This article was posted on Thursday, Nov 01, 2018

When the eviction process comes to an end, the Sheriff’s office does its part by restoring you to possession of the property and, if necessary, physically removing the ex-tenants.  The Sheriff’s Department has come up with an Eviction Guide, one in which they make more requirements for you to assist in the process.  Here are excerpts from the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department Eviction Guide:


  • If you become aware of any safety concerns that the Sheriff’s Department has not already been informed of, immediately contact the Sheriff’s Court Services Bureau Civil or Field office for your area.
  • Arrive at least 30 minutes prior to the scheduled eviction time but do not approach the property. The agent and locksmith should wait several houses away from the eviction address but should still be able to see when the deputies arrive.  The deputies will arrive in a marked patrol vehicle.  (Managers/agents of large apartment complexes should wait for the deputies at a safe distance from the unit where the eviction is to occur but in a location where they can observe the deputies’ arrival.  Deputies will not go looking for the manager/agent.)
  • Have a key to the property or a locksmith ready with the appropriate equipment to quickly gain entry into the property.  (The deputies will not allow forced entry by such methods as breaking a window, etc.)
  • After the deputies arrive at the eviction address, notify the deputy that you are the agent for the eviction.
  • The agent and locksmith must follow all instructions given by the deputies.  The deputies will advise you when to unlock the property.
  • Be alert at all times during the eviction process, especially when the deputies are inside the property completing their search.


  • Do not inform the occupants of the scheduled eviction time.
  • Do not approach the property until after the deputies arrive.
  • Do not park your car in front of or behind the property.
  • Do not unlock or enter the property before the deputies arrive, even if the property is vacant.  (If the agent is already inside the property when the deputies arrive, the deputies will not restore legal possession to the agent and you will need to begin a new eviction.)
  • Do not enter the property after the deputies arrive until they give you permission to enter.
  • Do not interfere with the deputies during the eviction process.
  • Do not argue with the occupants (if they are present) during the eviction process.
  • Do not ask the deputies for legal advice.  The deputies cannot give legal advice.

 Be also reminded the written eviction date given by the Sheriff’s office is a tentative date only.  What the Sheriff’s office means by “tentative” is that the written eviction date is the earliest that the eviction can occur, but, realistically, we have seen, the actual eviction date is one, two, three, or even more days after the tentative date that was originally given.  Be on standby for the telephone call from the Sheriff during these times.  Do not miss their call.

Ted Smith has spent his entire career exclusively representing rental owners, property managers, and other real estate professionals in California’s unlawful detainer process. Everything landlord/tenant law – A to Z – Ted Smith Law, since 1978. Mr. Smith can be reached at [email protected], or call 619-610-9332. Visit us at

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