It happens a lot. You occupy a house with a mortgage and invite renters into your home in order to help save money. It seems like a great idea. You have company, you get extra cash, and everybody is happy.

Yet problems may arise if, as is often the case, the tenant turns out to be difficult. Tenants occupying rooms in a house where the landlord resides have exactly the same protections as any other tenant under California law. You don’t simply put their stuff out on the street, or you could be liable for a whole pile of money.

However, there is one wonderful exception to that general rule. If the house is occupied by the landlord, and a single lodger resides there, then the landlord can give notice equal to the period rent is due. So if it’s a month-to-month rental, the landlord can give thirty days notice, and at the end of it, simply ask the Sheriff to come and remove them. Civil Code Section 1946.5

Not only can the Sheriff remove them quickly, but if they resist, the Sheriff can charge them criminally under Penal Code 602.3!