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Evicting a commercial tenant for failure to pay rent

On Behalf of | Jun 23, 2022 | Real Estate Law |

Although commercial evictions have been paused in California due to certain events in the past couple years, it is still important for commercial landlords in California to understand the process of evicting a commercial tenant.


First, you will have to draft a “three-day notice” for your commercial tenant. The notice should state that the tenant has three days to pay the rent they owe in full, or you will evict them. All tenants and subtenants at issue should be included in the notice by name.


Second, you will have to serve the tenant with the three-day notice. You can do so by giving the notice to the tenant in person or giving the notice to a manager. If the tenant is unavailable, it is acceptable to post the notice on the front door of the unit. You will also want to mail a copy of the notice to the tenant.

Proof of service

After you serve the tenant, you will want to execute a “proof of service” form. This form lists the date you served the tenant with the three-day notice. An attorney can assist with this.


Once served, you must wait three days for the tenant to pay what they owe. If the tenant gives you a partial payment, accept it, but let the tenant know in writing that just because you accepted the partial payment does not mean the eviction is off. If the tenant pays what they owe in full, you must accept it and cannot move forward with the eviction process.

Unlawful detainer

After three days have passed, you will want to file an unlawful detainer to begin the formal eviction process and serve the tenant with notice that you filed for eviction. An attorney can assist with this.

The eviction process

The tenant has five days to contest the eviction. If the tenant does not contest, you can seek a judgment for possession.

The sheriff will put a “five-day notice to vacate” on the front door of the business. If the tenant is still there after five days, the sheriff can lock the tenant out of the premises.

Learn more about commercial evictions

You will want to familiarize yourself with the eviction process should you need to evict a commercial tenant in the future. Attorneys can be a useful resource in such situations.




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