California Month-to-Month Lease Agreement

Last Updated: March 29, 2022 by Elizabeth Souza

A California month-to-month lease agreement is a contract (written or oral) that allows a tenant to rent property from a landlord, in exchange for a fee (“rent”), for a period of thirty days at a time. The agreement remains active until either party gives proper notice to end it.

Note: For fixed term leases in California (i.e., 1-year), click here.

How do California Month-to-Month Lease Agreements Work?

A landlord and tenant can enter into a month-to-month lease through a written contract or oral agreement. It does not have to be written.

Once the lease is active, both parties are given full rights under California landlord tenant law. This includes the landlord’s responsibility to provide a habitable living space, the tenant’s responsibility to pay rent in a timely manner and all other rights and responsibilities.

How Much Notice is Needed to End the Lease?

In California, either party may terminate a month-to-month lease agreement by giving at least 30 days’ notice (for tenants who have resided at the property for less than one year) or a 60 days’ notice (for tenants who have resided at the property more than one year). Unlike most states, California landlords may give notice in the middle of the month.

Notice must be provided in written form.

How Much Notice is Needed to Raise the Rent?

In California, if the lease agreement states that rent may be raised, the landlord may raise the rent or change any other lease terms by providing at least 30 days’ notice (for increases that are less than 10%) or 90 days’ notice (for increases that are more than 10%). (AB-1110)

Notice must also be provided in written form.

Are There Notice Delivery Requirements?

In California there are notice delivery requirements. In the case of the landlord, notice must be mailed via certified or registered mail or by delivering a copy to the landlord or agent personally.

In the case of the tenant, the notice must be delivered in person, by leaving a copy with an individual of suitable age at his or her place of business, by mailing a copy to their last known residence, or if none of these options are suitable then by affixing a copy in a conspicuous place on the property and by mailing a copy.

How are Month-to-Month Tenants Evicted in California?

After the landlord gives proper notice, and that period of time elapses, the lease expires and is no longer active.

If a tenant remains on the property after lease expiry, the landlord may move forward with the eviction process to remove the tenant by filing a complaint with the applicable county court in California. The process for eviction can be completed in 5-8 weeks, but can take longer depending on the circumstances.

For more information on the eviction process in California, click here.