Generally speaking, there is no difference in evicting a lodger and in evicting a tenant. You need to comply with the strict notice and procedural requirements for an unlawful detainer lawsuit.
There is, however, an exception in the law for a "single lodger".
A "lodger" is a person who lives in a room in a house where the owner lives. The owner can enter all areas occupied by the lodger and has overall control of the house. Under California law, most lodgers have the same rights as tenants. (Civil Code section 1940(a).)
However, in the case of a "single lodger" in a house where there are no other lodgers, the owner can evict the lodger either under normal landlord-tenant unlawful detainer law, or alternatively, without using formal eviction proceedings. The owner can give the lodger written notice that the lodger cannot continue to use the room. The amount of notice must be the same as the number of days between rent payments (usually 30 days).
Service of the notice is the same as for a tenant, per Code of Civil Procedure section 1162 or by certified mail.
Once the owner has given the lodger proper notice and the time has expired, the lodger has no further right to remain in the owner's house and may be removed as a trespasser. A lodger who remains on the premises of an owner-occupied dwelling unit after receipt of a notice terminating the hiring, and expiration of the notice period is guilty of an infraction and may be arrested for the offense by the owner. (Civil Code section 1946.5 and Penal Code section 602.3.)
Frank W. Chen has been licensed to practice law in California since 1988. The information presented here is general in nature and is not intended, nor should be construed, as legal advice for a particular case. This Avvo.com posting does not create any attorney-client relationship with the author. For specific advice about your particular situation, please consult with your own attorney.