A California Lease Termination for No Fault Just Cause is a lease termination letter provided only by the landlord to end a tenancy of one (1) year or more. Examples of no fault just cause include a substantial remodel or if the landlord takes the rental property off of the market.
When to Use a California Lease Termination for No Fault Just Cause
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.
A California Lease Termination for No Fault Just Cause form is used only by landlords, for a tenancy of one (1) year or more, in accordance with the Tenant Protection Act of 2019 (AB 1482). The amount of notice required for a landlord to provide the tenant for no fault just cause is at least a sixty (60) calendar day notice.
The following list encompasses all of the reasons for no fault just cause in California:
- If the landlord withdraws the rental property from the housing market;
- If the landlord or landlord’s immediate family plan to occupy the rental premises;
- If the landlord is conducting a substantial remodel that will take more than thirty (30) days;
- If the landlord plans to do demolition work or intends to demolish the premises;
- If the landlord is complying with a local ordinance; or
- If the landlord is required to end a tenancy due to an order set forth by a court or government agency relating to habitability.
If the landlord has rental housing in Los Angeles county, all no fault just cause lease terminations must allow the tenant sixty (60) calendar days to vacate in accordance with the Los Angeles Municipal Code. In addition, the tenant has the first right of return, which gives them an opportunity to move back to the rental unit if they choose before the premises are advertised to any other prospective residents.
How to Write a California Lease Termination for No Fault Just Cause
For a lease termination notice to be legally compliant:
- State who the legal letter is addressed to (use full name of the receiving party).
- Include the termination date of the lease or tenancy.
- Fill in the full address of the rental premises.
- For tenants, provide your new address and an updated phone number.
- Sign the notice and print your name.
- For landlords, include contact information, such as address and phone number.
- 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 Lease Termination for No Fault Just Cause
A landlord may deliver this lease termination notice in California using any of the below acceptable methods:
- Handing the notice to the other party in person;
- Handing the notice to a person who can accept the legal letter on behalf of the other party;
- 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 of the notice period to account for variability in post office delivery times.
- 1 CA Civ Code § 1946.2
No-fault just cause, which includes any of the following:
(A) (i) Intent to occupy the residential real property by the owner or their spouse, domestic partner, children, grandchildren, parents, or grandparents.
(ii) For leases entered into on or after July 1, 2020, or July 1, 2022, if the lease is for a tenancy in a mobile home, clause (i) shall apply only if the tenant agrees, in writing, to the termination, or if a provision of the lease allows the owner to terminate the lease if the owner, or their spouse, domestic partner, children, grandchildren, parents, or grandparents, unilaterally decides to occupy the residential real property. Addition of a provision allowing the owner to terminate the lease as described in this clause to a new or renewed rental agreement or fixed-term lease constitutes a similar provision for the purposes of subparagraph (E) of paragraph (1).
(B) Withdrawal of the residential real property from the rental market.
(C) (i) The owner complying with any of the following:
(I) An order issued by a government agency or court relating to habitability that necessitates vacating the residential real property.
(II) An order issued by a government agency or court to vacate the residential real property.
(III) A local ordinance that necessitates vacating the residential real property.
(ii) If it is determined by any government agency or court that the tenant is at fault for the condition or conditions triggering the order or need to vacate under clause (i), the tenant shall not be entitled to relocation assistance as outlined in paragraph (3) of subdivision (d).
(D) (i) Intent to demolish or to substantially remodel the residential real property.
(ii) For purposes of this subparagraph, “substantially remodel” means the replacement or substantial modification of any structural, electrical, plumbing, or mechanical system that requires a permit from a governmental agency, or the abatement of hazardous materials, including lead-based paint, mold, or asbestos, in accordance with applicable federal, state, and local laws, that cannot be reasonably accomplished in a safe manner with the tenant in place and that requires the tenant to vacate the residential real property for at least 30 days. Cosmetic improvements alone, including painting, decorating, and minor repairs, or other work that can be performed safely without having the residential real property vacated, do not qualify as substantial rehabilitation.Source Link
- 2 Los Angeles County Municipal Code
Sixty-Day Notice Period to Tenant. A Landlord must provide the Tenant sixty (60) days’ written notice that the Landlord intends to terminate the Tenancy. The Tenant may not waive the required sixty (60) days’ notice.
Tenant’s Right of First Return.
Return Within Three (3) Years. If a Landlord or Landlord’s Family Member ceases occupation of the Dwelling Unit within three (3) years after the final date of Tenancy, the Tenant of a Dwelling Unit is entitled to receive notice of the first right to return to rent the same Dwelling Unit at the Rent previously charged plus any annual Rent increases allowed under this Chapter. The Landlord must deliver the notice to the Tenant in a form approved by the Department.
Nothing in this Section shall be construed to relieve the Landlord of the obligation to directly contact the former Tenant and to advise the Tenant that the recovered Dwelling Unit will again be offered for Rent. Notice shall be on a form approved by the Department.Source Link
- 3 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
- 4 California - Delivery of Notice by Mail
Service by Mail:
- Service by mail is complete 5 days after the papers are mailed
- 5 California Rent Control and Eviction Protection Law
The notice of termination must advise the tenant of their right to relocation assistance, which is only one month’s rent. At the landlord’s option, that can be paid within 15 days of service of the notice or simply be a waiver of the last month of rent. Since the protections do not apply during the first year of tenancy, a 60-day notice of termination would be given, and either tell the tenant that the last month’s rent is their relocation assistance [most likely], or the tenant is required to pay rent through the 60th day, but gets one month’s rent within 15 days of receiving that 60-day notice.Source Link