*****Disclaimer: This is not legal advice and is for educational purposes only. This does not create an attorney-client privilege.
In a previous blog we spoke about the different kinds of 3 Day Notices to Quit there are. This blog will focus on the 30 and 60 Day notice to Quit that are used in Landlord/tenant law. Please note that this blog is specific to California law.
Let's start by defining what exactly a Notice to Quit is. Notices to Quit are a tool used to formally begin the ending a lease and is the first step in the eviction process (if a tenant refuses to leave of their own volition). This notice is a way of officially informing your tenant that they need to prepare to leave the premises. It is likely that you will have spoken to your tenant about your intent for them to leave the property already, but these notices are how you formally document the beginning of that process with the court.
A Notice to Quit protects you by having a timestamp. If you tried to get a tenant to leave on good faith alone/by asking, and then wind up with them refusing to go as expected, you will have just lost all of that time. Despite however long you were working at handling things privately, you would still have to start the process in the courts from the beginning with a Notice to Quit.
Now that you understand what a notice to quit is and the utility of it, let's distinguish the various types of Three Day Notices from the 30 and 60 Day Notices to Quit. Bet you can guess the first difference! Yes, 30-60 Day notices give the tenant much more time to gather their belongings and vacate the premises. They are also used in less urgent cases; “they are notices for termination without cause”. In contrast, three day notices are for ‘at fault’ evictions. Essentially they are due to the tenant breaking the lease. This can mean failure to pay rent or can even be due to the tenant causing disturbances to the peace or safety of the community.
The 30/60 day notices are used more in the normal course of landlord/tenant relations.
30 and 60 Day Notices are pretty much the same apart from the length of time. A 30 Day Notice is appropriate to use in circumstances wherein there exists a month to month lease and the tenant has resided at the property for less than one year. If the tenant has lived at the domicile for over a year, the landlord would use a 60 Day Notice.
For the most part, with the exception of some properties in rent controlled communities, your landlord does not need to give you a reason for serving you with a 30 or 60 Day Notice to Quit. However, it is important to note that a landlord using one to act on a discriminatory or retaliatory motive is illegal.
The requirements of a 30 or 60 day notice are pretty straight forward. First, it must be in writing. You will want to mail this through certified mail with a receipt, then post it at the property, clearly visible. This Notice will need to list the name of the tenant(s) and list the address of the property. It will also clearly state when the month-to-month tenancy will end with the date specified. It informs the tenant they need to be off the property with their belongings at that time. It does not need to be notarized by the courts, though should be signed by the landlord or agent acting on their behalf.
For tenancies with a longer term lease (i.e. not month-to-month), the landlord cannot end the tenancy without cause until the end of the term. This means that you will not need to use a 30 or 60 Day notice to end a tenancy that is not month-to-month. For these longer tenancies, the landlord does not need to give the tenant notice to move out at the end of the term unless the lease specifically requires it. For example, if the renter has a year-long tenancy that expires at the end of February and the tenant has not requested a lease renewal, the landlord will not need to give the tenant notice to move out by the end of February, unless the terms of the lease specifically require it.