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California Eviction Notice Templates | Laws

California eviction notices are used to terminate a lease agreement between a landlord and a tenant. While some of these forms can be used by tenants, eviction notices are, in general, designed for landlords to notify a tenant that they are in violation of their lease agreement. In some cases, the tenant is given the opportunity to remedy the breach and avoid an eviction suit. In other situations, the landlord is notifying the tenant that they must vacate the premises or risk eviction. Filing for eviction can be a lengthy process and it’s often in the best interests of all parties involved that it be avoided except as a last resort.

Contents

By Type (6)

3-Day Notice to Quit for Non-Payment – Notifies a tenant that they are in violation of their lease due to non-payment of rent.

Download: PDF
Laws: § 1161(2)

 


3-Day Notice to Quit for Non-Compliance (Curable) – Served upon a tenant who has violated their lease agreement. This form is used only when the violation can be cured by the tenant within the three-day period.

Download: PDF
Laws: § 1161(3)

 


3-Day Notice to Quit for Non-Compliance (Incurable) – Allows a landlord to notify a tenant that they have breached their lease agreement or committed unlawful behavior that warrants termination of the lease.

Download: PDF
Laws: § 1161(4)

 


14-Day Notice to Terminate for Domestic Violence – Permits a tenant to terminate a rental agreement due to domestic violence towards them or a member of their household.

Download: PDF
Laws: § 1946.7

 


30-Day Notice to Terminate Month-to-Month Lease (Under 1-Year) – Used to end a tenancy (under 1 year) without cause; can be used by a landlord or tenant.

Download: PDF
Laws: § 1946.1(c)

 


60-Day Notice to Terminate Month-to-Month Lease (Over 1-Year) – Terminates a lease agreement between a landlord and tenant that has been effective for at least one (1) year.

Download: PDF
Laws: § 1946.1(b)

 


Eviction Laws + Required Notices

  • Grace Period: Not specified in state statutes.
  • Non-Payment of Rent (§ 1161(2)): Three (3) Days
  • Lease Non-Compliance (§1161(3)): Three (3) Days
  • Periodic Tenancy Termination (§ 1946.1): Thirty (30) or Sixty (60) Days
  • Illegal Activity (§ 1161(4)): Three (3) Days
  • Intentional Damage to the Property (§ 1161(4)): Three (3) Days
  • Domestic Violence (§ 1946.7): Fourteen (14) Days

How to Evict a Tenant

In order to legally evict a tenant, landlords must follow specific steps so that nothing falls through the cracks and disrupts the court’s ruling on the eviction suit. Completing these steps will ensure the situation is handled in the most efficient manner possible.

Step 1 – Deliver Notice

Before a tenant can be evicted, they must be notified that they are currently defaulting on their lease agreement and will be given an appropriate amount of time to rectify the situation or vacate the premises to avoid legal action. One of the following forms must be downloaded, completed, and delivered to the tenant in accordance with state law:

Step 2 – Start Eviction Process

If the tenant fails to vacate the premises or remedy the breach within the given notice period, the landlord can download and complete the following court forms to start an Unlawful Detainer case:

Some counties may require additional forms; these requirements can be confirmed by searching the court clerk’s office in the landlord’s county. 

Step 3 – File with County Court

Copies should be made of the Summons and Complaint forms (depending on the number of tenants on the lease agreement) and all copies should be brought to the county court in which the property is located. The court clerk will ask for a filing fee and will stamp “Filed” on each form.

State law declares that the filing fee for a civil case is $205-$330, but fees may vary by county.

Step 4 – Serve Tenant

The landlord should keep a copy of the Summons and Complaint for themselves and send copies to every tenant on the lease agreement. The landlord cannot deliver these documents themselves, they must use a third-party to serve the papers. This has to be done, by the server, in the following order until service is successful:

  1. Hand-delivered to the tenant(s).
  2. Hand-delivered to a member of the tenant’s household AND mailed to the tenant’s address (only after 2-3 failed hand-delivered service attempts on the tenant).
  3. Post copies on the property AND send copies by certified mail (only if both options 1 and 2 fail and the court allows it).

The server must complete and sign a Proof of Service of Summons (Form POS-010). This form must be filed with the court clerk and a copy must be kept with the landlord.

Step 5 – Tenant’s Response 

The tenant is given a certain amount of time to respond to the Complaint, the duration of which will depend on the number of tenants and the method of service. In a typical situation where the landlord is dealing with one tenant and the forms were hand-delivered, the tenant is given five (5) days to respond. However, response time can be up to fifteen (15) days in certain situations. If the tenant does not reply, the landlord may ask for a default judgment. (If the tenant does reply, Step 6 can be skipped.)

Step 6 – Default Judgment

If the tenant does not respond to the Summons and Complaint, the landlord can demand a default judgment, meaning the tenant has no right to fight the case in court. The landlord must complete the following forms:

Although it isn’t common, the court may deny the default judgment and decide the case should still go to trial (Step 7). Otherwise, the court will make accept the default judgment without going to trial (see Step 8).

Step 7 – Trial

If the tenant responds to the landlord’s Complaint (generally by filing an Answer – Unlawful Detainer (Form UD-105)), the landlord must file a Request to Set Case for Trial – Unlawful Detainer (Form UD-150) to get the case moving forward in court. The tenant must receive a copy of the Request Form with Proof of Service completed by the Server. The parties may agree to a jury trial (with associated jury fees) or a judge will be assigned to settle the case. Both parties will be given the opportunity to plead their case during the trial, with the judge asking questions and reviewing any necessary evidence.

Step 8 – Judgment

If the tenant wins the case at trial, the judge may decide they have a legal right to remain on the property, which will result in the landlord having to pay court fees and, if written in the lease agreement, attorneys’ fees.

If the landlord wins the case at trial or the judge accepts their Request for Entry of Default (Form CIV-100) (as shown in Step 6), the judge will order a Judgment of Possession and ask the tenant to pay back rent, damages, and court costs. It’s also possible that the tenant will have to pay a penalty of $600 if the court finds they did not vacate the property for reasons of malice or spite. Finally, a Writ of Execution must be filed by the landlord which gives the county sheriff the power to remove the tenant from the property if they do not vacate the premises within five (5) days.


Court Forms + Resources

Forms

Resources