How to Serve Eviction & Lease Termination Notices in California

How to Serve Eviction & Lease Termination Notices in California

Last Updated: August 30, 2022 by Marnie Snyder

In California, in order for the delivery of a lease termination or eviction notice to be legal, certain rules and procedures must be followed. If they are not and the case proceeds to court, the case may be postponed or dismissed by a judge.

Who Can Serve Notices in California?

In California, landlords can serve eviction notices and lease termination notices themselves. Landlords may choose to hire a sheriff, process server or independent party over eighteen (18) years old to serve an official notice, but they are not required to do so by law.

When Can Notices Be Served in California?

In California, lease termination and eviction notices can be served immediately on any day of the week and at any time of day.

For a 3 Day Notice to Quit, the eviction notice used for tenants that do not pay rent in full and on time, a landlord can serve notice the day after rent is due. There is no grace period for paying rent in California. Rent is late starting the day after it is due.

Acceptable Forms of Service in California

A landlord can deliver notices in California using any of the below acceptable methods:

  1. Handing the notice to the tenant in person;
  2. Handing the notice to a person of suitable age at the property AND mailing the notice by certified or registered mail with a return receipt;
  3. Posting the notice in a conspicuous place at the premises, such as the entry door, AND mailing the notice by certified or registered mail with a return receipt.

When sending the notice by certified or registered mail, add five (5) additional calendar days to the notice period to account for variability in post office delivery times.

Obtaining Proof of Service in California

A landlord can demonstrate proof that a notice was delivered through the following methods:

  • Hand delivery – by completing a Declaration of Service at the time of delivery.
  • Certified or Registered Mail – via return receipt and an independent party completing a Declaration of Service at the time of mailing.
  • Posting at the premises – by taking a photograph and completing a Declaration of Service at the time of delivery.

California Eviction & Lease Termination Notice Forms

Notice Form Grounds
3 Day Notice to Quit Unpaid Rent
3 Day Notice to Perform Covenants or Vacate Lease Violation
3 Day Notice to Vacate Incurable Breach
30 Day Notice to Vacate Ending a Tenancy of Less than 1 Year
60 Day Notice to Vacate Ending a Tenancy or More than 1 Year
Notice to Terminate Tenancy for No Fault Just Cause Ending a Tenancy of More than 1 Year (No Fault Just Cause)

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