What can we do about a person renting a room that doesn't pay? Can they be kicked out without going to court?
3 attorney answers
Agree with the first two answers. To be safe she might offer to mediate, but give very short time for lodger to accept. If she does not accept, file immediately. File a 3-day notice immediately if not already filed.
As Mr. Chen mentioned, this person may qualify as a lodger. However, it's really hit-or-miss as to whether the sheriff would enforce the lodger rule. The landlord may need to file an unlawful detainer (eviction) case in court against this person.
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You will most likely have to file an unlawful detainer action if this person does not voluntarily leave. It appears this person may be 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.)
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