California 3 Day Notice to Vacate

Last Updated: August 30, 2022 by Marnie Snyder

A California 3 Day Notice to Vacate is an eviction letter served to the tenant for an incurable breach, such as possessing illegal drugs or committing substantial property damage. There is no option to cure and the tenant must move out within three (3) judicial days (not counting weekends or court holidays).

When to Use a California 3 Day Notice to Vacate

Use a 3 Day Notice to Vacate to begin the eviction process in California:

  • If the tenant is involved in the sale of or possession of a controlled substance.
  • If the tenant engaged in or promoted prostitution.
  • If the tenant committed a criminal offense or nuisance.
  • If the tenant committed substantial property damage.

If none of the above are true, use one of the below forms to evict a tenant:

  • 3 Day Notice to Quit – If the tenant is late on rent (starting the day after it’s due), either in part or in full.
  • 3 Day Notice to Perform Covenants or Vacate – If the tenant failed to maintain the premises in a clean and sanitary manner, refused to allow the landlord access, damaged property, has unauthorized pets, disturbed the peace and enjoyment of other persons, violated rules with too many occupants at the premises or any other violations of the lease or property rules.
  • 30 Day Notice to Vacate – If the tenant does not want to renew the lease or to terminate any other tenancy that is less than one (1) year, with or without a written lease.

How to Write a California 3 Day Notice to Vacate

The Three (3) Day Notice to Vacate shall be completed as follows:

  1. Write all adult tenants’ names (do not include minors);
  2. Fill in the complete address of the rental premises;
  3. Specify the incurable breach;
  4. Enter the balance due, if applicable;
  5. Include the date tenancy will terminate;
  6. Enter the date the notice is served;
  7. Landlord prints their name and signs the notice;
  8. Landlord includes their full address and phone number.

How to Serve a California 3 Day Notice to Vacate

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.