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California - 30 or 60 Day Notice To Terminate Tenancy

Landlord's notice to end a periodic tenancy
Provided by The California Dept. of Consumer Affairs

A landlord can end a periodic tenancy(for example, a month-to-month tenancy) by giving the tenant proper advance written notice. Your landlord must give you 60 days' advance written notice that the tenancy will end if you and every other tenant or resident have lived in the rental unit for a year or more.181 However, the landlord can give you 30 days' advance written notice in either of the following situations:

  • Any tenant or resident has lived in the rental unit less than one year;182 or

  • The landlord has contracted to sell the rental unit to another person who intends to occupy it for at least a year after the tenancy ends.

    In addition, all of the following must be true in order for the selling landlord to give you a 30-day notice

  1. The landlord must have opened escrow with a licensed escrow agent or real estate broker, and
  2. The landlord must have given you the 30-day notice no later than 120 days after opening the escrow, and
  3. The landlord must not previously have given you a 30-day or 60-day notice, and
  4. The rental unit must be one that can be sold separately from any other dwelling unit.182a

The landlord usually isn't required to state a reason for ending the tenancy in the 30-day or 60-day notice (see "Thirty-Day or Sixty-Day Notice"). The landlord can serve the 30-day or 60-day notice by certified mail or by one of the methods described under "Proper Service of Notices".182b

Note: In the circumstances described in the Three Day Notice section, the landlord can give the tenant just three days' advance written notice.

If you receive a 30-day or 60-day notice, you must leave the rental unit by the end of the thirtieth or sixtieth day after the date on which the landlord served the notice (see How to respond to a thirty-day or sixty-day notice)

For example, if the landlord served a 60-day notice on July 16, you would begin counting the 60 days on July 17, and the 60-day period would end on September 14. If September 14 falls on a weekday, you would have to leave on or before that date. However, if the end of the 60-day period falls on a Saturday, you would not have to leave until the following Monday, because Saturdays and Sundays are legal holidays. Other legal holidays also extend the notice period.182c

If you don't move by the end of the notice period, the landlord can file an unlawful detainer lawsuit to evict you (see The Eviction Process).

What if the landlord has given you a 60-day notice, but you want to leave sooner? You can give the landlord the same amount of notice as there are days between rent payments (for example, 30 days' notice if you pay rent monthly) provided that -

  • The amount of your notice is at least as long as the number of days between rent payments, and
  • Your proposed termination date is before the landlord's termination date.182d

What if the landlord has given you a 30-day or 60-day notice, but you want to continue to rent the property, or you believe that you haven't done anything to cause the landlord to give you a notice of termination? In this kind of situation, you can try to convince the landlord to withdraw the notice. Try to find out why the landlord gave you the notice. If it's something within your control (for example, consistently late rent, or playing music too loud), assure the landlord that in the future, you will pay on time or keep the volume turned down. Then, keep your promise. If the landlord won't withdraw the notice, you will have to move out at the end of the 30-day or 60-day period, to be prepared for the landlord to file an unlawful detainer lawsuit to evict you.

Special rules may apply in cities with rent control. For example, in some communities with rent control ordinances, a periodic tenancy cannot be ended by the landlord without a good faith "just cause" or "good cause" reason to evict. In these communities, the landlord must state the reason for the termination, and the reason may be reviewed by local housing authorities.

Suppose that you are a tenant who participates in the Section 8 housing voucher program. While the lease is in effect, the landlord must have good cause to terminate (end) the tenancy. Examples of good cause include serious or repeated violations of the lease, or criminal activity that threatens the health or safety of other residents.184 The landlord must give the tenant a 3-day or 30-day or 60-day notice of termination under California law (see "Written Notices of Terminations"), and both the landlord and the tenant must give the public housing agency a copy of the notice.185 What if the landlord simply decides not to renew the lease, or decides to terminate the HAP (housing assistance payment) contract? In this case, the landlord must give the tenant 90 days' advance written notice of the termination date.186 If the tenant doesn't move out by the end of the 90 days, the landlord must follow California law to evict the tenant.187


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