A California (CA) Eviction Notice is a formal letter sent by a landlord to their tenant in the event the tenant violates the terms of the rental agreement. An eviction notice indicates the landlord wants the tenant to remedy the breach or else 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.
For reference, a California Eviction Notice is also known as:
- California Notice to Pay or Quit
- California Notice to Comply or Quit
- California Notice to Vacate
- California Lease Termination
California Eviction Notice Types
3-Day Notice to Pay or Quit: A 3-day notice to pay or quit is an eviction notice that demands a tenant pay overdue rent and any applicable late fees within three days of receiving the notice, or face eviction. This notice is typically sent to a tenant after an informal late rent notice. Regardless, tenants must legally be given three days’ notice to pay rent before landlords can proceed with the eviction process in California.
3-Day Eviction Notice for Non-Compliance (Curable): Also known as 3-day notice to comply or quit, this eviction notice is used when the tenant has violated the terms of the lease, but is given the opportunity to correct (cure) the problem. In California, the tenant must be given 3 days’ notice to cure the violation before the landlord can proceed with the eviction process.
3-Day Eviction Notice for Non-Compliance (Incurable): Also known as a 3-day notice to quit for non-compliance, this type of eviction notice is used when the tenant has committed an illegal violation, and nothing can be done to fix the problem (incurable). According to California state law, the tenant must then vacate the premises within three days.
30-Day Eviction Notice (Month-to-Month Tenancy Under 1 Year): Also known as a 30 day notice to quit, this form is used by landlords who want to remove a month-to-month tenant from their property. If the tenant has been on the property for less than a year, the landlord is legally required to give the tenant 30 days to move out.
60-Day Eviction Notice (Month-to-Month Tenancy Over 1 Year): Also known as a 60 day notice to quit, this form is used by landlords to demand a month-to-month tenant vacate their property. If the tenant has been on the property for more than one year, the landlord is legally required to give the tenant 60 days to move out.
14-Day Notice to Quit (Domestic Violence Victim): A 14-day notice to quit is a legal form used by tenants who are contractually named in a lease agreement but are experiencing abuse in their home. Under California state law, a tenant who is the victim of domestic violence or stalking is able to legally terminate their lease within fourteen calendar days.
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)
What is the Eviction Process in California?
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 amount owed by the tenant, and must be submitted in 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 needs to 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 has the option to 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), 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
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 of the county where the property is located.
Cover Sheet (Form CM-010): Filed along with the complaint.
Summons (Form SUM-130): The official notice of a lawsuit, 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): Form 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 approved by the court, this form enables a landlord to ask the sheriff to remove their tenant.
A complete list of California eviction-related forms can be found at the California Courts website.
Eviction Information for California Landlords and Tenants
Eviction Resources for Landlords
Eviction notices in California must include the legal reason for the eviction, the date the eviction notice was made, the number of days the tenant has to cure the problem or leave, and be legally served.
If notice is not legally served, then eviction cannot be completed, and the landlord may be sued. It’s best to speak with a lawyer who understands California eviction law before proceeding.
See the California Courts website for more information.
Eviction Resources for Tenants
If you receive an eviction notice, read it carefully to understand the reason for it. If you have questions, you can ask the landlord directly.
Additionally, you can find legal assistance with evictions as well as other tenant advocate resources specific to California via the US Department of Housing and Urban Development website.