Evicting Lodgers from Hired Rooms

Two laws, Civil Code 1946.5 and Penal Code 602.3, establish procedures for the removal of "lodgers", as defined by those laws.

  1. Some of the important aspects of this law are:

  2. A "Lodger" is a person who rents a room from the owner of a dwelling unit
    (house, Condominium, etc) who personally occupies the dwelling and retains control over the entire premises.

  3. Termination of the arrangement may be done by either party giving written notice
    to the other of his/her intention to terminate at least seven days, but not more than thirty days, before the date of the termination. In cases of month to month tenancies at least thirty days notice must be given . (Civil Code 1946)

The notice shall be given by one of the following methods:

A. Personally

B. By substitute service and mailing a copy

C. By posting and mailing a copy (Code of Civil Procedures 1162) or

D. By certified or registered mail, restricted delivery with a return receipt requested

Upon expiration of the notice, any right of the lodger to remain in any part of the dwelling is terminated. He/she may be removed pursuant to Penal Code 602.3, or other applicable provisions of law.

  1. A lodger who remains on the premises is guilty of an infraction. 

  2. The lodger may be arrested by the owner pursuant to Penal Code 837 (Private
    Persons Authority to Arrest). The deputy does not make the arrest. However,
    refusal by any peace officer to receive the arrested person will be in violation of
    Penal Code 142 (a).
     

  3. If the lodger is issued a citation for refusing to leave, the deputy is not precluded
    from also removing the person from the premises.
     

  4. Any personal property left on the premises following the lodgers' removal will be
    stored by the property owner in the same manner as other writ of possession
    cases.
     

  5. Removal of the lodger under the authority of Penal Code 602.3 only applies to
    owner occupied dwellings where a single lodger resides.
     

Section 1946.5 was added to the Civil Code to read:

The hiring of a room by a lodger on a periodic basis within a dwelling unit occupied by the Owner may be terminated by either party giving written notice to the other of his or her intention to terminate the hiring as specified in Section 1946. The notice shall be given in a manner prescribed in Section 1162 of the Code of Civil Procedure or by certified or registered mail, restricted delivery, to the other party, with a return receipt requested.

(b) Upon expiration of the notice period provided in the notice of termination given pursuant to subdivision (a), any right of the lodger to remain in the dwelling unit or any part thereof is terminated by operation of law. The lodger's removal from the premises may thereafter be effective pursuant to the provisions of Section 602.3 of the penal code or other applicable provisions of law.

(c) As used in this section, "lodger" means a person contracting with the owner of a dwelling unit for a room or room and board within the dwelling unit personally occupied by the owner, where the owner retains a right of an access to all areas of the dwelling unit occupied by the lodger and has overall control of the dwelling unit.

(d) This section applies only to owner-occupied dwellings where a single lodger resides. Nothing in this section shall be construed to determine or affect in any way the rights of persons residing as lodgers in an owner-occupied dwelling where more than one lodger resides.

Section 602.3 was added to the Penal Code to read:

(a) A lodger who is subject to Section 1946.5 of the Civil Code and who remains on the premises of an owner-occupied dwelling unit after receipt of a notice terminating the hiring, and expiration of the notice period, provided in Section 1946.5 of the Civil Code is guilty of an infraction and may, pursuant to Section 837, be arrested by the owner for the offense. Notwithstanding Section 853.5, the requirement of that section for release upon a written promise to appear shall not preclude an assisting peace officer from removing the person from the owner-occupied dwelling unit.

(b) The removal of a lodger from a dwelling unit by the owner pursuant to subdivision (a) is not a forcible entry under the provisions of Section 1159 of the Code of Civil Procedure and shall not be a basis for civil liability under that section.

(c) Chapter 5 (commencing with Section 1980) of Title 5 Part 4 of Division 3 of the Civil Code applies to any personal property of the lodger which remains on the premises following the lodger's removal from the premises pursuant to this section.

(d) Nothing in this section shall be construed to limit the owner's right to have a lodger removed under other provisions of law.

(e) Except as provided in subdivision (b), nothing is this section shall be construed to limit or affect in any way any cause of action an owner or lodger may have for damages for any breach of the contract of the parties respecting the lodging.

(f) This section applies only to owner-occupied dwellings where a single lodger resides. Nothing in this section shall be construed to determine or affect in any way the rights of persons residing as lodgers in an owner-occupied dwelling where more than one lodger resides.