30-60 Day Notice to Terminate a Residential Lease

30/60 Day Notice to Terminate a Residential Lease

Beginning the eviction process in California can be confusing.  Landlords are faced with questions:  is notice needed, how much notice is needed, etc.  Here, we discuss situations where a landlord is permitted to use a 30/60 day notice to terminate a lease involving residential property? Here are a couple of steps to help guide you:

Step 1:  Determine the Type of Tenancy  

  • Month-to-month: This not generally viewed as a tenancy for a fixed term that is periodically extended, but rather as a tenancy having no fixed term that continues indefinitely until terminated. Silveira v. County of Alameda (2006) 139 Cal. App. 4th 989. The exception here is a month-to-month tenancy that can be terminated upon a tenant’s death. See ¶ 7:326.
  • Periodic Tenancy: This type of tenancy is created to continue for successive periods of the same length unless terminated by notice at the end of one of those periods. The reservation and payment of rent at specified periods determine the duration of the successive terms. Camp v. Matich (1948) 87 Cal. App. 2d 660.
  • Tenancy at will: A tenancy at will arises when the tenant takes possession of the premises with the landlord’s permission, but for no stated term and without provision for payment of rent. Covina Manor, Inc. v. Hatch (1955) 133 CA2d Supp. 790, 793, 284 P2d 580, 582.
  • Tenancy at sufferance (holdover tenancy): This type of tenancy arises when a tenant who had a lawful right of occupancy continues in possession, without the landlord’s consent, after expiration of the rental term. Gartlan v. C.A. Hooper & Co. (1918) 177 C 414, 426, 170 P 1115, 1120.
  • Lodger: With lodgers, the landlord-tenant relationship is distinguished from the relationship between a hotel or lodging house proprietor and a guest or lodger. The right to possession is the basis for the distinction. A tenant has exclusive possession, whereas a lodger has merely the use of the rooms, with the proprietor retaining the exclusive possession. Stowe v. Fritzie Hotels (1955) 44 C.2d 416, 421.

Step 2: Determine whether you have a Valid Reasons to Terminate Tenancy

The California legislature recently passed the Tenant Protection Act of 2019 enacting 1946.2. This became effective on January 1, 2020. Under the Tenant Protection Act of 2019 (Civ.C. § 1946.2), landlords must not terminate a tenancy without just cause where the tenant has continuously and lawfully occupied a residential real property for 12 months. [Civ.C. § 1946.2(a)]

Examples At-Fault Cause include:

  1. Non-payment of rent
  2. Breach of material term on the lease
  3. Maintaining, committing, or permitting a nuisance
  4. Committing waste on the property
  5. Committing criminal activity on the property
  6. Using premises for an unlawful purpose

Examples of No-Fault Cause includes: 

  1. When the owner or their spouse, children, grandchildren, parents, or grandparents intend to occupy the residence 
  2. Withdrawing the residential property from the rental market
  3. Intent to demolish or substantial remodel the residential property
  4. Unit is being sold to bona-fide purchaser

Step 3: Things to Take into Consideration

1. Rent control 

    • If the property is in Los Angles, look at zimas.lacity.org to see whether your property is subject to rent control regulations.   
    • Vary on the jurisdiction in California.
    • A “good faith” reason for eviction is usually mandatory in local rent control jurisdictions. Rent control jurisdictions impose various levels of eviction controls. Indeed, 30/60-day notice in these jurisdictions is permitted only for grounds specifically authorized by the rent control ordinance.

2. Section 8 

    • Tenancies that involve section 8 requires a 90 day notice

3. Limitations 

    • No “retaliatory evictions”
      • a. 30/60-day notices and UD complaints motivated out of desire to retaliate against the exercise of protected tenant rights are prohibited.
    • No discrimination evictions: Landlords may not serve a 30/60-day notice or file a UD complaint for a reason that would amount to unlawful housing discrimination against tenants in a protected group under the Unruh Act, the state FEHA, the federal FHA or the Americans with Disabilities Act.
    • No evictions based on immigration or citizenship status: Landlords cannot cause a tenant or occupant to quit involuntarily or bring an action to recover possession based on the immigration or citizenship status of a tenant, occupant, or other person known to the landlord to be associated with a tenant or occupant, unless the landlord is complying with a legal obligation under any federal government program that provides for rent limitations or rental assistance to qualified tenants. [CCP § 1161.4(a);

Step 3: If you determine that you have grounds to terminate the Tenancy, prepare Proper 30/60 Notice.

Whether or not you are entitled to terminate a tenancy will vary on a case by case basis. We recommend hiring an attorney to assist you in making this determination. At Schorr Law we have extensive experience in dealing with landlord/tenant issues. To schedule a 30-minute consultation regarding your matter, please contact us.

**Please be advised, this segment does not take into account the current housing restrictions that have been put in place due to Covid 19 by the state of California.

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