What is a Three-Day Notice to Pay Rent or Quit? – San Diego Landlord-Tenant Attorney

In California, if a landlord wishes to evict a tenant for not paying rent, he or she must first serve the tenant a Three-Day Notice to Pay Rent or Quit. Put simply and in practical terms, this notice puts the tenant on notice that rent has become due and unless it is paid within three days, the tenant must vacate the premises. However, it also puts a tenant on notice that unless the tenant pays the required rent within three days, the landlord may seek to evict the tenant via an unlawful detainer lawsuit.

In California, there are certain requirements that must be met so that a three-day notice to pay rent or quit is valid. For instance, the notice must:

• be in writing
• state the full name of the tenant(s) and the address of the leased property
• state exactly how much rent is due
• include the dates for which back rent is due
• state that the rent must be paid within three days or the tenant(s) must vacate
• state the days and times that the tenant(s) can pay the demanded rent, and the address he/she can pay at
• if the tenant can pay the demanded rent by mail, include the address that the tenant can send the money to
• be dated and signed by the landlord or his or her agent

It is imperative that a landlord ensure that his/her three-day notice complies with the requirements of California law, because if it does not, a tenant may be able to have an unlawful detainer lawsuit dismissed on grounds of a defective notice.

There are a few common pitfalls that landlords encounter when serving a three day notice to pay rent or quit, which causes the notice to be deemed defective. For instance, with regards to residential leases, the notice cannot demand more money than that which is owed, and cannot demand late fees, interest, utilities or damages. In addition, the notice cannot demand any money which has not yet become due. Finally, a three-day notice may not go back more than one year.

These are only a few of the reasons that a three-day notice may be deemed defective, however. To ensure that your Three-Day Notice to Pay Rent or Quit is in compliance, review California statutes or consult with an attorney.

For more information, please contact the VC Law Group at info@thevclawgroup.com or (858) 519-7333.