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3-Day Notice to Perform Covenants or Quit

Updated on Fri Aug 12 2022 |

What is this Notice to Quit used for?

A 3-Day Notice to Perform or Quit (blank draft provided at the end) is used in California by a landlord to initiate the formal process of removing a tenant from a leased rental unit. This notice informs a tenant they have violated a requirement of the lease, and have three days to pay past due rent; otherwise, the landlord will file a case in court (usually an unlawful detainer action in Superior Court).

These violations usually need to be major for a court to consider them just cause for an eviction. Common examples of these include:

  • Moving in a pet when the lease specifies no pets
  • Moving in additional people (family or friends) when the lease specifically states the tenant cannot do this
  • Causing significant damage to the property
  • Endangering others at the property, neighbors, or the community
  • Dealing drugs or being involved in gang activity at the property

Immigration status, sex, race, religion, and other demographic reasons are generally not just causes to evict someone as they are protected under discrimination laws.

When Should a Landlord Use a 3-Day Notice to Perform or Quit?

Since the state has outlined five eviction notices to use in various situations, it's important to select the right one for your case. As outlined on that page, the 3-Day Notice to Perform or Quit is reserved for instances where the tenant is not performing their responsibilities under the lease or rental agreement, and the landlord is demanding they begin performing these duties or otherwise give up the right to live there.

How should a notice to vacate be given to a tenant?

There are very specific laws a landlord in California must follow to serve any notice to a tenant formally, including this Notice to Perform. If these laws are not followed strictly and to the dot, a subsequent court action may be dismissed, resulting in the landlord needing to start over from scratch (with a new notice being served properly).

In general, a landlord can serve the notice themself but follow the correct procedure, document how the notice was served at the time of service, and keep accurate paper copies of their records. Some types of service require both physically handing the notice to someone as well as mailing, and posting the notice. Many landlords end up hiring professional process servers to serve the initial notice to pay or quit to minimize the chances of future delays.

Where to get the official form for a 3-Day Notice to Perform or Quit?

The state provides no official form for this notice, and landlords are allowed to write their own documents. The state does provide specific information that must be included in the document:

  • The full names of all tenants
  • The rental property address
  • The specific thing(s) the tenant did to violate the lease - include details as appropriate
  • A statement that the tenant must fix the issues or move out in 3 days

Related Forms

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