California 30 Day Notice To Vacate

Last Updated: January 15, 2024 by Roberto Valenzuela

A California 30 Day Notice to Vacate is a letter that complies with state legal requirements to terminate any tenancy of less than one (1) year. The non-terminating party must receive notice at least thirty (30) calendar days before the date of termination.

When To Use a California 30 Day Notice To Vacate

A California 30 Day Notice To Vacate terminates the following types of tenancy:

  • A tenancy with a term of less than one (1) year
  • An expired lease
  • A rental with no written lease
  • A tenancy where the tenant wishes to give notice of non-renewal, regardless of length or payment frequency
  • A tenancy on a property that’s under a sales contract and qualifies under the state’s statutory requirements for early termination

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 30 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 termination date of the lease or tenancy
  3. Fill in the full address of the rental premises
  4. Provide updated/current address and phone number information
  5. Print name and sign the notice
  6. 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 30 Day Notice To Vacate

California law is not specific on how a tenant must serve a Notice To Vacate, so tenants may use any method which effectively delivers the notice to the landlord’s attention.

In most cases, to deliver a Notice To Vacate, a landlord must use one of the following methods (which also provide a legal gold standard for a tenant’s delivery of notice to a landlord):

  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
  4. Delivery by certified or registered mail

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.