Free Notice Forms
In most cases, in order for a Landlord to initiate the eviction process, California law requires all persons residing in the Premises to be served with a Notice. The most common types of Notices are discussed below. Landlords who rent to Tenants with Housing Vouchers, Section 8 Certificates or other Federal or State subsidized rent programs are subject to different Notice requirements than those discussed here. Please call our office for further information.
If preparation or service of the Notice is done incorrectly or not at all and the Tenant raises it as a defense, the Court will dismiss the Landlord's eviction lawsuit on a technicality and the Tenant will prevail at Court and remain in possession of the premises.
Notices to require a resident to comply with a certain lease term are more complicated and should be drafted by an attorney. Our Firm can assist you with preparation of a compliance Notice (also known as a Cure Covenant Notice) for a reasonable flat fee.
Disclaimer: David S. Schonfeld, A Professional Law Corporation provides these free Notice forms as a courtesy to you. We are not advising you or giving you any specific legal advice and you are ultimately responsible for the proper use of any given Notice form.
Preparing the Proper Notice
This Notice is used when the Tenant has failed to pay the full rent due and owing for the particular rental period. All Tenants named in the rental agreement must be listed on the Notice. The complete property address and county must be on the Notice including the apartment number of the unit if applicable. Finally, the exact amount of rent must be demanded in the Notice without any additional amounts for late charges, interest or other penalties. If any charges other than rent are included on the 3 Day Notice to Pay Rent or Quit, California case law holds that the Notice is fatally defective and the Landlord's case will be dismissed. Be sure to date and sign the Notice and fill out a proof of service indicating the date and method of service.
A 30 Day Notice is served to terminate a month to month tenancy where the Tenant has been in possession of the rental unit for less than one year. If the Tenant has been in possession of the rental unit for more than one year, the Landlord must serve a 60 Day Notice. Neither the 30 nor 60 Day Notice can be used to terminate a fixed term lease agreement during the term of the lease. The critical point to remember is that the Landlord must not accept any rent payments to cover any period of time after the expiration of the Notice date. If the Tenant tenders a rent payment to cover a period of time after the expiration of the 30 days, it must be returned immediately to the Tenant to avoid a waiver of the 30 or 60 Day Notice. Be sure to date and sign the Notice and fill out a proof of service indicating the date and method of service.
If you need assistance preparing and serving your Notice, we can prepare your Notice and have it served by a process server for a very reasonable flat rate. Please call for more information.
Note: The original Notice should always be retained by the Landlord and a Proof of Service (also called Declaration of Service) should be completed and retained after the Notice is served.
This is the best method of service and simply means that each occupant of the Premises is handed a copy of the Notice by the Landlord or Landlord's agent on a face-to-face basis. The Tenant may be served with the Notice at his or her place of business if service cannot be effectuated at the Premises.
This is accomplished where an individual of suitable age and discretion (over 18 and competent to understand what the Notice is) is handed a copy of the Notice at the Premises with another copy mailed to the Premises on the same day via first class mail (Not Certified Mail).
In this situation, if the Notice cannot be personally served or served by substituted service, then the Landlord or Landlord's Agent may post the Notice in a conspicuous place on the Premises (usually the front door) with another copy mailed to the Premises on the same day via first class mail (Not Certified Mail).
Below is a simple chart to help determine when a 3 Day Notice legally expires. Some cases are lost at court because the Landlord or attorney filed the case before the 3 full days have expired. If the Landlord allows the Tenant to mail the rent, it is highly advisable to wait a few extra days before filing a lawsuit in order to compensate for any delay in mail delivery.
Notice Expires Midnight of :
IMPORTANT: Please note that if the last day falls on a legal holiday, the Tenant is given an extra day to comply. Example: a 3 day Notice served on January 2nd is improper because January 1st is a legal holiday so that the rent is not late if paid on January 2nd.
If there has been no compliance by the Tenant within the time permitted by the Notice, then the Landlord may commence an Unlawful Detainer legal action. The Landlord cannot simply change the locks or take possession of the Premises without a Court order or a voluntary surrender of the Premises by the Tenant.
DAVID S. SCHONFELD
A Professional Law Corporation
FREE Landlord/Tenant & Fair Housing Seminars
The more educated our clients are, the less likely it is that they will end up on the wrong side of a lawsuit. Our firm offers periodic free training seminars to our monthly volume clients to educate and assist owners and managers on ever changing complex laws and issues in the rental industry.