Chula Vista, CA asked in Family Law, Elder Law and Landlord - Tenant for California

Q: I live with my 71 yr old mom. I'm 47 and help her grocery shopping and hospital appt. Can she make me remove a partial

Door to my hallway where me and my husband pay rent and my 15yr old son?

Can she evict me without a court order?

1 Lawyer Answer
James L. Arrasmith
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  • Landlord Tenant Lawyer
  • Sacramento, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: In California, a landlord (including a family member) must generally follow proper legal procedures to evict a tenant, even if the tenant is a relative. This process typically requires the landlord to serve the tenant with a written notice and then, if the tenant does not comply with the notice, file an eviction lawsuit (called an "unlawful detainer" action) in court.

The specific notice requirements and grounds for eviction depend on the reason for the eviction and the terms of your rental agreement (whether written or oral). For example, if you have a month-to-month tenancy, your mother would need to give you a 30-day or 60-day notice to terminate your tenancy, depending on how long you've lived there.

Regarding the partial door to your hallway, the answer depends on the specific terms of your rental agreement and whether removing the door would interfere with your right to quiet enjoyment of the rental space. If your rental agreement does not address this issue and removing the door would not significantly impact your use of the rented space, your mother may be able to remove it.

However, your mother cannot simply lock you out, remove your belongings, or shut off your utilities without a court order. These actions, known as "self-help" evictions, are illegal in California.

If your mother wants you to leave and you do not comply with a proper written notice, she would need to file an eviction lawsuit and obtain a court order for your removal. Only after obtaining a court order can she have the sheriff remove you from the property.

If you believe your rights as a tenant are being violated, consider consulting with a landlord-tenant attorney or a local tenant rights organization for more specific guidance on your situation.

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