Information For Landlords Filing An Unlawful Detainer In Los Angeles

As a landlord having to evict a tenant is one of the most stressful things that you will have to do. In Los Angeles and throughout the state of California there is a very specific process that you, as the landlord, must do to file the necessary paperwork with the court. This type of action is known as Unlawful Detainer action or complaint.

It is essential that you follow each step of the process and complete all necessary notifications and filing in the correct order. Failure to do so can result in delays in your ability to lawfully evict the tenant and, of course, additional costs to you in filing fees and getting the claim served.


There are only very specific reasons that a client can be evicted. While the most common is because of failure to pay the rent, it can also occur if the tenant violates the lease or rental agreement, is engaging in illegal activities on the premise or has damaged the property. You can also provide notice, in written form, if the tenant is being a nuisance and continues the problematic behavior.
After you provide notice to the tenant, in writing, and he or she fails to act you can file an Unlawful Detainer complaint in Los Angeles with the court.


You can decrease the cost of processing an Unlawful Detainer complaint if you do the paperwork on your own or use a service that completes and files the paperwork for you. This will be less costly than an attorney but still provides you with all the forms that you need.

You will be required to pay a filing fee when you file the complaint with the Los Angeles court. In some cases you may be able to get the fee waived if you cannot afford these costs, however you will need to meet the requirements.

You may also have to pay to get the summons and complaint served to your tenant. You are not allowed to serve your own claim but you can use someone over the age of 18 that is not involved in the claim. You can hire a processes server, they must be licensed, which is often the easiest option.

There may be additional fees involved including photocopying and other fees. Check with the court in Los Angeles if you have any questions about fees involved in the Unlawful Detainer action.

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