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Ways to Avoid a UD Action

This page tells you about:  

  1. Avoid a UD when landlord and tenant agree on the tenant moving out
  2. Avoid a UD when landlord believes the tenant has moved out  
  1. Agree on tenant moving out:

    You can avoid an Unlawful Detainer action if you agree that the tenant can move out. This agreement ends the relationship between the landlord and the tenant. The tenant and landlord have to agree on the day that the tenant will move out.

    If you don’t agree on a day, the landlord might not be able to move in. And, the tenant might have to pay extra rent, even after moving out.

    You don’t have to agree on how much money someone owes. You can work that out later. But, write down anything that you agree to before moving out. Both of you should sign this paper.

  2. Tenant moves out:

    If rent is overdue for 14 days or more and the landlord thinks the tenant moved out, the landlord can send the tenant a Notice of Belief of Abandonment. The tenant has 15 days if someone served them in person or 18 days if someone sent a notice by mail to:

    • Pay all or a part of the rent. All the rent is the rent due until the date the notice says the lease ends, or

    • Send a notice, in writing that says they didn’t mean to leave. The tenant has to give an address to get service. For an unlawful detainer, service can be by certified mail.

    If the tenant doesn’t answer the notice, the landlord can move back in or rent the place to someone else. The landlord doesn’t have to file an Unlawful Detainer action to do this.

    But, the landlord should be very careful. The tenant can sue the landlord for “wrongful eviction”. This can happen if the rent wasn’t overdue for 14 days. Or, if the landlord had no reason to think that the tenant moved out.

More Self-Help Tenant/Landlord/UD pages on this website:

© 2014 Superior Court of California, County of Santa Clara