California Evictions Much Faster and More Frequent Than Previously Thought
Evictions in California are three times more common than previously thought, according to a new report by statewide renter organization Tenants Together. Using previously unpublished data from the state Judicial Council, the organization found that an average of 166,337 households, averaging 2.9 residents each, received unlawful detainers every year for the last three years.
The analysis also found that, contrary to common belief, "eviction court cases move through the system at breakneck speed." While other civil cases can take years to resolve, state records show that 75 percent of eviction cases are decided within 45 days, and nearly 60 percent within a month.
The data is broken down by county in Tenants Together's report, California Evictions are Fast and Frequent, and visualized in an interactive map by the Anti-Eviction Mapping Project. The report helps fill in the gaps from national data released by the Eviction Lab, led by sociologist Matthew Desmond—which identified only 43,000 evictions in the state last year.
Still, when it comes to displacement, a big piece of the picture is missing: Evictions that occur outside of court. And that may be the majority of cases, the report warns: "For every tenant facing a court filed eviction, there are others displaced from their homes who do not show up in court filing data." The organization estimates that, when all variables are accounted for, over a million tenants might be evicted each year.