California 30 Day Notice to Vacate

Last Updated: August 30, 2022 by Marnie Snyder

A California 30 Day Notice to Vacate is an official lease termination letter written by the landlord or the tenant to end any tenancy of less than one (1) year. This notice is provided to either party at least thirty (30) calendar days before the termination date.

When to Use a California 30 Day Notice to Vacate

If the landlord has at fault just cause (i.e. unpaid rent or lease violations) to terminate the tenancy, then the landlord shall provide the tenant with an eviction notice rather than a lease termination notice.

If the landlord has no fault just cause (i.e. substantial remodel or demolition work) in a tenancy of one (1) year or more, then the landlord should only use the California Lease Termination Notice for No Fault Just Cause form.

The landlord or the tenant may use the thirty (30) Day Notice to Vacate to terminate a tenancy of less than one (1) year, regardless of rent payment frequency. The tenant may also use this lease termination letter to notify the landlord of a non-renewal of the lease, regardless of tenancy length or rent payment frequency. This lease termination letter may also be used for tenants with an expired lease. Either party must deliver the termination letter at least thirty (30) calendar days before the end date specified in the notice or prior to the expiration of the lease.

Landlords may also use the 30 Day Notice to Vacate if the rental premises is under a sales contract and meets certain provisions specified in the state statute.

How to Write a California 30 Day Notice to Vacate

For a lease termination notice to be legally compliant:

  1. State who the legal letter is addressed to (use full name of the receiving party).
  2. Include the termination date of the lease or tenancy.
  3. Fill in the full address of the rental premises.
  4. For tenants, provide your new address and an updated phone number.
  5. Sign the notice and print your name.
  6. For landlords, include contact information, such as address and phone number.
  7. Complete the certificate of service by indicating the date and method of notice delivery along with printed name and signature.

Without this information on the notice, a judge may not be able to proceed with legal action.

How to Serve a California 30 Day Notice to Vacate

A landlord or a tenant may deliver lease termination notices in California using any of the below acceptable methods:

  1. Handing the notice to the other party in person;
  2. Handing the notice to a person who can accept the legal letter on behalf of the other party;
  3. 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.