Most tenants facing eviction are being removed for nonpayment of rent. Others may face eviction for a variety of reasons, including violation of lease terms, creation of a health or safety hazard, or even a personality dispute with a landlord.
Landlord and tenant law and the laws governing the eviction process may vary significantly between jurisdictions. Some generalities apply in most jurisdictions however. If you are facing eviction you should check with a lawyer or tenant's union in your area, so you can learn the specific laws that apply to your situation.
If you are a landlord considering or needing an eviction in Santa Ana, CA you need to know what type of eviction notice to serve your tenant before you can file an unlawful detainer and begin eviction proceedings.
California law requires that you need to serve an eviction notice before you file an eviction lawsuit to get your property back. Be aware however, that if your lease or rental agreement specifies a longer period for the tenant you must abide by the leases terms subject to certain exceptions discussed below...
A three day notice to pay rent or quit is used when your tenant has failed to pay rent when it is due.
A three day notice must contain and ONLY contain the exact amount of rent due but must also include information such as who to pay rent to, what person to deliver the rent to, the name and phone number of a person that is authorized to accept the rent, the usual days and hours that person will be available to accept rent. This notice should be addressed to the tenant and signed by the landlord's authorized agent as well have the address of the premises the tenants are occupying it on it as well.
Eviction law is very technical and a three day notice cannot include late fees or other charges and not overstate the amount of rent due. A three day notice that overstates the amount of rent due will preclude you from evicting your tenant and if the tenant has an attorney could possibly have you be paying the tenants attorney’s fees and court costs if the tenant shows the notice was overstated. Also, if your property is under rent control you must follow all applicable laws relating to the rent control ordinance or the tenant may be able to claim a defense to the eviction by your non-compliance. If you live in a rent controlled jurisdiction ALL laws relating to rent control must be followed.
Remember evictions are for the recovery of real property so the law in California holds that you must strictly adhere to the requirements of notice to your tenant before you are allowed to evict them. The tenant is entitled to a trial if they contest the eviction on even issues such as service of an eviction notice. Trial can cost valuable time and money so it is best to make sure your notice is correctly filled out and served.
A thirty day notice to quit is to be used when you have a tenant who is on a month to month tenancy and has occupied the premises for LESS than a year.
It must contain a clause at the bottom of the notice that states the tenant is allowed to reclaim their abandoned property.
You cannot use a thirty day notice if your tenant is on a fixed term lease that hasn’t expired.
For example, if your tenant is on a year lease and is only 6 months into the lease and you want to evict them, serving a 30 day notice will not terminate their tenancy.
Also, keep in mind that if you are in a rent control jurisdiction, it may not allow the use of a 30 day notice to terminate a tenant’s residency. The jurisdiction may require just cause for eviction and a 30 day notice may not permitted.
A 30 day notice is also used to terminate a month to month tenancy that is commercial even if the tenant has resided there for over a year. Note that this only applies if your commercial tenant is on a month to month tenancy. If your commercial tenant is on a fixed term tenancy you will need a reason such as failure to pay rent or breach of a lease covenant to evict.
A sixty day notice of termination must be used to terminate a month to month tenancy that is residential if the tenant has resided at the premises for over one year. No reason must be given for serving such a notice, but you cannot accept rent for the notice for any period after the notice expires.
A sixty day notice of termination must also have the clause that abandoned property can be reclaimed by the tenant.
Similar to the 30 day notice, if you are in a rent control jurisdiction, it may not allow the use of a 60 day notice to terminate a tenant’s residency. The jurisdiction may require just cause for eviction and a 60 day notice may not permitted.
A 90 day notice is the notice usually needed to terminate a tenant who is receiving government subsidized housing such as Section 8. Section 8 must be notified of the termination and the notice must be served on the tenant.
You cannot collect rent after the 90 day notice expires and if the tenant is still in possession after expiration you must file an eviction lawsuit to get back your property.
No notice is required to terminate a tenancy when the tenant is on a fixed term lease and the lease expires. You cannot accept rent for any period after the term of the fixed term lease or else the lease becomes a month to month tenancy subject to the notice provisions above.
If you accept rent after a fixed term tenancy has expired all of the covenants in the lease still exist but you will have to serve a 60 day notice to terminate the tenants tenancy if the lease was for a year or more, or a 30 day notice to terminate the tenancy if the lease was for a year or less or it was a commercial tenant.
In conclusion, there are other notices that can be served and other grounds for eviction such as post foreclosure notices but they are outside the scope of this article. Be aware that landlord tenant law in California changes often and staying up to date whether you are a landlord or tenant is of utmost importance.
Depending on where you are in the eviction process, different options and outcomes may be more attractive to you than others. As always, it is best to consult with a qualified and experienced Santa Ana, CA based eviction attorney in order to assess the proper course of action for your own unique situation.
Making the decision on how to prosecute or stop an eviction isn’t an easy one, and hiring an attorney who specializes in it can help. For a free consultation to weigh your options, you can contact Ashish Patel.