California law adds unique twists to evictions from nursing homes and assisted living facilities.
First, the operator/landlord may only evict residents for the following reasons, as set forth in California Code of Regulations, Title 22 § 87224:
- Failure to pay rent within 10 days of the due date;
- Failure to comply with state or local criminal law after receiving notice of a violation;
- Failure to follow the facility’s written policies;
- The facility’s inability to meet the resident’s changing care needs; or
- The facility has changed its operating purpose or surrendered its license.
Unlike standard eviction cases where a three-day notice may suffice, assisted-living evictions require a 30-day notice (or 60-day notice if the resident has lived there for more than a year). However, the licensing agency may allow the facility to post a 3-day notice if the resident demonstrates a health or safety threat.
The notice itself is also unique. Its specific requirements are contained in Health & Safety Code § 1569.683, and include the following:
- The effective date of the eviction;
- A list of resources that may help the resident identify alternative housing and care options;
- A statement describing the resident’s right to file a complaint with the department regarding the eviction, with the name, address, and telephone number of the nearest office of community care licensing and the State Ombudsman;
- The following statement, verbatim: “In order to evict a resident who remains in the facility after the effective date of the eviction, the residential care facility for the elderly must file an unlawful detainer action in superior court and receive a written judgment signed by a judge. If the facility pursues the unlawful detainer action, you must be served with a summons and complaint. You have the right to contest the eviction in writing and through a hearing.”
Note that the “effective date of the eviction” requirement actually requires the administrator to calculate the end of the 30- or 60-day period, and list that in the notice. Administrators should therefore keep in mind that this includes 30/60 full days, so the first day is the day after the notice is served, and the “effective date” is the 31st/61st day. Precision is necessary.
Once the notice is prepared, the administrator should photocopy it and serve it upon the resident in accordance with California law. The service requirements are the same as any other eviction, except the licensee must also mail a copy of the notice to the resident’s responsible person.
This adds a few new twists to the already cumbersome eviction process, so administrators are advised to seek qualified representation in handling these matters.