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What are the options to have a tenant quit a property?

California landlords need to be aware of the different ways in which a tenant can be legally compelled to leave the property. While there are five options when giving an eviction notice, there are three in which the tenant is simply being asked to leave or "quit" the property. Those that will not be discussed here provide alternatives for the tenant to remain. This post relates to the tenant moving out when asked to do so with no option to stay. There are three alternatives: a 3-day notice to quit; a 30-day or 60-day notice to quit; and a 90-day notice to quit.

A 3-day notice to quit is used when there are problems with a tenant who has created a nuisance, is using the property for illegal activity, has threatened the health and safety of other tenants or the public, has done damage that significantly reduces the property value, and moves in other tenants without the landlord's approval. In this notice, the following must be included in writing: the full name of the tenant, details of what the tenant did to warrant the 3-day notice with dates of infractions, and instructions that the tenant must move out once the 3 days have passed.

With a 30-day or 60-day notice to quit, the landlord can end a tenant's stay if it has been a month-to-month lease and the tenant has lived at the property for less than one year. The landlord will use a 60-day notice if the tenant has lived there for one year or more. This notice is required to be in writing, have the tenant's full name, have the property address, and say that the month-to-month agreement will be terminated in 30 days or in 60 days, depending on the situation.

The landlord must give a 90-notice if the residence is Section 8 or subsidized housing. The landlord is required to provide an explanation as to why the tenant is being asked to leave. There must also be just cause for the decision. It is perfectly legal for a landlord to request that a tenant leave with these notices. However, the law must be followed. If there is a problem with a tenant who refuses to adhere to the rental agreement or other issue, a landlord should speak to an attorney who is experienced with the eviction process.

Source: courts.ca.gov, "Eviction Notices," accessed on March 21, 2017

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