California 3 Day Notice To Vacate

Last Updated: April 4, 2024 by Roberto Valenzuela

A California 3 Day Notice To Vacate is a letter that complies with state legal requirements to begin eviction against a tenant for an “incurable” lease violation (one where the tenant isn’t allowed to take corrective action), such as possessing illegal drugs or promoting prostitution. The tenant must move out within three (3) judicial days (i.e., not counting weekends or court holidays) of receiving notice.

When To Use a California 3 Day Notice To Vacate

A California 3 Day Notice To Vacate begins the eviction process when the tenant has committed one of the following violations:

  • Involvement in the sale or possession of a controlled substance
  • Engagement in or promotion of prostitution
  • Commission of a criminal offense or nuisance
  • Causing substantial property damage

Some types of California lease termination notice may allow different reasons for termination, or different notice periods. This may also apply to an eviction notice issued because of a lease or legal violation.

    How To Write a California 3 Day Notice To Vacate

    To help ensure the legal compliance of a Notice To Vacate:

    1. Use the full name of the receiving parties, and address of record, if known
    2. Specify the basis upon which the tenancy will terminate
    3. Specify the termination date of the lease or tenancy
    4. Fill in the full address of the rental premises
    5. Provide updated/current address and phone number information
    6. Print name and sign the notice
    7. Complete the certificate of service by indicating the date and method of notice delivery, along with printed name and signature

    It is easy to lose an otherwise justified legal action because of improper notice. Check carefully to ensure enough time after notice is delivered, not when it’s sent.

    How To Serve a California 3 Day Notice To Vacate

    California landlords may deliver an initial Notice To Vacate through any of the following methods:

    1. Hand delivery to the tenant
    2. If the tenant is absent from the residence and the tenant’s usual place of business: Hand delivery to a person of suitable age at either the residence or usual place of business, PLUS delivery by mail to the tenant’s residence
    3. If all forms of hand delivery fail: Posting the notice to a conspicuous place on the property, PLUS delivery by mail to the property, addressed to the tenant, PLUS (if possible) handing the notice to a person residing on the property

    California considers service by mail to take place five (5) calendar days after mailing.

    In almost all cases, notice is legally served when it is received by the other party, NOT when it’s sent. Check specified date of termination carefully to ensure compliance with the legal requirements for a notice period.