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 legal grace period for paying rent in California. Rent is late starting the day after it’s due.
Acceptable Forms of Service in California
A landlord can deliver notices in California using any of the below acceptable methods:
- Handing the notice to the tenant in person;
- 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;
- 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
|3 Day Notice to Quit||Eviction for Unpaid Rent|
|3 Day Notice to Perform Covenants or Vacate||Eviction for Lease Violation|
|3 Day Notice to Vacate||Eviction for 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)|
- 1 CA Civ Pro Code § 1162
The notices required by Sections 1161 and 1161a may be served by any of the following methods:
(1) By delivering a copy to the tenant personally.
(2) If he or she is absent from his or her place of residence, and from his or her usual place of business, by leaving a copy with some person of suitable age and discretion at either place, and sending a copy through the mail addressed to the tenant at his or her place of residence.
(3) If such place of residence and business cannot be ascertained, or a person of suitable age or discretion there can not be found, then by affixing a copy in a conspicuous place on the property, and also delivering a copy to a person there residing, if such person can be found; and also sending a copy through the mail addressed to the tenant at the place where the property is situated. Service upon a subtenant may be made in the same manner.Source Link
- 2 California - Notice Delivery by Mail
For “service by mail”:
- Service by mail is complete 5 days after the papers are mailed