“I have a tenant who’s not paying the rent. Do you think I should handle the eviction myself or hire a lawyer?”
Hire an attorney.
Landlord/tenant law in California is very much skewed in the tenant’s favor. If you try to handle the eviction and make the tiniest mistake, your entire eviction could be voided and you’d have to start over.
Because one of my wonderful team members used to be a property manager and also managed in a law office, we do the first step (3 Day Notice to Pay Rent or Quit”) ourselves. But if that doesn’t either get the tenant to pay rent or move, I engage an attorney post-haste.
The typical cost for most simple “unlawful detainer” actions (evictions) is in the $700 to $1000 range.