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Evictions and the 2019 Tenant Protection Act in California

California's statewide rent control and eviction protection law has created confusion, even among the experts.

California’s Tenant Protection Act of 2019 (the “TPA”) extended rent caps and just cause eviction protections to tenants statewide, although many properties are exempt. Our article, State-wide Rent Caps and Eviction Control for California as of 2020, gives you the specifics.

Termination Notices and the Unlawful Detainer Complaint

Landlords who wish to terminate the tenancies of tenants who are covered by the TPA must tailor their termination forms so that they correspond to the law’s requirements. And if landlords wish to handle an eviction case themselves, they must use the official (Judicial Council) forms, which were designed pre-TPA. The Council has not published updated forms.

The TPA was written hastily and sloppily. Many issues were not addressed or were handled poorly. We have been struggling to come up with instructions for termination notices and eviction forms that will pass muster with the courts, but the answers are not clear. Even the Judicial Council experts, in trying to amend the unlawful detainer complaint, have stated that they are not sure how to do so in many respects.

Consult an Attorney

Nolo expects to offer revised termination notices shortly, but we cannot give advice on how to complete the Unlawful Detainer Complaint form (UD100), because we don’t know how the Judicial Council will decide critical issues. Anyone using the UD 100 form, which is mandatory, will have to modify or supplement the form to comply with the TPA, but the form itself cannot be edited.

We must advise our readers that filing an unlawful detainer for a tenant subject to the TPA, particularly when evicting for a cause other than rent nonpayment, could be quite frustrating and unsuccessful. At the least, you should consult with a local lawyer who is an expert in landlord-tenant law, who might have some insights and experience in how your local judges are navigating this uncertain landscape.

Effective date: January 1, 2020