Unlawful Detainer: Evictions Pending Appeal

Landlords who successfully litigate unlawful detainer actions should think twice before evicting the tenant from the premises.  This is because tenants normally have a right to appeal the judgment.  Indeed, this issue was front and center in Breach Break Equities, LLC v. Lowell.

The facts of the case are simple.  The trial court entered judgment against the tenant and issued a writ of possession.  Subsequently, the tenant appealed the judgment.  Nonetheless, while the appeal was pending the landlord evicted the tenant from the premises and sold the tenant’s property to a third party.  (See Breach Break Equities, LLC v. Lowell  (2016) 6 Cal.App.5th 847, 850-51.)

The California Court of Appeal heard the case and reversed the possession order.  Moreover, because the landlord prematurely evicted the tenant the Court of Appeal ordered that the tenant was entitled to restitutionary damages.  (Id. at 850.)

Thus, the lesson is simple.  Tenants generally have at least 60 days to appeal a decision in an unlawful detainer action.  Accordingly, it would be in the landlord’s best interest to let the process play out before removing tenants from the premises.   In fact, Breach Break Equities LLC v. Lowell summarized it best: a “landlord [who] evicts a tenant before the appellate rights of the tenant have been exhausted… assumes the risk it will be subject to a full accounting and restitution if the judgment granting the writ of possession is reversed on appeal.” (Id. at 853.)

Of course there are many other factors that go into to a landlord’s decision to evict before the appeal period and it still can make sense.  Everything is fact specific.

Our real estate attorneys in Los Angeles have a great deal of experience with unlawful detainer actions, and appeals.  To schedule a consultation with an attorney at Schorr Law, please do not hesitate to contact us by giving us a call at (310) 954-1877, or emailing us at info@schorr-law.com.  You can also send us a message by using our Contact Form.

By Randy Aguirre, esq.

Click on the categories below to read more unlawful detainer posts. 

Share Button
Posted in Commercial Lease, Commercial Lease Unlawful Detainer, Leases, Real Estate Attorney Los Angeles, Residential Lease, Residential Lease Unlawful Detainer, Writ of Possession

Zachary D. Schorr’s Expert Appearance on the Dr. Phil Show

Zachary D. Schorr’s Expert Appearance on ABC’s Nightline

Contact Schorr Law

Super Lawyers

Zachary Schorr Superlawyers

Zachary D. Schorr has been named to the Southern California Super Lawyers (Rising Stars) list for attorneys in Real Estate for 5 straight years - 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016. Each year, no more than 2.5 percent of the lawyers in the state receive this honor. In 2016 he was also included as one of the top 100 lawyers in Southern California in this category. The selection for this respected list is made by the research team at Super Lawyers.

Need Representation?

If you are currently involved in a real estate dispute, either commercial real estate or residential, and are looking for a Real Estate Attorney in Los Angeles with a cost-effective, results oriented approach designed to meet your case's specific needs, contact the attorneys at Schorr Law. Our real estate firm has the specific knowledge and experience necessary to get you the best possible results.

AVVO 10.0

Zachary Schorr Avvo Rating

Avvo Clients’ Choice Award Recipient

Zachary Schorr Avvo Client's Choice Award