Unauthorized tenants won’t leave

25 Replies

Hi, I have a property in north Hollywood ca that I leased out to a family.

They actually never lived there and were running Airbnb which I didn’t know about. Finally she informed me that she is leaving but she has people in 2 rooms that are not leaving even though she has moved all the other Airbnb furniture out.

How can I get these people who I don’t know and never signed a lease with not collected rent or anything to leave.

They have lived there for many months but I never knew what was going on and the lady o rented to paid me rent up h til now as she was apparently making lots of money renting rooms.

Will cops help me get them out? I don’t even know who is living on my property now. Since my renter us leaving she turned off the utilities too.

The cops won’t remove them since it sounds like they were living there with the permission of your tenant, so it’s not a criminal matter. Unfortunately you’ll need to evict them if they won’t leave voluntarily. You can try paying them to leave (cash for keys), but that might be a hard sell in this case if they’re now living there for free. 

Originally posted by @Sam Abe :

Hi, I have a property in north Hollywood ca that I leased out to a family.

They actually never lived there and were running Airbnb which I didn’t know about. Finally she informed me that she is leaving but she has people in 2 rooms that are not leaving even though she has moved all the other Airbnb furniture out.

How can I get these people who I don’t know and never signed a lease with not collected rent or anything to leave.

They have lived there for many months but I never knew what was going on and the lady o rented to paid me rent up h til now as she was apparently making lots of money renting rooms.

Will cops help me get them out? I don’t even know who is living on my property now. Since my renter us leaving she turned off the utilities too.

 Unfortunately these squatters have the exact same rights as regular tenants do. So you need to evict them the exact same way you would evict a normal tenant. Only this time you will be evicting John & Jane Doe's.

Day one newbie here. I have no experience with rentals (yet) but if you have a rental agreement on paper with one party and someone else is occupying the unit, wouldn't that be trespass? It seems to me that you should have some sort of recourse against the family you leased to, as well as the ability to remove people squatting on the property without your consent. My knee jerk reaction is ask law enforcement to remove them. Of course, this would be after talking with the people and explaining my position. 

Are you required to provide utilities to squatters? Could you shut everything off to persuade them to find better living conditions? Would you be money ahead to put them up in a hotel for a couple weeks to regain possession of your property? 

Originally posted by @Benjamin Tighe :

Day one newbie here. I have no experience with rentals (yet) but if you have a rental agreement on paper with one party and someone else is occupying the unit, wouldn't that be trespass? It seems to me that you should have some sort of recourse against the family you leased to, as well as the ability to remove people squatting on the property without your consent. My knee jerk reaction is ask law enforcement to remove them. Of course, this would be after talking with the people and explaining my position. 

There would be no point in calling law enforcement since what's described here isn't trespassing (at least not in California where the poster's property is located).  These people occupied the property with the tenant's permission and have been living there "for many months".  Based on that, no crime has been committed and all the cops will tell you if you call them is that "it's a civil matter".  Eviction is what is required here to regain control of the property.

damn i learn something new everyday.  

California is very LL unfriendly, helping squatters waste your time and steal money from you.



California does a have a law stating that people who live on a property longer than 30 days are tenants. Unfortunately, as liberal as California is, it’s not the only state with this law.

This means you're pretty much required to inspect your property every 30 days to make sure you don't have squatters.

@Brian R. Tenant we rented to is willing to move and vacated the premises today actually.

Now we are just stuck with someone in our house and don’t know what to do. We don’t have their name contact nothing.

Originally posted by @Sam Abe :

@Brian R. Tenant we rented to is willing to move and vacated the premises today actually.

Now we are just stuck with someone in our house and don’t know what to do. We don’t have their name contact nothing.

Nope   I would not accept the leased tenants to vacate   The property the illegally used as a Airbnb isn’t making them money because of the squatters so they are bailing and you are allowing it   

Evict the leased tenants and all other occupants and don’t accept anything less   It will cost you the same amount of money either way   

If you let them out of the lease what about their deposit?  You are getting into murky waters there   

I know evennin California I would not allow a tenant that did what they did to you to break the lease   I’d hold them to it and evict  

Originally posted by @Brian R. :

@Sam Abe

If it were me I would evict the Tennant you rented to and all other occupants. Since they allowed this and did not turn over possession to you.

Ditto

Originally posted by @Sam Abe :

@Brian R. Tenant we rented to is willing to move and vacated the premises today actually.

Now we are just stuck with someone in our house and don’t know what to do. We don’t have their name contact nothing.

Since your tenant is the lease holder, I'd tell her she's not out until all her peeps are out. I'd file on the tenant name + all occupants and I'd make sure she knew her name is going to be on the  eviction filing. While that would probably fly where I am in Ohio, I sure don't know about the great state of California.

