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WHAT TYPE OF NOTICE IS REQUIRED IN AN UNLAWFUL DETAINER CASE?

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3-Day Notice to Pay Rent or Quit Landlords can use this notice when the tenant is behind on the rent.The notice must:

  • Be in writing;
  • Say the full name of the tenant or tenants;
  • Say the address of the rental property;
  • Say exactly how much rent the tenant owes* (the notice cannot go back more than 1 year, even if the tenant owes back rent for a longer time, and it cannot include any charge other than rent);
  • Have the dates the overdue rent is for;
  • Say that this rent must be paid in full within 3 days of receiving this notice or the tenant must move out;
  • Say the name, address and phone number of the person the rent should be paid to;
  • Say the days and times the tenant can pay the rent he or she owes, and the address he or she can pay it at; and
  • If the tenant can pay the back rent by mail, give the address the tenant should send the money to.


* The notice must NOT include other money the tenant owes, like late fees, interest, utilities, or damages.

3-Day Notice to Perform Covenants or Quit Landlords can use this kind of notice if the tenant is violating terms in the lease or rental agreement and the problem can be fixed. For example, if the tenant has moved in a pet without permission, or is not keeping the unit clean, or is violating some other term of the agreement, the notice must ask the tenant to correct the violation within 3 days or move out.The notice must:

  • Be in writing;
  • Say the full name of the tenant or tenants;
  • Have the address of the rental property;
  • Say what the tenant did to violate the lease or rental agreement; and
  • Say the tenant has the chance to fix the problem or move out in 3 days.
3-Day Notice to Quit  This kind of notice is used if there have been ongoing problems with a tenant who:

  • Causes or allows a “nuisance” on the property;
  • Uses the property to do something illegal (like sell drugs);
  • Threatens the health and safety of other tenants or the general public;
  • Commits waste (damage) that lowers the value of the property significantly;
  • Moves in other tenants (subtenants) without the landlord’s permission.

The notice must:

  • Be in writing;
  • Say the full name of the tenant or tenants;
  • Have the address of the rental property;
  • State the details and dates of each incident that created a nuisance, waste (damage), or illegal activity, or the subletting of the property to others; and
  • Say clearly that the tenant has to move out within 3 days.
30-Day or 60-Day Notice to Quit A landlord can use a 30-day notice to end a month-to-month tenancy if the tenant has been renting for less than a year. A landlord should use a 60-day notice if the tenant has been renting for a year or more and the landlord wants the tenant to move out.The notice must:

  • Be in writing;
  • Say the full name of the tenant or tenants;
  • Have the address of the rental property; and
  • Say that the month-to-month tenancy will end in 30 days if the landlord is giving a 30-day notice or in 60 days if he or she is giving a 60-day notice.

In rent-controlled cities, a landlord cannot cancel a month-to-month tenancy for just any reason. The landlord must find out if the unit is in a rent-controlled city, and if so, whether he or she has the right to evict the tenant.

90-Day Notice to Quit  A landlord must use this kind of notice if the tenant is in subsidized housing (Section 8). The landlord must explain why he or she is asking the tenant to move out, and the landlord must have good reasons (“just cause”) to ask the tenant to leave.