What is the 3-Day Notice to Quit used for?
A 3-Day Notice to Perform or Quit (blank draft provided on left) 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 Quit?
The 3-Day Notice to Quit is reserved for instances where the tenant has broken a lease or rental agreement rule, been served a Notice to Perform or Quit, and failed to fix the issue. At that stage, a landlord can inform a tenant that they now have no other options and must vacate the property within three days. Remember, weekends and court holidays do not count as part of the three days.
Serving a Notice to Quit does not actually guarantee that a landlord may evict a tenant. In some California cities there are additional local laws in place to protect tenant rights, and additional processes before a landlord is given approval to evict a tenant. As an example, San Francisco has multiple additional forms, filings, and hearings that must be followed and the process can take one or two years of additional time.