Monday the power and gas with be off as the tenant we rented is claiming she is out. Are we required to turn on power? Will the unauthorized tenant be able I turn it own and continue to live?

I wil contact some lawyers in la.

Because she has airbnbed they are occupying 2 rooms and I just want to get my property back but don’t know how to get her out as the person we rented to has vacated.

Have you met with these people yet? Perhaps you should check if they meet your rental standards. If so, I'd tell them that they need to sign a lease and obey by your terms.

However if you wish to have them gone, you shouldn't need to go through a legal eviction. You don't have any type of agreement with these people and aren't obligated to provide them housing. Technically they are trespassing and have no right to be there.

Does your original lease have any language with your tenant about air bnb sub-leasing? If so perhaps you can hold them accountable for removing the tenants.

As posted above, police will unfortunately not help if they determine this a civil matter (they appear to be tenants) rather than criminal matter (trespass). A cash incentive to leave by a certain date may be an option, but eviction may be your best option and not be relatively bad.

I do not have direct experience in this specific matter, so I strongly suggest you consult an eviction attorney since this is a potentially complex situation. That said, I believe the correct process in California is to immediately serve a properly written 3 Day Notice to Quit to your tenant plus all occupants. The stated reason should be for illegally subletting the unit. You may be able to do this step yourself and observe if the illegal occupants leave. This notice plus the utilities being shut off may motivate them to move on.

If occupancy continues, then I suggest hiring an eviction attorney to file an unlawful detainer in court. Once the complaint is served to the occupants, they may move. Otherwise, they will have to file an answer to the complaint. If they move, then you clean up and deduct whatever you are entitled to from the security deposit. If they do not move and do not answer the complaint, after getting default judgement and a writ of possession and realistically within a couple weeks, you should be able to get sheriffs to physically remove the occupants. If they do not move and answer the complaint, that is where your attorney will hopefully shine.

I'm not certain of this, and your attorney will be able to consult better on this matter, but you may be able to hold the tenant as liable for some or all legal costs.

Good luck and let us know how it turns out.

contact an eviction lawyer is $$$ (I'm evicting one now)

Try this first for a cheaper route...

Work with a realtor/broker to be the "manager" for you. Experience is key. Have the realtor offer a "cash for keys" and see if they will leave the property within a day or so. You might start at $400 with removal in 24 hours. 


If not call the lawyer

You'll have to check with an attorney but I would be trying to file an eviction on the current tenants to remove their stuff and their people. Put it on them to get those people out. They may be more afraid of an eviction than the squatters. Sorry you have to deal with this.

Originally posted by @Benjamin Tighe :

Are you required to provide utilities to squatters? Could you shut everything off to persuade them to find better living conditions? Would you be money ahead to put them up in a hotel for a couple weeks to regain possession of your property? 

Turning off the utilities would be considered a self help eviction behavior. This is a no no. There are no shortcuts here. Just remove the fact that they are squatters from your minds. It does not matter. In the eyes of the law they are your tenants. There is no deviation from the normal process you must use to legally evict them.

Originally posted by @Brian R. :

@Sam Abe

If it were me I would evict the Tennant you rented to and all other occupants. Since they allowed this and did not turn over possession to you.

Ditto. The tenant you rented it to violated the lease by running a business in there.  They are responsible for it.  Do not return their deposit until the house is vacant as there may be damages and the tenant on the lease is responsible.  They can get airBNB involved to help them.

 Your tenant made money off the unit from the BnB and now they might have to pay some of that to deal with this.

The tenant who rented it is turning off the utilities. I would talk to a lawyer. I do not believe you have to turn them on in your name. I am not sure if it is better to let them go off or to turn them to your name however you need to file for eviction ASAP, you are in California, it could take a while. 

Hi Sam,

I'm actually having a very similar problem in North Hollywood right now and wonder if it's the same squatters or associated group. I rented on Airbnb for a few months to a lady in her 50's and her guest is a guy in his 30's with no lease or IDs who leave furniture and materials all over the property, changed the locks, and stopped all communication. They look like druggies and bring similar people to property and over held a u-haul reservation by a few months so I know they don't care about their record. 

They over stayed and Airbnb (who takes about %10 of fees and "verified" this guest before I booked them) is neglecting me in this situation. This got escalated to the Airbnb Safety department who are the only ones that can discuss this case but I call daily about the case and they just hang up on me without giving any needed information.

Now I'm hiring an Airbnb experienced eviction attorney to evict the Airbnb guests with a 3 day notice to pay or quit and a 30 day notice to vacate because it is a non rent control unit. However, another option would be for the owners to evict me and all other occupants for illegally subleasing which might need to happen if the first process doesn't work.