A landlord must prove cause in an action for unlawful detainer (an eviction procedure that may be referred to as summary dispossess, summary possession, ejectment, forcible detainer or repossession). An action for unlawful detainer is a court action seeking relief when someone who is in possession of an apartment or leased property, refuses to leave the premises upon the expiration or termination of the lease. In most instances an unlawful detainer action is used when the lease is terminated due to nonpayment of rent.
In an unlawful detainer action the landlord must prove:
1. The landlord has a right to possession of the apartment; and
2. The tenant violated the lease or stayed in the apartment after the lease ended; and
3. The landlord has properly ended the lease by serving written notice, referred to as an eviction notice; and
4. There is rent due (if the reason for eviction is nonpayment of rent); and
5. The landlord has properly filed suit.