The California Civil Code, Chapter 2, Section 1951.3 outlines the following requirements for giving proper notice to a tenant before taking possession of a rental property when it is suspected that a tenant left and broke the lease:
Written Notice of Belief of Abandonment
Real property shall be deemed abandoned by the lessee, within the meaning of the section California Tenant Abandonment Laws and Breaking a Lease, and the lease shall terminate if the lessor gives written notice of belief of abandonment as provided in this section and the lessee fails to give the lessor written notice, prior to the date of termination specified in the lessor’s notice, stating that the lessee does not intend to abandon the real property and stating an address at which the lessee may be served by certified mail in any action for unlawful detainer of the real property.
Date of Termination
The lessor may give a notice of belief of abandonment to the lessee pursuant to this section only where the rent on the property has been due and unpaid for at least 14 consecutive days and the lessor reasonably believes that the lessee has abandoned the property. The date of termination of the lease shall be specified in the lessor’s notice and shall be not less than 15 days after the notice is served personally or, if mailed, not less than 18 days after the notice is deposited in the mail.
Delivery of Notice
The lessor’s notice of belief of abandonment shall be personally delivered to the lessee or sent by first-class mail, postage prepaid, to the lessee at the lessee’s last known address and, if there is reason to believe that the notice sent to that address will not be received by the lessee, also to any other address known to the lessor where the lessee may reasonably be expected to receive the notice.
The notice of belief of abandonment shall be in substantially the following form:
|Notice of Belief of Abandonment|
|To: _____ (Name of lessee/tenant) _____
_____ (Address of lessee/tenant) _____
|This notice is given pursuant to Section 1951.3 of the Civil Code concerning the real property leased by you at ________ (state location of the property by address or other sufficient description). The rent on this property has been due and unpaid for 14 consecutive days and the lessor/landlord believes that you have abandoned the property.
The real property will be deemed abandoned within the meaning of Section 1951.2 of the Civil Code and your lease will terminate on ________ (here insert a date not less than 15 days after this notice is served personally or, if mailed, not less than 18 days after this notice is deposited in the mail) unless before that date the lessor/landlord receives at the address indicated below a written notice from you stating both of the following:
(1) Your intent not to abandon the real property.
(2) An address at which you may be served by certified mail in any action for unlawful detainer of the real property.
You are required to pay the rent due and unpaid on this real property as required by the lease, and your failure to do so can lead to a court proceeding against you.
|Dated: _______ ___________________ (Signature of lessor/landlord)
(Type or print name of lessor/landlord)
(Address to which lessee/tenant is to send notice)
The real property shall not be deemed to be abandoned pursuant to this section if the lessee proves any of the following:
- At the time the notice of belief of abandonment was given, the rent was not due and unpaid for 14 consecutive days.
- At the time the notice of belief of abandonment was given, it was not reasonable for the lessor to believe that the lessee had abandoned the real property. The fact that the lessor knew that the lessee left personal property on the real property does not, of itself, justify a finding that the lessor did not reasonably believe that the lessee had abandoned the real property.
- Before the date specified in the lessor’s notice, the lessee gave written notice to the lessor stating the lessee’s intent not to abandon the real property and stating an address at which the lessee may be served by certified mail in any action for unlawful detainer of the real property.
- During the period beginning 14 days before the time the notice of belief of abandonment was given and ending on the date the lease would have terminated pursuant to the notice, the lessee paid to the lessor all or a portion of the rent due and unpaid on the real property.
Note: Nothing in this section precludes the lessor from serving a notice requiring the lessee to pay rent or quit.
Amended by Stats. 2018, Ch. 104, Sec. 2. (AB 2847) Effective January 1, 2019.
Return to California Landlord-Tenant Laws.