How Long Does It Take for a Sheriff Lockout in California?

How Long Does It Take for a Sheriff Lockout in California?
How Long Does It Take for a Sheriff Lockout in California?

Evicting a tenant can take several months. If the tenant doesn’t object to this, it’s best between 35 and 60 days. However, if a tenant opposes the eviction, it can take longer. Then the court will issue an eviction document notifying residents that they must be out at a specific date and time. Sheriffs post orders on their doorstep, ensure they are removed from the specified property and schedule a lockdown meeting with the landlord/owner.

California Eviction Sheriff Lockout Stage – an Overview

This step comes after you have won at trial and the judge has granted possession back to you. Remember, this step is only necessary if the tenant STILL hasn’t moved out even after they have had their day in court.

After the court grants you the writ of possession, you must take it to the sheriff’s office and fill out other forms that lets the sheriff know of any danger they might find at the property such as guns, gang activity, dogs or anything else that would make the lockout difficult or dangerous for the officers.

The sheriff then posts a 5 day notice on the property to give the tenant one last shot of moving out on their own.

The sheriff will typically give you a small time frame for when they will show up to the property to perform the lockout such as 9 to 11 am. Here are some tips you should consider on the day the California eviction sheriff lockout is performed.

  • Meet the sheriff on time! They request you be there 30 minutes in advance of the scheduled appointed time. We suggest you clear your schedule to make sure everything goes according to plan and you get your property back.
  • Take a locksmith with you in case the tenant has changed the locks. If this is the case, the locksmith can properly open the door and let the sheriff in. The sheriff will not break in or let you break into the property.
  • Sheriff typically enters the rental property and secures the perimeter, making sure there is nobody hiding. Step back and let the sheriffs do their job at a safe distance.
  • Sheriff will escort anyone on the property out and let you know when it’s safe to enter your property.
  • If the tenant leaves personal belongings behind, you can check out our video “What to do if tenant leaves personal property behind after eviction in California” for full details on what to do next!
How Long Does It Take for a Sheriff Lockout in California?
How Long Does It Take for a Sheriff Lockout in California?

See also: Eviction: What Not to Do When Evicting a Tenant


The sheriff lockout is the final step in a tenant’s eviction proceedings. Once a tenant receives a notice to vacate, they have only five days to leave the premises before the sheriff’s deputies may arrive and force the tenants to go, then change the locks on the dwelling.

Understand the Eviction Process

Eviction in California begins with tenants getting a three-day notice telling them to pay or quit. If they don’t pay rent due within three days, including weekends and holidays, this process will continue. Even worse, if the rent is paid after three days, the landlord can decide not to accept it and continue the eviction process. The landlord can also give a tenant notice that he or she must move within a 30- or 60-day period if the tenant is renting monthly or provide such notice 30 to 60 days before the end of the job. to rent. contract.

If the rent is not paid or the tenant does not leave, the landlord can go to court to file an eviction notice, called an illegal detention complaint. Then, the complaint is sent to the tenant, who has only five days to respond in writing to the court clerk. The time frame will be extended to 15 days if another party accepts the complaint on behalf of the tenant. Tenants are allowed to contest the eviction, but they must have valid protections, such as proof of rent payment within the three-day notice period, legal issues with the notice. or evidence that the landlord discriminated against them. If the tenant does not respond promptly, a judge will make a default judgment in favor of the landlord.

Issuing Writ of Possession

Once the court gives a judgment to the landlord in unlawful detention, the landlord can ask the court to issue a certificate of ownership (real property). Landlords may have to wait up to three days before they can go to the court clerk’s office to fill out the written instructions and pay the sheriff’s fee, which is currently $145. The secretary then passes the instructions and the fee to the sheriff’s office along with the text. As California, the court website notes, “The sheriff gives priority to deportations.” The deputy sheriff’s deputies will post a move notice and contact the landlord the previous day or eviction date so the landlord can sign the property. However, if the landlord decides to give the tenant more time, they must formally cancel the eviction.

Performing the Lockout

Tenants in sheriff lockout cannot carry much of the minimum personal property with them, though they can take out their belongings any time of the previous five days. Anything left is still kept safe by the landlord for 15 days. If a tenant wants to get their property back, they must pay the landlord a reasonable cost for storage. If they do not reclaim the property within 15 days, the landlord can sell it at a public sale or if it is determined that the property is worth less than $ 300, the landlord can keep it. Fortunately, tenants have a prior chance to contest eviction before receiving notice to move.

One Last Option

Tenants have one last option to delay the eviction. They can request an old court hearing from the court five days after they get the vacancy notice, but they must notify the landlord of that hearing by 10:00 am the day before. However, the tenant must have a good reason to ask for additional time.

Have additional questions about sheriff lockout? You can let us know in the comments or call for a free consultation.

See also: How long does it take to evict a tenant in California?

At Lynx Legal Service, help on any of the issues discussed in this article is simply a click or phone call away. Email or call our office at (888) 441-2355 to discuss your questions for a free evaluation of your case.

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