Landlord Eviction Rights in California

By Tracy Hodge
A landlord must follow strict guidelines in California in order to evict tenants.
condominium unit image by jovica antoski from

A landlord is a person who owns a unit for rent. Landlords rent the unit to tenants, allowing them to live in the unit in exchange for a monthly fee. Tenants are usually required to sign a lease, which gives them exclusive rights to live in the unit until the lease ends. In California, landlords who wish to evict tenants must follow strict guidelines.

Termination Of Tenancy

California landlords may terminate tenancy by giving the tenant three-days notice in writing if the tenant has not lived up to the terms of the agreement or lease. According to the State of California, Department of Consumer Affairs, landlords may give a tenant a three day notice if the tenant has failed to pay rent on a timely basis, violated any provision described in the lease agreement, damaged the rental property, interfered with other tenants, committed violence or stalking against another tenant, used the rental unit for unlawful purposes, possess unlawful weapons or ammunition and engaged in drug dealing or the manufacture of illegal drugs.

Written Notice

California landlords have a right to terminate tenancy, but must give a tenant written notice that the termination is imminent. Tenants who pay on a month-to-month basis must receive a written 30-day or 60-day notice. When issuing a 30- or 60-day notice for termination of tenancy, the landlord has the right to exclude a reason for termination. Certain California cities require the landlord to provide the tenant with an explanation, but many do not. Landlords who wish to evict a tenant using the three-day method, must provide a three-day written notice with a reason for eviction provided. Tenants who wish to remain in the rental unit, must remedy the problem stated on the notice by the end of the third day. If this is not done, the tenant will be forced to move out.


California landlords have the right to serve eviction notices in several different ways. Landlords may deliver the written eviction notice in person and must hand the notice to the tenant. Landlords have the right to deliver the notice and leave it on the property, if the tenant refuses to take it. The three-day period begins the day after the landlord hands the notice to the tenant. Landlords in California may also use a substitute service for delivery of eviction notices. The substitute service must be of legal age and may hand-deliver a copy of the notice at home or at the tenant's place of employment. A notice must also be mailed to the tenant. Landlords have the right to use a substitute service, which is legal if both steps are complete. Another method in which landlords in California may serve an eviction notice is by posting it on the rental unit in a conspicuous place. This must be followed by mailing the written notice. The three-day period begins the day after the notice is posted and mailed.