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California Unlawful Detainer Assistant Bond

What is an unlawful detainer assistant bond?

An unlawful detainer assistant (UDA) bond is required if a tenant or landlord is hiring you to help them during the eviction process. Getting an unlawful detainer assistant bond is one of the first steps in the eviction process and may be necessary as part of your state and county licensing requirements. Individual states determine whether or not a UDA bond is required and how much the policy amount must be.

How much does an unlawful detainer assistant bond cost?

The cost of an unlawful detainer bond is a small percentage of the bond's full policy amount. In California, a $25,000 UDA bond costs $299 for two years. Check with your state and county to see your jurisdiction’s licensing and bonding requirements before starting a business as a UDA. For example, the requirements in California can be found on the county clerk/recorder website. Visit these pages if you want to become an unlawful detainer assistant in Los Angeles County, San Diego County, or Sacramento County.

Why do UDAs need surety bonds?

Unlawful detainer bonds assure clients you will render the agreed upon services and operate under the jurisdiction’s laws. These bonds protect consumers from potential losses you may cause and hold you accountable for your business decisions.

What does unlawful detainer mean?

An unlawful detainer action refers to the court process by which a landlord is attempting to evict a tenant and/or collect rent owed. If the tenant has not paid rent and refuses to voluntarily vacate a residence after receiving notice from the landlord, that tenant is unlawfully staying in the residence.

What does an unlawful detainer assistant do?

A UDA is an individual or entity who is paid to provide assistance or advice in unlawful detainer actions. Because the process of preparing for an eviction lawsuit can be complicated and confusing, landlords and/or tenants may seek help. UDAs may be hired by tenants or landlords to not only help them fill out paperwork but also to let them know the steps necessary during the eviction process.

UDAs are similar to legal document assistants (LDAs) and are regulated the same way in some states. For example, in California, unlawful detainer assistants and legal document assistants can conduct the following tasks:

  • Prepare, provide, and file legal documents
  • Assist clients who are representing themselves
  • Prepare files and serve motions
  • Provide litigation support
  • Do legal research for clients
  • Open their own business

UDAs vs lawyers

It is important to note that UDAs are not attorneys and cannot practice law. They are also not paralegals, who operate under the supervision of attorneys. Unlike paralegals, UDAs can offer legal document preparation services directly to consumers. Often, tenants and landlords use UDAs instead of attorneys because lawyers are more expensive. UDAs must often complete continuing legal education as part of their licensing process if required by their state.

How do unlawful detainer assistant bonds work?

The principal — Unlawful Detainer Assistant — purchases the bond from a surety company in order to protect the consumer — the obligee. If the UDA does not do what is promised, the bond will protect the consumer. The surety will pay the obligee what is owed, and the UDA must reimburse the surety company.

The Simple Bonding Process

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