Can You Evict Your Relatives With No Rental Agreement in California?

Can You Evict Your Relatives With No Rental Agreement in California?
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When a tenancy involves relatives, the process of eviction may be a bit more concerning for the landlord. However, the legal steps for an eviction remain the same regardless of the family status. According to the Judicial Branch of California, landlords must follow legal steps when evicting a tenant whether there is, or is not, a signed rental agreement. Evicting tenants, even relatives, may be required if there is a failure to pay rent, the details of the tenancy change, illegal activity is taking place or the agreement is violated in some manner.


  • In the state of California, you can evict your relatives, even if you don't have a rental agreement. You will, however, need to follow the state's policies and procedures to evict the relative lawfully.

Failure to Pay Rent

With or without a signed lease agreement, failure to pay rent may lead to an eviction. Landlords may evict their relatives if the tenant did not pay rent on time and three days' notice has been provided to rectify the problem. Eviction notices for nonpayment require advance notice providing the tenant the opportunity to pay rent or move out. Details regarding who, where, when and how the rent should be paid must be included in the notice.

Changes in Tenancy

Tenants are in a weak bargaining position if their landlord objects to changes to a rental agreement. If a relative has changed the tenancy in some way, such as including a roommate in the rental, the landlord has the right to request such change be stopped. If landlord or tenant cannot agree to changes, a notice may be provided by the landlord to quit or move out. The landlord further has the right to provide the tenant with a 30-day notice to move out in order for the landlord himself to move in.

Criminal Activity

A landlord also has the right to evict a tenant when the tenant uses the property for an unlawful purpose. As a result, a three-day notice to vacate the property may be required for relatives who are caught taking part in illegal activities on the property, such as using or selling illegal drugs. This is considered an incurable notice, or one in which the tenant has no other option but to vacate or fight the unlawful detainer case in court.

Failure to Move

A relative who refuses to move, even after the agreement has expired or proper notification has been provided in advance of the move out date, may be evicted. In a month-to-month rental agreement or a weekly agreement, the landlord must provide the tenant with 30 days' notice to terminate the tenancy. Upon proper termination notice, if the tenant refuses to move out the landlord may initiate an unlawful detainer action.