Best way to evict month to month tenant after home purchase

Asked by RRichards, Los Angeles, CA Sun Mar 23, 2008

I purchased a duplex in Hollywood, CA with one remaining tenant. She is month to month and I was told by former owner that tenant prefers to go to court over every matter. I want to renovate the building and move my daughters into each unit. The duplex is in great need of new electrical, plumbing, heating,etc. I served a 30 day notice to vacate, I gave my home address, phone,etc. Tenant refused service, neighbor removed notice taped to door, notice was sent registered mail (she refused to sign) and today I received a letter from her telling me the notice was void because I did not include a copy of my purchase agreement and she has retained a lawyer. She is refusing to move.
She will not take my calls as she recently changed her number and will only accept written letters, no email. She knows the system. She also refuses to let me do any repairs. She has been a tenant for 2 years with last year as month to month. What to do next?

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Saurabh Sethi’s answer
Saurabh Sethi, , Los Feliz, Los Angeles, CA
Tue Feb 8, 2011
Hire an attoreny. It is relatively inexpensive compared to the loss you are incurring having no rent being paid (I am assuming they are not paying, but there are a lot of details that would help, and a lawyer will definately be useful).
Also, I am a member of the Beverly HIlls Bar, I could refer a great attorney if you like.

Good Luck,
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0 votes
James Gordon…, Agent, Hamilton, OH
Sun Mar 23, 2008
It is time to retain an atttorney to get her out.

I know that hindsight is 20/20 but you should have written into your purchase contract "property to be delivered vacant" and not accepted it with tenants if your intention was to rehab and put family in it.

Good luck but whoever removed the notice posted on the door violated the law.
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3 votes
L.A. Real Es…, , Los Angeles, CA
Sun Mar 23, 2008
Hi RRichard,
I'm so sorry about the difficulties you are facing. Our office handles property management and have been faced with similar experiecnes. Please know, this is not a matter for you to handle alone. As the other experts have mentioned, you should talk to an attorney, an attorney who specializes in real estate and evictions. Hollywood is under rent control and it is very difficult to make changes (increase in rent, evict, etc) within the rent control policy. You may end up paying tenant relocation fees, however certain "loopholes" may include family moving into the property. That's when a good lawyer can help!
Good Luck to you,
Lou & Alex
LA Real Estate Group
3 votes
I agree, this one is not an easy one. It can be very difficult in some cities of LA:( Now banks started to auction their houses with tenants in them. Buyers think twice before buying a property with tenant(s)!
Flag Thu May 22, 2014
L.A. Real Es…, , Los Angeles, CA
Sat Apr 5, 2008
Hi again,
I just wanted to add that our office works with several Real Estate Lawyers, so if you do need a referral, we would be happy to offer you a couple of names. Just shoot us an email to let us know.
Good Luck
Lou & Alex
LA Real Estate Group
2 votes
Dot Chance, Agent, Burbank, CA
Sun Mar 23, 2008
I'm so sorry for your trouble! I agree with the answer below, you definitely need to hire an attorney, one that is an expert in evictions. It doesn't sound like she will go easy. You may end up having to pay her to move! I hope not, but if she knows the system she will drag this out as long as she can.
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1 vote
., , Los Angeles, CA
Mon Feb 7, 2011
All other answers thus far are great bits of advice. Dennis Block is a strong eviction lawyer and you may want to connect with the Apartment Owners Association at They have good resources for these circumstances. Please do keep at it alone. you may need to retain an eviction lawyer moving forward. Also connect with the Rent Control Department by dialing 311, they will get you to the right people.

Sorry for this circumstance,
Renee’ Kische
Keller Williams Hollywood Hills
0 votes
Josh Morrow, Agent, Beverly Hills, CA
Tue Jan 19, 2010
0 votes
Juliette Tor…, , Los Angeles County, CA
Wed Dec 9, 2009
You Do need a lawyer, It is unfortunate that you were not told that tenants have rights. There are a number of reasons to have your tenants evicted though.. Do not try to do it yourself, Call Dennis Block, I have used him TWICE with great results.This lawyer serves ONLY owners.

Good Luck !

Juliette Torres
Prudential CA Realty
Ca LIc # 01731225
0 votes
I also use Mr. Block. He is located very close to your property( if you need to meet him). Flat fee makes his service very attractive. Good luck!
Flag Thu May 22, 2014
Selling Buyi…, Agent, Los Angeles, CA
Sun May 17, 2009
I agree with most comments on here in your particular case, this is ugly but very common.
Being in this mess, I guess nothing was contingent in a Counter Offer that all tenants to move on close of escrow.
The Counter offer should have the following contingency clause:
COE. / Close of Escrow contingent to seller delivering the property vacant, you may be still in escrow at this point, but you wouldn’t have to deal this never ending nightmare.
I am sure that you realize that you need to get legal advise from a Real Estate-Eviction Attorney.

0 votes
Bill Eckler, Agent, Venice, FL
Sun Jul 6, 2008
Begin the work.....maybe the noise, dust, construction activity etc. will clear her mind...................At the same time go the legal route, contact an attorney.

Good luck,
The "Eckler Team"
0 votes
Jim Finseth, , Hermosa Beach, CA
Sun Jul 6, 2008
A lot depends upon whether or not the property is in rent-controlled area. I am surprised your agent did not specify the unit be delivered vacant if that was your intention. Hopefully you have a large security deposit. A RE attorney is your best bet at this point. Good luck.
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