiar with California's commercial landlord/tenant laws could prove invaluable to this end.

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