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How to Evict a Tenant That Won't Leave When Your Home is For Sale

Posted by attorney Douglas Wright

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 provided by the author

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

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