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Lesson 3:
Landlord's Reasons for Terminating Tenancy



§3.02 Default in Payment of Rent

Probably the most common reason for a landlord’s seeking to terminate a tenancy is the tenant’s default in payment of rent. If a tenant fails to pay the rent agreed on and remains in possession of the rental property, he or she is subject to eviction. [CCP §§1161(2), 1161.1.]

To evict on this ground, the landlord must first serve the tenant with a 3-day notice to pay or quit, which states the amount of rent due and other payment information, including where payment must be made, the hours during which it can be received, and a telephone number. If the address does not allow for personal delivery, it will be conclusively presumed that the rent is deemed received on mailing. [See CCP §1161(2).] The notice must be stated in the alternative, allowing the tenant to cure the default. [See CCP §§1161(2), 1161.1; Hinman v Wagnon (1959) 172 CA2d 24, 27.]

The landlord almost always elects a forfeiture of the rental agreement in the notice. Failure to do so could leave the tenant with the right to retain possession by paying rent and damages within 5 days after entry of judgment. [See CCP §1174(c).]

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