The eviction process is often misunderstood. Landlords often falsely believe they can evict their tenant immediately for any violation of the lease. Tenants often falsely believe that they cannot be evicted no matter how many times they violate the lease.
This area of law is often filled with lots of emotion. Landlords want their tenants to follow the rules, and most importantly, want a tenant that pays the rent of time. Tenants often feel their rights are being violated and therefore they do not have to pay the rent.
Who is right often depends on the location of the rental property. For example, in San Francisco, the rent ordinance has tremendous power. Units built before 1979 enjoy strong protection for the tenants. Units built after 1979 enjoy strong protection from the landlord. No matter where or when the unit was built, all rental property in California is governed by the state law. Regardless of whether you live in San Francisco, or in any of the surrounding counties in the San Francisco Bay Area, evictions can be complicated. No matter how straight forward a case may seem, it can often take over a month to go through the procedural process.
Due to the various laws that may or may not apply, landlords and tenants should always consult an attorney before any eviction or legal action is taken. If a landlord attempts to evict a tenant, and does not follow the law, in certain situations the landlord may face a monetary penalty. On the other hand, if a tenant believes they do not have to follow an eviction notice, that tenant may soon find themselves without a place to live. The lesson here is simple, talk to an attorney and figure out what the laws says before you do anything.