Seller Will Not Move
I was recently featured on Inside Edition and Fox News 11 regarding a couple who purchased a house in Riverside, CA. Escrow closed in January, 2020, but the seller and his family have refused to move. Tracie and Myles Albert paid $650,000 for their dream house and to date, they have been refused access to their own home.
For most people, this would seem like an outrageous situation where the law should not allow this to happen. In my career, my firm has handled over 300 of these types of cases and it is much more common than one would believe. The law requires that an unlawful detainer be filed under Code of Civil Procedure Section 1161a. A 3 Day Notice to Quit is served on the former owner and thereafter an unlawful detainer action would be filed.
While my firm did not represent the Albert’s, it would appear that they were prevented from proceeding with an unlawful detainer due to the eviction moratorium. The moratorium was instituted by the Judicial Council for the State of California. This illegally adopted, emergency order prevented most eviction lawsuits from proceeding until it was withdrawn in August, 2020. After that period, the Albert’s were free to pursue their eviction, but unfortunately, they ran into additional roadblocks.
Courts are Slow
The courts in Riverside County, as in most counties, were incredibly slow in processing unlawful detainer actions. The filing of a lawsuit and obtaining a case number would normally take one day. In Riverside, we were experiencing delays of over 30 days. In addition, the courts were reluctant in setting trial dates which further delayed the proceedings.
In the case of Tracie and Myles Albert, they had an original trial date in March, 2021, which has now been continued until June, 2021.
Legal System is Broken
Clearly, the legal system for income property owners has been broken. This system is allowing tenants to occupy a unit without paying rent for 18 months. While the case for the Albert’s is shocking, this same scenario is occurring for thousands of landlords in the State of California. The knee jerk reaction to protect people during this pandemic has trampled on your constitutional rights to own property without it being seized.
Dennis Block, of Dennis P. Block & Associates can be reached for information on landlord/tenant law or evictions at any of the following offices: Los Angeles: 323.938.2868, Encino: 818.986.3147, Inglewood: 310.673.2996, Long Beach: 310.434.5000, Ventura: 805.653.7264, Pasadena: 626.798.1014, Orange: 714.634.8232, San Diego: 619.481.5423 or by visiting www.evict123.com. Now, you can also read Dennis Block on Twitter, www.twitter.com/dennisblock or text him at (818) 570-1557. “Landlord Tenant Radio Weekly Podcasts can be heard at any time at www.EVICT123.com or download the app “EVICT123”.