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Can I change the lock when my tenant have moved out, but one of his sublettee's remained after the lease expiration?

West Covina, CA |

The tenant that signed an agreement with me have moved out. One of the tenants that remained at the property is a sub-lessee that I do not have an agreement with. He has not paid rent after the original tenants moved out. I don't know whether to treat this as an eviction or can I just change the locks?

Attorney Answers 2


  1. You have to give this subtenant 30 days notice of termination of tenancy and then file to evict them. Do not change the locks (unless you give this tenant a key) or you can be sued for forcible detainer.

    The response given is not intended to create, nor does it create an ongoing duty to respond to questions. The response does not form an attorney-client relationship, nor is it intended to be anything other than the educated opinion of the author. It should not be relied upon as legal advice. The response given is based upon the limited facts provided by the person asking the question. To the extent additional or different facts exist, the response might possibly change. Attorney is licensed to practice law only in the State of California. Responses are based solely on California law unless stated otherwise.


  2. This sublessee is a tenant, and you have to evict them through the legal process, with a 3 day notice to pay or quit, then a UD suit, and not use self-help by locking them out. Maybe they'll just leave also, if you ask them to.

    Disclaimer: Please note that this answer does not constitute legal advice, and should not be relied on, since each state has different laws, each situation is fact specific, and it is impossible to evaluate a legal problem without a comprehensive consultation and review of all the facts and documents at issue. This answer does not create an attorney-client relationship.

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