California Notice of Belief of Abandonment

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The California Notice of Belief of Abandonment is given when the landlord or agent believes that the tenant has abandoned the property.

Document Last Modified: 4/18/2024

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Cal. Civ. Code Section 1951.3.
(a) Real property shall be deemed abandoned by the lessee, within the meaning of Section 1951.2, and the lease shall terminate if the lessor gives written notice of his belief of abandonment as provided in this section and the lessee fails to give the lessor written notice, prior to the date of termination specified in the lessor's notice, stating that he does not intend to abandon the real property and stating an address at which the lessee may be served by certified mail in any action for unlawful detainer of the real property.
(b) The lessor may give a notice of belief of abandonment to the lessee pursuant to this section only where the rent on the property has been due and unpaid for at least 14 consecutive days and the lessor reasonably believes that the lessee has abandoned the property. The date of termination of the lease shall be specified in the lessor's notice and shall be not less than 15 days after the notice is served personally or, if mailed, not less than 18 days after the notice is deposited in the mail.
(c) The lessor's notice of belief of abandonment shall be personally delivered to the lessee or sent by first-class mail, postage prepaid, to the lessee at his last known address and, if there is reason to believe that the notice sent to that address will not be received by the lessee, also to such other address, if any, known to the lessor where the lessee may reasonably be expected to receive the notice.

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 Angeles 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!

While no one wants to be a situation where a tenant abandons the property, unfortunately, it happens. So what do you do when your tenant is two weeks behind on rent and you have not been able to get in contact with them? Or perhaps, there are other red flags that the tenants have abandoned the property, such as not checking the mail for an extended period of time, the premises becoming unkempt, or you and the neighbors not seeing the tenants for a period of time. There may be several other factors that lead a landlord to reasonably believe that a tenant has abandoned the property. The California Notice of Belief of Abandonment is for these situations exactly.

landlords really need to know

Under California law, if after 14 consecutive days of non-payment of rent landlords believe their tenants may have abandoned the property the landlords must send the tenants a notice of belief of abandonment. This document clearly sets forth the provision of California law that requires notice to be sent, explains the consequences. The California Notice of Belief of Abandonment is concise and clearly addresses the issues, while informing tenants that their lease agreement will terminate at least 18 days from the date the notice was mailed or 15 days from delivering the notice in person.

The document explains the tenants’ obligations if they would like to remain in the property. If the tenants wish to remain in the property they must respond to the notice confirming they did not intend to abandon the property and providing an address where they can receive certified mail in case they will be served for an unlawful detainer action. This document clearly sets forth the terms and gives the tenants an opportunity to respond prior to the landlord taking further action to terminate the lease agreement.

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