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I am a realtor representing a seller who owns a duplex. She lived in one side and rented the other. We sold the property, but

Los Angeles, CA |

after the seller moved out of her side, the tenant moved in family members to the seller's side of the house. (House is not in rent control area of Los Angeles) So the seller filed a 3 day notice to quit, and followed it with an unlawful detainer action. Escrow closed, so we have several issues: 1. The new buyer wants to take possession but squatters won't let her. 2 Seller wants to shut off the electric as she no longer lives there. 3. Old tenant has filed a restraining order against Seller, claiming that she attempted to kill the 5 of them. I suggested that we offer money to tenants to move out, but today even more people are moving in! Can the new buyer just visit the property with the sherriffs dept and rental agreement and kick out the squatters?

Attorney Answers 2


  1. No, self-help is illegal. She has to follow the unlawful detainer procedures, which only allow a sheriff to ock someone out, after the judge issues an order for possession.

    As for the applciation for restrining order, she needs to defend this, with an attorney is possible.

    I don't think she should turn off the electricity --that could subject her to wrongful eviction liability.

    Offering money to get them to move is a good idea, but if they won't, that's what a UD is for.

    PLEASE READ THIS BEFORE YOU COMMENT, EMAIL ME OR PHONE ME. I'm only licensed in CA. This answer doesn't make me your lawyer, and neither do follow-up comments and/or emails and/or phone calls --- we need an actual agreement confirmed in writing before any attorney-client relationship is formed. Please don't expect me to respond to your follow-up queries. This answer doesn't constitute legal advice, and shouldn't 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.


  2. Ms. Koslyn is right, and I would only add that your client, the new owner, needs to hire a lawyer for this. Apparently, the squatters are litigious and will use or make up any legal road block to stay. You didn't say whether there was a trial or not. If there was a trial, hopefully the new owner also served a Pre Judgment Claim for Right of Possession and filed a Proof of Service stating that such document was served at the same time the UD complaint was served. If that is all in order, then the judgment and resulting writ of possession should be aganst all occupants, including unamed squatters - that will give the Sherrif the right to evict the squatters.

    Richard A. Rodgers, Esq.
    (805) 230-2525
    rar@sd-attorneys.com
    www.sdresq.com

    As stated in the AVVO.COM Terms and Conditions of Use, this answer is not intended as legal advice, and no attorney-client relationship or privilige is created by this response.