California Termination and Eviction Rules

California law specifies when and how a landlord may terminate a tenancy.

For example, a landlord may give a California tenant who has failed to pay rent, been assigning or subletting without permission or has otherwise breached the lease, an unconditional quit notice. That notice gives the tenant three days to move out before the landlord can file for eviction.

Failure to pay rent

When a California tenant fails to pay rent on time, the landlord must give the tenant a three-day notice to pay rent or quit (move) before the landlord can file an eviction suit. If the tenant does not pay rent or move out within those three days, the landlord can sue. If the tenant fails to pay the rent or leave, the Landlord remedy is to file what is called an unlawful detainer action with the court.

Lease violation

When a California tenant violates a term of the lease—such as having a pet in violation of a no-pets policy, or fails to repair the premises, provide insurance coverage to the landlord, or otherwise breaches the leased, the landlord must give the tenant a three-day notice to cure (fix the problem) or quit. If the tenant does not fix the problem or move out within those three days, the landlord can sue.

Unconditional quit notice

California landlords can give tenants a three-day unconditional quit notice (meaning that the tenant does not have the chance to remedy the problem) when tenants assign or sublet the rental without permission, commit waste or a nuisance, or engage in illegal activity at the rental.

About the Author
D. Steven Yahnian has been a member of the California Bar and a practicing Attorney since 1980. He has also been a California CPA since 1984. Mr. Yahnian also holds the CFP® designation.

Mr. Yahnian practices in the following areas of law through YAHNIAN LAW CORPORATION:

  • Estate Planning & Administration
  • Asset Protection Planning
  • Tax Planning, Tax Debt Resolution and Tax Litigation
  • Business & Corporate Law and Planning
  • Real Property Law & Planning

As a CPA/CFP, Mr. Yahnian also has a separate accounting and tax return preparation practice called DSA ACCOUNTING.

Mr. Yahnian is a California State Bar Certified Specialist in the following
• Taxation Law and
• Estate Planning, Trust & Probate Law.

Mr. Yahnian received a B.S. degree in Accounting from USC, a J.D. from Loyola University of Los Angeles School of Law and an LL.M. in Taxation from New York University Law School. He also has a Certificate in Taxation from UCLA (with distinction). Mr. Yahnian also has an MS in Taxation* from UCLA (with Distinction).


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