This article was posted on Sunday, Mar 01, 2015

Q:  My tenant pays their rent on the first of every month, however this month the first fell on a Sunday and the second is a holiday. When is their rent due and if they are late with payment, when can I serve them with a 3 Day Notice to Pay Rent or Quit?

A Three Day Notice to Pay Rent or Quit can be served the day after rent is due. For example, if rent is due on the first of the month, then you can serve a three Day Notice to Pay Rent or Quit on the second of the month. However, if rent is due on a Sunday or a holiday, then the tenant is given an additional day before rent is due. So in your situation, if rent is due on Sunday, which falls on the first of the month, and the second of the month is a holiday then the earliest you can serve the notice would be the fourth of the month.  

Further, remember that the notice must contain very specific information including: the tenants’ full names; the full property address including zip code; the total amount of rent due excluding late fees and utilities; past due rent itemized by month; information as to how and when the past due rent may be paid during the three day period; and a valid telephone number of the person accepting the rent payment. If your notice fails to include any of this information you may be required to reserve the notice and wait an additional three days before filing an eviction. If you have any questions regarding the specific three day notice requirements you should consult with an attorney before serving your notice.  

Q: I am having problems with my tenant and I would like for her to vacate as soon as possible. Can I just give her a 30 Day Notice to Quit?

That depends on the type of tenancy you have with your tenant. If you agreed to a fixed term lease, then the answer is no, you cannot simply hand her a 30 Day Notice to Quit. On the other hand, if you have a month-to-month tenancy and she has occupied the property for less than one year, you may serve her with a 30 Day Notice to Quit. During this 30 day period she is still obligated to pay her monthly rent, up until the thirtieth day of the notice period. Accordingly, if rent is due on the first and the 30 Day Notice to Vacate expires on the 20th of the month, then you must only accept the prorated rent for 20 days. It is crucial that you only accept the prorated amount because if you accept a full month’s rent, i.e., rent due after the 20th, then you have waived your notice.  

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Q: I have a tenant that has been renting the property for a little over a year. Can I still give him a 30 Day Notice to Vacate?

No. A tenancy of more than one year requires a 60 Day Notice to Quit. As explained with the 30 Day Notice, you may only accept rent for the period up until the notice expires. If you accept rent after the 60 Day Notice expires you waive your right to file an eviction off the notice and you will be forced to serve a new notice and wait an additional 60 days.  

Q: I own an apartment building in the city of San Diego that I have rented to a woman on a month-to-month tenancy for the last three years. She pays her rent on time every month, but my son would like to move into the unit with his wife. Can I give her a 60 Day Notice to Quit?

Yes. Some cities, in California, have special laws that require a landlord to have a justifiable cause to terminate a month-to-month tenancy. For example, in San Diego if you have a month-to-month agreement with your tenant and the property is located within the city of San Diego, you are required to give your tenant a 60 Day Notice to Quit with cause. This means that you must provide your tenant with one of nine reasons justifying your intent to terminate the tenancy. A residential tenancy of more than two years located in the city of San Diego can only be terminated by a 60 Day Notice to Quit and must include one of the following causes:  

1)      Nonpayment of Rent;

2)      Violation of Obligation of Tenancy;

3)      Nuisance;

4)      Illegal Use;

5)      Refusal to Renew Lease;

6)      Refusal to Provide Access;

7)      Correction of Violations;

8)      Withdrawal of Residential Rental Structure from the Rental Market;

9)      Owner or Relative Occupancy.  

Q: Are there any new laws that have gone into effect recently that change what must be stated on a 30 or 60 Day Notice to Quit?

Yes. In 2012, Governor Jerry Brown signed California Assembly Bill 2521 which became effective January 1, 2013, and requires landlords to include the following language in 30 and 60 Day Notices terminating a tenancy:  “State law permits former tenants to reclaim abandoned personal property left at the former address of the tenant, subject to certain conditions. You may or may not be able to reclaim property without incurring additional costs, depending on the cost of storing the property and the length of time before it is reclaimed. In general, these costs will be lower the sooner you contact your former landlord after being notified that property belonging to you was left behind after you moved out.”  CC 1946.1(h)

If you already served your tenant with a notice that does not include the language above, your notice is defective and will not be upheld in court. You must revise the notice and reserve it. Additionally, the revised version of your notice should also state at the bottom, “This notice supersedes all previous notices.”

Attorney Franco Simone, of the Landlords Legal Center and has been doing evictions for 20 years.  He is also an adjunct law professor at the University of San Diego.  Mr. Simone’s office is open Monday- Friday from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM. – Tel: 619-235-6180, website:  or email [email protected]