Do I need to record a deed to start tenant eviction ?


#1

I recently purchased a property on the steps, but I am somewhat confused as to when do I become an owner of this property. I know that CA Civil Code 2924 says that a recorded Deed with 15 days of the Trustee sale, makes my ownership as of a sale date, but I am told that I am not able to start giving a tenant a 3 day notice or start Unlawful Detainer until after I record a Trustee Deed. Can anyone confirm that please?


#2

Hi Mike,
Normally you would not start an eviction or other legal action until the Trustees Deed if filed. More importantly you need to familiarize yourself with the Protecting Tenants in Foreclosure Act (read more at http://www.foreclosuretruth.com/blog/sean/auction-investors-reo-brokers-and-renters-take-note-significant-change-eviction-notice-req/). If there is a tenant living in the property you are required to give them a 90 day notice to vacate. If it is the owner you do not need to give them 90 days but it may be in your best interest to approach them and see what there intentions are before you march in to evict them. Many banks and auction investors choose the cash for keys approach because you can negotiate the date they will vacate and hopefully insure that they do not do substantial damage to the property.
You may want to first reach out to the occupants and see who it living there and what there intentions are in terms of moving before you worry about a filing legal action.


#3

Just to add to the practical advice Sean gave: Over the years some Judges (if it gets that far) will have wanted you to have the Deed recorded by the time you are filing the Unlawful Detainer Action, others by the time you come to Court. Some will simply let you show the original in Court as proof. None have said it should have been recorded before serving the 3 day Notice.
Fortunately, I have only been involved w. a few evictions that actually go to trial.
To play safe, record the Deed prior to filing the UD.


#4

Have you ever had an opposing party to your eviction claim you have not “duly perfected title” until you’ve recorded the deed? The law that allows for service to relate back 15 days from recording of the deed seems to clarify that if the deed is not recorded within that time frame the service is invalid. Thus, parsing the statute one could easily conclude that one must record the deed in order to commence legal action otherwise title is not “duly perfected”.