California Code of Civil Procedure 1161


The California Code of Civil Procedure 1161 regards possession of real property by a tenant or executor or administrator of an estate, and the grounds under which said persons will be guilty of unlawful detainer.  These circumstances include when a person stays in a residence despite the lease or agreement’s expiration, cancellation or termination. This also concerns a person occupying premises as a servant, employee, agent or licensee after the lawful termination or expiration of the agreement for occupancy. The code states that nothing shall prevent the tenant from being moved from the premises lawfully, unless in tenancy at will, which therefore requires termination by notice.

The code also outlines other situations that may fall under its jurisdiction, including a person staying without permission of a landlord after defaulting on rent payments or failing to honor the terms of the lease by withholding payment or subleasing the property. The code outlines how the landlord shall submit a request for payment or submit an eviction notice. The payment guidelines are included, as are how the notice shall be made (within one year after rent becomes due). The code also contains provisions for tenancy involving agricultural lands, and under what circumstances the tenant shall not be guilty of unlawful detainer for a particular year. Once a tenant receives notice, they have three days upon receipt of the notice to correct their violation.

Also included in the code is a tenant committing waste upon the premises (being a public nuisance, for example) or improperly subleases the property; the lease terminates if these conditions are met. The code outlines how the landlord must give notice and the number of days given to the tenant to correct the issue. The code addresses commercial real estate property and the default in the tenant’s paying of rent, with rules regarding the number of days available to pay rent, if the amount owed is an estimate and not an approximation, and acceptance of partial payment of rent. In this code, “commercial real estate” is defined as any buildings in the state of California that are not mobile homes or recreational vehicles.

The issues regarding court files of landlord and tenant court actions are covered in the code. The code outlines several factors which must be met for an individual to have access to said records, such as being a party to the action, furnishing the name of at least one plaintiff and one defendant in the action, plus the premises it concerns, and other conditions attorneys or individuals must meet to view the records. Further, the code discusses how the court shall notice defendants in the action upon filing of a case for unlawful detainer (eviction) and what their notice shall require. Required in the notice is a statement about the State Bar of California’s lawyer referral services, the name and telephone number of the county bar association, contact information for a federal legal help service, and a statement regarding the unavailability of the file for 60 days after filing except to authorized persons as denoted above.

The conditions under which a landlord may not terminate a lease or refuse to renew a lease are outlined in the code. These conditions include a tenant or member of the tenant’s household that has experienced the following: domestic violence, stalking, sexual assault, or abuse of an elder or dependent adult, provided they meet certain requirements. These conditions must have documentation including a temporary restraining order, emergency protective order, or protective order issued within the last 180 days, a copy of a police report from the last 180 days stating the tenant or member of the tenant’s household has filed a report alleging they were the victim of domestic violence, stalking, sexual assault, or abuse of an elder or dependent adult. The person who is alleged to have committed the acts must not be a tenant of the filing party’s dwelling unit.

The code continues that a landlord may terminate or refuse to renew a lease if certain conditions are met. One of the following conditions must be met: If a tenant allows the individual against whom a protective order was issued into the premises or if the landlord believes the individual against whom the protective order was issued poses a threat to other tenants on the premises, and the landlord previously gave three days notice to the tenant to change the situation. The code also discusses the meanings of “manufactured home,” “mobile home,” and “floating home,” and how the tenants of these dwellings and real property may be removed.  In the case of foreclosure on a rental unit on a month-to-month lease, the code states that a tenant or subtenant must be given 90 days notice to leave the premises and how if a tenant is on a fixed rental lease, then they shall retain occupancy to the premises, and the lease shall still be valid under the foreclosure, until the end of lease term. There are certain conditions under which the lease may be terminated with 90 days notice after foreclosure of the premises and these are listed in the code.  The items and language needed for the cover sheet required when giving notice upon foreclosure on residential property is detailed in the code.  Additionally, the conditions under which no cover sheet is needed are also included. This code is in effect until December 31, 2019, and is used by the court, tenants, landlords and their legal representatives concerning residency in a property.


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