Do you need to evict a tenant?
Are you a landlord experiencing problems with your tenant? Perhaps your tenant stopped paying the rent. Maybe your tenant is violating a term of the rental agreement, such as smoking or having pets when the lease says that smoking and pets are not allowed. Or perhaps your tenant is damaging your home or causing a nuisance with the neighbors. If any of these scenarios sound familiar, you may need to evict your tenant.
The first necessary step for a successful eviction predicated on any of the above reasons is the 3 day eviction notice. A landlord is required to draft and serve the termination notice on the tenant prior to beginning an eviction case in court. The notice is an absolute prerequisite for an eviction case that is based on any of the above reasons. Furthermore, the landlord and tenant may NOT contract away the notice requirement. Any provision in the rental agreement that says a 3 day notice is not needed is unenforceable.
It is crucial that the termination notice is filled out correctly. An incorrect termination notice could invalidate your entire eviction, costing you more time and money because you would have to start the process over from the beginning. If you do not include the correct information on your termination notice, or if you serve it incorrectly, you are likely to lose your eviction case. The courts in Los Angeles are very strict about making sure the notice is accurate. If you have any doubts as to the legality of your notice, consult a legal professional immediately.
The type of 3 day eviction notice that you serve on your tenant will vary depending on the reason for eviction. For example, if your tenant is behind in the rent, you would serve the tenant with a “3 Day Notice to Pay Rent or Quit.” This means, within 3 days of properly serving the tenant with the notice, the tenant must either pay the rent that they owe, or move out of the house. If your tenant is violating a term of the rental agreement, you should serve the tenant with a “3 Day Notice to Cure Covenant or Quit.” This type of notice gives the tenant 3 days to fix their violation. It is important to note that if your tenant “cures” their violation within 3 days, whether they pay their rent or comply with the terms of the rental agreement, you cannot evict them based on the 3 day notice if they have corrected the problem.
There is another type of termination notice called the “3 Day Notice to Quit.” This type of termination notice does not allow the tenant to “cure” their violation. This can only be used if the tenant is damaging the property, causing a nuisance, or illegally assigning or sub-leasing. Strict guidelines must be met.
Regardless of the type of 3 day notice used, landlords must be sure to include the proper language in the 3 day notice and serve the 3 day notice correctly. Failure to do either may cause the landlord to lose the eviction case. Read more about how to evict a tenant.