How to Evict a Tenant When the House is For Sale

Posted over 2 years ago. Applies to California, 1 helpful vote


Your rental property is for sale. You have a long term tenant that is current with the rent and doesn’t want to leave. But, you need the tenant to vacate the property prior to the close of escrow. Can you evict the tenant? Yes.

Normally, when a tenant has resided at a property for a year or longer, the landlord must serve a 60-day notice. However, where the owner is selling the property, a 30-day notice is all that is required if certain factors are met.

Pursuant to California Civil Code § 1946.1(d), a 30-day notice is proper where:

  1. The property has a separate title from any other property;
  2. The owner has signed a contract to sell the property to a legitimate purchaser for value, and has established an escrow with a licensed escrow agent or real estate broker;
  3. The purchaser is a natural person or persons (not a corporation or LLC);
  4. The notice is given no more than 120 days after the escrow was established;
  5. Notice was not previously given pursuant to section 1946.1(d); and
  6. The buyer intends to reside in the property for at least one full year.

When all these factors are met and the tenant does not vacate the property after a 30-day notice, it doesn't matter how long the tenant has been living on the property, the landlord can commence an unlawful detainer action immediately to regain possession of the property.

Additional Resources

Douglas A. Wright is a partner with Wright, Ryan & Anderson, A Professional Law Corporation. Doug owns and operates, an online eviction service representing property owners and managers throughout California. Contact Mr. Wright at (866) 236-3989 or visit

Rate this guide

Related Topics

Small business LLCs

An LLC (limited liability company) is a business entity that has elements of both a corporation and a partnership (or sole proprietorship).

Property foreclosure

If you miss too many mortgage payments, your lender can start foreclosure proceedings to take ownership of the property, but it has to follow your state's laws.

Avvo advisor logo@2x

Need an answer to your questions within 15 minutes?

  • 15-minute phone call
  • Ask any questions
  • $39 flat fee
  • Money-back guarantee
Talk to an attorney now

Can't find what you're looking for?

Ask span5@2x

Ask a question on our public forum.

Ask a lawyer
Advisor span6@2x

Have an attorney contact you privately.

Right now.

Icon lock@2x
Secure conversation. Your details remain between you and your attorney.
Icon clock@2x
Get an answer guaranteed. Be assured that a lawyer will contact you to help with your legal issue.
Start your session now