Unlawful Detainers: 3 Day Notice, 30 Day Notice or 60 Day Notice?

As discussed in my recent blog article about the San Diego eviction process, the first step in evicting a tenant is issuing the appropriate notice. The most common notices are the 3 Day Notice, the 30 Day Notice and the 60 Day Notice.

The 3 Day Notice will require the tenant to comply with the terms of the Notice within 3 Days. Below are some of the commonly used 3 Day Notices and what they can be used for:

  1. The 3 Day Notice to Pay or Quit- Perhaps the most commonly used notice, issued for nonpayment of rent. The tenant has three days to pay the full amount due or move out.
  2. The 3 Day Notice to Perform or Quit- When the tenant has violated any provision of the lease contract or rental agreement and the violation can be remedied, this is the notice to use. The tenant has three days to fix the problem or move out.
  3. Three Day Notice to Quit- This is for tenant problems that cannot be remedied, like:

-When the tenant is committing a nuisance on the property which interferes with other tenants;
-When the tenant does anything that lowers the value of the property significantly ("commits waste");
-When the tenant uses the property for an unlawful purpose;
-When the tenant commits domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalks another tenant on the property;
-When the tenant uses, deals, cultivates, manufactures, or imports illegal drugs;
-When the tenant engages in unlawful conduct involving weapons or ammunition.

The 30 Day Notice to Terminate Tenancy requires the tenant to move out of the property within 30 days. They can be used for:

  1. Ending a month-to-month tenancy of a tenant who has lived in the property for less than one year. Remember, when a fixed lease term expires and neither the tenant nor the landlord gives notice, the lease reverts to a month-to-month lease;
  2. The landlord has contracted to sell the rental unit to another person. In addition, all of the following must be true in order for the selling landlord to provide 30-day notice:

-The landlord must have opened escrow with a licensed escrow agent or broker;
-The landlord must have provided the 30-day notice no later than 120 days after opening the escrow;
-The landlord must not previously have provided the tenant with a 30-day or 60-day notice;
-The rental unit must be one that can be sold separately from any other dwelling unit;
-The purchaser in good faith intends to reside in the property for at least one full year after the   termination of the tenancy.

The 60 Day Notice to Terminate Tenancy requires the tenant to move out of the property within 60 days. They can be used for:

  1. Ending a month-to-month tenancy of a tenant who has lived in the property for one year or more.

San Diego is a city which has enacted municipal code regulations to protect tenants. If the tenant has lived in the property for over two years, "good cause" must be listed on the Notice to evict them. This is true for many cities with rent control laws (San Diego does not have any rent control laws), and each case should be examined separately, taking all city code regulations into consideration.

Some of the "good cause" reasons overlap with reasons that warrant a 3 Day Notice. Since the 3 Day Notice gets the job done faster, look to see if those apply first.

Here are some of the "good cause" reasons unique to 60 Day Notices (that do not warrant a 3 Day Notice):

  1. The tenant refuses to enter into a renewal or extension of the written lease;
  2. The tenant refuses to provide access to the landlord for repairs, inspections, showings to potential purchasers, etc.;
  3. The landlord needs to recover possession in order to comply with violation correction (needs to do construction, repairs, etc.);
  4. The landlord is withdrawing the property from the rental market completely;
  5. The landlord, their family member, or the property manager intends to move into the property as their primary place of residence.

For more information about the unlawful detainer process, please contact Richardson “Red” Griswold of Griswold Law.

For more information on this topic, check out the articles on the unlawful detainer process and 60 Day Notices.

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