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30-Day Notice to Quit

Updated on Fri Aug 12 2022 |

What Is This Notice to Quit Used for?

30-Day Notice 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 where the tenant has had a residency for less than a year and is on a month-to-month lease. If they have lived there for more than one year, a 60-Day Notice to Quit must be used instead. This is somewhat rare in California since most landlords prefer to start with a one-year lease and allow the tenant to become month-to-month after the lease ends.

It's important to note this Notice is not used for Covid related tenancy issues. If you think you may be subject to Covid-era rules about your dispute or are unsure of what to do on your own, you should contact a local attorney to get legal advice.

When Should a Landlord Use a 30-Day Notice to Quit

The state has outlined five eviction notices to use in various situations. As outlined on that page, the 30-Day Notice to Quit is reserved for instances where you want a month-to-month tenant who has been at the property for less than a year to leave. This new form and requirement was initially codified in 2019 with the Tenant Protection Act, even though it is similar to the older 15-Day Notice to Quit, which is no longer used for new disputes.

This 30-Day Notice can only be used when the tenant has lived at the property for less than one year. If they have lived there for more than one year, a 60-Day Notice to Quit must be used instead.

It's also important to note that various cities in California have their own, more restrictive landlord-tenant laws which govern these disputes. For example, San Francisco requires several additional forms, filings, and waiting periods when the 30-Day Notice to Quit is used, and a landlord may be unable to evict a tenant using this notice at all. These requirements vary city by city, and if you are located in a large city that has strict rent control laws, your best bet is to contact a local attorney who can guide you through the process.

How Should a 30-Day 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. Courts regularly dismiss unlawful detainer actions (eviction cases) where notices have not been served correctly, resulting in the landlord needing to start over from scratch (with a new notice being served properly). In general, the tenant has the right to continue to occupy the unit during any restarts.

A landlord can serve the notice themself but must do so correctly, so long as they document how the notice was served at the time of service, keep accurate paper copies of their records, and follow the specific process serving laws above. Many landlords prefer to hire professional process servers to serve the initial notice or quit to minimize the chances of future delays.

Where to Get the Official Form for a 30-Day Notice to 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
  • A statement that the month-to-month rental tenancy will end in 30 days
  • A legally required statement on picking up personal property
  • The just cause (the legal reason) for ending the lease
  • A statement that the tenant has the right to either (1) get relocation assistance from you or (2) does not have to pay the last month's rent (specify exactly how much that is)
  • The date they must move out by (assumed to be 30 days or 60 days, but often stated explicitly)

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