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Self-Help landlord/tenant (UD)

UD overview

This page has an overview of UD, what an Unlawful Detainer action is, when it can be started, and what a UD can't do . There is information for both landlords and tenants.

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ways to avoid a ud

Agreeing on a date to move out, or a tenant moving out and apparently abandoning the property, may be ways to avoid a UD. Be sure to read about "wrongful eviction" as well.

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for the landlord

Before filing a UD complaint, the landlord must determine if a 3-day, 30-day or 60-day notice is needed, and know certain exceptions. Read about the Notice to Pay Rent or Quit (leave).

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preparing the UD

Information about the format of the UD complaint, the caption, how to name the parties, the body of the complaint, the "prayer for relief," and the necessary disclosures and verifications.

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filing & serving the ud

How to fill out your summons, figure out where to file the complaint and whether it’s time to file the complaint, information about filing fees, how to serve the complaint, and getting a proof of service.

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no response to the UD

Read about the defendant’s (tenant's) rights, the deadline to respond, asking for a default judgment for restitution of the premises, asking for a clerk’s judgment, and asking for money damages.

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for the tenant

Covers filing an answer to the complaint, forms and fees, what happens after you file, what happens if you lose the trial, and how to ask for more time to move (Stay of Eviction).

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settling out of court

Reasons to settle out of court, mediation options, conditional settlement, and how to let the Court know if you reach a settlement (dismissing the case).

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UD Resources

Links to community organizations that provide help to tenants or to landlords, and links to online information about tenant and landlord rights and responsibilities.

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© 2014 Superior Court of California, County of Santa Clara