Forthcoming Amended Unlawful Detainer Law May Have Negative Impacts for Landlords

On Jan. 1, 2017, California Assembly Bill (AB) 2819 goes into effect. This bill, amending California Code of Civil Procedure 1161.2, and adding new California Code of Civil Procedure 1167.1, will dramatically interfere with a landlord’s ability to speedily and effectively conclude an unlawful detainer proceeding and additionally impact a landlord’s ability to obtain an applicant’s prior unlawful detainer (UD) history.

According to our own UD legal expert, Dean Sperling, this law brings with it three potential negative impacts for clients involved in UD matters:

  1. Prevents landlords from being able to obtain an accurate rental/eviction history of their applicants. This will negatively impact landlords as it will make them more susceptible to “vexatious litigants” or “career tenants.”
  2. Defendants will no longer have incentive to settle their cases expediently (as in the past settling a case within 60 days could keep the matter sealed).
  3. May encourage defendants to elongate the UD process (through meritless motions or other means) due to the fact that, if they can delay the entry of a default judgment for at least 60 days from the initial UD filing, they can prevent the lawsuit from becoming a public record.
  4. Landlords will have to take extra steps (perhaps obtaining an order to post and mail the summons & complaint) where a tenant is avoiding service as the court has the option to dismiss an unlawful detainer case should a proof of service not be on file within 60 days of the filing of the complaint.

In any case, it looks like 2017 might be a bit unhappier New Year for some unlawful detainer matters. If you need good legal advice on the very latest updates in unlawful detainer matters or lease disputes, contact Dean Sperling Law who will get your matter resolved with YOUR best interests in mind.
More on the Case

Assembly Bill No. 2819