Perhaps one of the most thankless and trying, but necessary duties of a landlord is evicting tenants when the tenant violates one of the covenants of the lease.

At the risk of oversimplification, the eviction process involves serving the tenant with a notice, waiting for the notice to end, and filing an unlawful detainer action if the tenant fails to do what the notice asks. But like so many other areas of law, meticulous attention to detail is needed to ensure there are no procedural missteps.

Here are five ways that you are likely to use an unlawful detainer action.

Improper rent demand: One sure kink to a successful unlawful detainer action is demanding a higher amount of rent than is actually (and legally) due.

Drafting an improper 3-day notice to pay rent or quit: A recurring theme for our practice at Bornstein law is the epidemic of stale, outdated and bad documentation. Worse yet, some landlords have asked for late fees, which is prohibited under California law.

Failure to serve 3-day notice correctly: Assuming that the notice is otherwise proper, it must be served to the tenant correctly. Regardless of the merits of the case or the legality of the documentation, the 3-day notice must be served in accordance with the law.

Failure to correct habitability issues: Even if all other requirements are met, the tenant can claim that the unit is inhabitable. If the landlord fails to rectify any habitability issues of the premises, it will tank their ability to be successful in an eviction.

Mistakenly depositing a future rent payment: This is a cardinal sin for landlords, and by doing this, the landlord waives their right to proceed with the eviction.

As always, we are happy to engage and answer any questions — contact Bornstein Law to protect your real estate investments.

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