California 60 Day Notice to Vacate - At-Fault Just Cause

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The California 60 Day Notice to Vacate At-Fault Just Cause ends a periodic tenancy that is for more than one year and not a rent-controlled jurisdiction.

Document Last Modified: 4/18/2024

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A landlord who wants to terminate tenancy of a year or more can do so by properly serving a 60-day notice. Generally, 60-day notice doesn't have to state the landlord's reason for ending the tenancy.

Civil Code section 1946.1 requires the 60-day notice for tenancies of a year or more unless ALL of the following are true
  • The dwelling or unit is alienable separate from the title to any other dwelling unit.
  • The owner has contracted to sell the dwelling or unit to a bona fide purchaser for value, and has established an escrow with a licensed escrow agent.
  • The purchaser is a natural person or persons.
  • The notice is given no more than 120 days after the escrow has been established.
  • Notice was not previously given to the tenant pursuant to CC 1946.1
  • The purchaser in good faith intends to reside in the property for at least one full year after the termination of the tenancy.

SERVICE OF NOTICE
A landlord can use any of the methods described below to serve a 30-day or 60-day notice on a tenant, OR can send the notice to the tenant by certified or registered mail with return receipt requested.

Notices may also be served on the tenant in one of three waysdescribed below:
personal service,
substituted service,
or by posting AND mailing.

The landlord, the landlord's agent, or anyone over 18 can serve a notice on a tenant.

Personal service - To serve the tenant personally, the person serving the notice must hand the tenant the notice (or leave it with the tenant if tenant refuses to take it).
Substituted service on another person -If the landlord does not find the tenant at home, If the landlord can't find the tenant at home, the landlord can use "substituted service" instead of serving tenant personally. For instance, the landlord or landlord’s representative (over age 18) can deliver the notice with a person of “suitable age and discretion” ( this usually means an adult or teenage member of the household) PLUS mail a copy of the notice to the tenant at home.
Posting and mailing - If the landlord can't serve the notice to the tenant personally or by substituted service, the notice can be served by taping or tacking a copy to the rental unit in a noticeable place (such as the front door of the rental unit) in addition to mailing another copy to the tenant at the rental unit's address. Service of the notice is not complete until the copy of the notice has been mailed.

RENTAL CONTROL LAW

Some California cities have rent control ordinances, that limit or prohibit rent increases. Some of these ordinances specify procedures that a landlord must follow before increasing a tenant's rent, or that make evicting a tenant more difficult for a landlord. Each community's ordinance is different.

Some cities have boards that have the power to approve or deny increases in rent. Other cities' ordinances allow a certain percentage increase in rent each year. Because of recent changes in State law, all rent control cities now have "vacancy decontrol." This means that the landlord can re-rent a unit at the market rate when the tenant moves out voluntarily or when the landlord terminates the tenancy for nonpayment of rent.

Some ordinances make it more difficult for owners to convert rentals into condominiums.

Los Angelos rent control information, ordinances and forms may be found at the Los Angeles County Housing Department web-site.

IMPORTANT: If you have a rental unit within a locality that is rent controlled, contact the locality or jurisdiction for the proper procedures to renew a lease, terminate a lease or evict a tenant!

California has specific procedures and laws in place for ending a month to month lease. There are two different forms. One is for those tenancies that are in place for under one year in duration and would require a 30-day notice and this "60 Day Notice to Vacate" is used for those that have remained, in effect, for longer than one year.

landlords really need to know

IMPORTANT: The landlord must understand that if a tenant is in possession of the rented premises for even one day beyond a year, a 60-day notice is required.

Once the landlord is ready to take back possession of the premises, and the tenant has lived there for more than 365 days (one year), proper written notification of 60 days is needed. There is no reason needed! With that being said, a landlord may not be completely unreasonable in ending a lease. To those tenants who are living in any governmental subsidized housing such as Section 8, this form is not adequate. Under those circumstances, the tenant must be given a valid reason. There are several states that have rent-controlled localities and California is one of them. Often these types of areas contain their own specific regulations. It is wise to consult with your local city or town’s housing office if your rental property is situated within the parameters of a rent-controlled locality.

This form is easy to use. Click on “CREATE” and afterward choose your rental property from the list and after that fill in your contact phone number where prompted. Once you are done, you can download your form, which is assembled with all the necessary information. To properly serve your written notice, it can be either:

  • Given to the tenant personally.
  • If a tenant is not available, the notice may be given to someone in the household that is at least 18 years old. This needs to be followed up with a mailed copy.
  • The notice may be posted upon the door or somewhere nearby the rental unit and this also needs to be followed with a mailed copy.

If the tenancy you want to end is for a duration less than one year, then a California 30 Day Notice will be used.

It is wise to consult with an attorney before embarking on evictions, especially those with unusual circumstances.

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