A California eviction notice is a formal letter sent by a landlord to their tenant when they violate the terms of the rental agreement. The form indicates the landlord wants the tenant to remedy the breach or vacate the property. If the tenant does neither, the landlord may file for eviction with their local Superior Court in California to begin the eviction process.
Below you can download a free eviction notice customized for California state law in MS Word (.docx) or Adobe PDF format.
Eviction Laws and Requirements
- Eviction Lawsuit: Chapter 4 (Summary Proceedings for Obtaining Possession of Real Property in Certain Cases [1159 – 1179a].
- Grace Period for Rent Payment: Established in the lease, but rent must be at least two days late before extra fees can be collected.
- Late or Non-Rent Payment Notice: 3 days (Calif. Civil Code § 1161(2)).
- Notice of Non-Compliance: 3 days (Calif. Civil Code §1161(3)).
- Domestic Violence Victim (Notice to Quit): 14 days (Calif. Civil Code § 1946.7).
- Lease Termination (Month-to-Month Tenancies): 30 or 60 days, depending on how long a tenant has lived on the premises (Calif. Civil Code § 1946.1).
How to Evict a Tenant in California
In California, eviction lawsuits are governed by Section 1159 through 1179a, Chapter 4 of the Summary Proceedings for Obtaining Possession of Real Property in Certain Cases.
Step 1: Send an Eviction Notice
If a landlord wants to evict a tenant, they must first serve notice to the tenant with the appropriate form outlined above. The type of California eviction notice selected depends on the violation and the details outlined in the lease.
Step 2: Allow the Tenant to Respond to the Eviction Notice
Landlords must allow tenants a certain number of days to respond to an eviction notice. The number of days will depend on the notice type.
Step 3: File the Initial Court Documents
If the tenant fails to respond in time, the landlord may then begin the eviction process by filing Complaint (Form UD-100), Cover Sheet (Form CM-010), and Summons (Form SUM-130) with the court, along with a filing fee.
The appropriate filing fee depends on the county and the amount owed by the tenant and must be submitted to the county court where the property is located.
Step 4: Serve the Tenant
The tenant must receive a copy of the documents filed in court by a civil process server. The process server then must fill out a Proof of Service form, which the landlord will also file with the court.
Step 5: Wait for the Tenant to File Form UD-105
If served in person, the tenant has five days to respond by filing an Answer (Form UD-105). If served by mail, they have 15 days from the mailing date.
Step 6: Request a Court Judgment
If the tenant doesn’t respond, the landlord can pursue a default judgment meaning the landlord effectively “wins” the lawsuit by default. They must fill out three forms: Request for Entry and Default Judgment (CIV-100), Judgment for Unlawful Detainer (UD-110), and Writ of Possession (EJ-130), to ask for a default judgment from the court to authorize eviction.
Step 7: Inform the County Sheriff
Once the judgment and court-approved writ of possession is obtained, the landlord may deliver the documents to the local county sheriff to execute the judgment and complete the eviction.
Related California Court Forms
A complete list of California eviction-related forms can be found on the California Courts website.
- Complaint (Form UD-100): Completed by the plaintiff and their lawyer, it details the reasons for the eviction. It must be filed at the county courthouse where the property is located.
- Cover Sheet (Form CM-010): Filed along with the complaint.
- Summons (Form SUM-130): The official lawsuit notice is to be filed with the complaint and cover sheet. A copy should be served to the tenant after the courthouse filing.
- Proof of Service: Completed after serving the complaint and summons on the tenant. A copy should be filed with the court clerk after the tenant has been served.
- Answer (Form UD-105): The form is used by the tenant to agree with or deny the statements made in the complaint.
- Request to Set Case for Trial – Unlawful Detainer (Form UD-150): This sets a date for the court case and the type of trial, the estimated length, and the issues before the judge.
- Request for Entry of Default (CIV-100): Requests a default judgment from the judge.
- Judgment for Unlawful Detainer (UD-110): This form officially states the judge’s determination of whether the plaintiff (landlord) or defendant (tenant) prevails.
- Writ of Possession (EJ-130): Once the court approves, this form enables a landlord to ask the sheriff to remove their tenant.