California Landlord Terminating Tenancy


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30 Day Notice

 To terminate a Month to Month tenancy where the tenant has had possession for less than a year.

30 Day Notice (With Reason)

 To terminate a tenancy in Rent Control districts that require just cause, and for tenants where you suspect a defense of discrimination, etc.

60 Day Notice

 To terminate a Month to Month tenancy where the tenant has had possession for more than a year

60 Day Notice (With Reason)

To Terminate a Month to Month Tenancy in Rent Control districts that require just cause, and for tenants who have been on the premises for more than a year where you suspect a defense of discrimination, etc.

90 Day Notice

 To terminate Government subsidized housing, Section 8

3 Day Notice to Comply or Quit

3 Day Notice to Terminate Tenancy

 To terminate a Lease, or month to month tenancy or a lease where the tenant has violated a term of the agreement that is correctable.  It gives the tenant 3 days in which to correct the deficiency.

 This terminates a month to month, or a lease, for a non-correctable violation of the lease.   It may be preceded by numerous warnings.  An example is a nuisance where the tenant or the tenant’s guests disturb the peace and quiet of surrounding neighbors.

 3 Day Notice to Pay or Quit

 This is in the alternative.   The tenant must pay the amount demanded within 3 days or vacate the property.

Terminating Tenancy With 30, 60 and 90 Day Notice

A landlord can terminate a month to month tenancy for any reason or for no reason at all.  There are some restrictions however.


60 Day Notice

If the tenant has occupied the premises for a year or more. Example: if the tenant was on a one ar lease, and holds over, and becomes a Month to Month tenant, then he or she must be given a 60 day notice rather than the 30 day notice.


30 and 60 day Notices stating “Cause”

Remember a 30 and 60 day notice can only be used on a month to month rental agreement, never on a lease, unless the term has expired. If the rental unit is in a Rent Control City, then the City may require that the tenancy cannot be terminated except for “Just Cause” . Also, discrimination is a defense to a 30 and 60 day notice, and therefore if you suspect a defense of discrimination, then you should give a notice showing just cause, to justify your termination of the Rental Agreement.

  • Your tenant is repeatedly late with the rent.

    You’ve given three-Day Notices to Pay rent or Quit several times, and the tenant has come through with the rent before the end of the third day. your warnings to pay

    about the property or, even worse, dealing in them. (we discuss evicting drug-dealing tenants below.);

  • The tenant has damaged the property—for example, by causing holes in the wall or cigarette burns in the carpet.

Acceptance of rent beyond the notice period

If you should accept rent beyond the 30, 60 or 90 notice period you have just terminated the notice, and must start over again. As an example you serve a 30 day notice on the 18th of August, and the tenant pays all of September, or pays through the 20th of September, then you have terminated the Notice and must reserve and wait another 30 days.

In the above scenario, take the monthly rent, divide by 30 and multiply by 18, and accept only that amount of rent, or less.




Anyone 18 or over, including the owner can serve all notices. Unlike the Summons and Complaint that can only be served by a person who is not an owner or manager of the property, and must be 18 years of age and a US Citizen.

It’s always best to serve one of your tenants, but if no tenant is available you can served by any of the following ways:

  • By serving your tenant

  • By handing to a person of suitable age and discretion, and mailing, first class mail.

  • By posting the notice and mailing it, first class mail.

    How to count the days

    Start counting the day after the service. If you served on a Monday, Tuesday would be the first day and the Thursday the last day.

    If the last day, however, falls on a weekend or holiday, then you must give the tenant the next

    business day to comply.

    So, if you serve the notice on Wednesday, then

    you count Thursday, Friday, and since the last day of the notice falls on Saturday, you must give the tenant through Monday to comply, and if Monday is a holiday, then you must give the tenant through Tuesday to comply.



    b. Landlords Duty to Mitigate damages.


    A tenant on a lease is obligated to pay rent through the end of the lease, and by terminating the lease (with cause), the tenant has breached the lease and must continue to pay rent even though he/she doesn’t have possession of he property.

    However, it is the landlord’s obligation to mitigate his damages. That is to say he must quickly find a new tenant to take over the provisions of the lease.

    If the landlord has made every effort to rent the unit at the rate the tenant was paying, then he/she can rent it at a lower rate and charge the old tenant the difference, together with the cost of re-renting, such as newspaper ads, or the payment of an agent to find a tenant.

    CIVIL CODE SECTION 1940-1954.1