The Eviction Process for Roommates in California

Evicting a roommate is a legal process that requires careful adherence to specific steps and regulations. Here’s an expanded explanation of the provided information.

The Eviction Process for Roommates in California

Provide Written Notice

When deciding to evict a roommate, the first step is serving them with a written notice to leave the premises. This notice typically provides a window of 30 to 60 days, with the shorter duration applicable to month-to-month arrangements. This period allows the roommate time to address the issues causing the eviction or find alternative housing solutions.

Unlawful Detainer Complaint

If the roommate fails to vacate within the specified timeframe, the landlord or tenant can file an unlawful detainer complaint with the court. Once filed, a summons is issued, giving the roommate five days to respond. During this period, the individual can either oppose the complaint or choose to move out.

Learn more about the typical eviction process.

If the roommate opposes the complaint, a hearing is scheduled. At the hearing, both parties present their arguments, and the judge issues a ruling. If the judge orders the roommate’s eviction, the next step is obtaining a five-day lockout notice from the sheriff’s office. If the roommate still refuses to leave, sheriff’s deputies will physically remove them at the end of the five-day period.

Things to consider


Keep written records of complaints and communication with the roommate. This documentation can be crucial in demonstrating the validity of the eviction process.

Alternative Solutions

Consider offering financial incentives for the roommate to leave voluntarily. While this may involve additional costs upfront, it can be a more economical and expedient resolution compared to a prolonged legal battle.

Legal Boundaries

Avoid engaging in physical or verbal altercations, as such behavior can complicate the legal process and potentially result in counterclaims.

Locks and Property Access

It’s essential to understand the legal limitations regarding property access. While locking your bedroom door may be permissible, changing locks on the entire apartment without proper legal justification can lead to legal consequences.

Successfully navigating the eviction process requires a combination of legal understanding, documentation, and adherence to proper procedures. By following the outlined steps and respecting legal boundaries, individuals increase their chances of a successful eviction process if it culminates in a court proceeding. Remember, it is crucial to seek legal advice if uncertainties arise during the eviction process to ensure compliance with the law.