Once a lease termination is executed, what can a landlord do to remove a tenant?

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Once a lease termination is executed, what can a landlord do to remove a tenant?

I signed a lease termination agreement effective 12/01. I have asked for an extension with no luck. What action can the landlord take? Can he throw me out or does he have to start the eviction process?

Asked on November 29, 2010 under Real Estate Law, California

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

The landlord may evict you once your lease is terminated, whether owing to the end of the term coming up, a mutual agreement to terminate, or a material breach of the lease providing the landlord the right to terminate. He cannot do what's called a "self-help" eviction, but instead must go through the courts: provide you a notice, then if you don't leave, bring a legal action (called a summary disposes) to first obtain possession, then get the sheriff, constable, or similar office to conduct the actual eviction. Simply locking you out, turning off utiliities, etc. is not allowed. Note that if you "hold over" for some period of time past termination, in addition to evicting you, the landlord could sue you for the equivalent rent due for that period of time you were still occupying the premises; depending on what your lease says, he may also be able to sue you for  his legal fees and costs in evicting you.


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