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21550 Foothill Blvd. Suite 201
Hayward, CA 94541

FAQs: Notices Information

There are several types of notices that need be given to tenants during the course of their tenancy. Many of these notices require that a very specific set of words be used in order for the notice to be valid if the need ever arises to use these in court (ie at an eviction). It is also required that these notices be delivered to the tenant in very specific ways in order to be valid.

Many owners feel embarrassed or intimidated when they have to serve a notice to a tenant. Owners also delay giving notices because they feel the tenant will get mad or upset if they get a notice and perhaps they will move.

Experience has shown that delaying the delivery of a notice actually makes matters worse for both the tenant and the owner. Both parties get upset, tempers flare and disaster strikes. It is ALWAYS best to give a notice as soon as it looks like it is necessary.

3 Day Notice to Correct or Quit
This notice is used when a serious breach of the Rental Agreement has occurred. It could be used if the tenant was arrested at the unit with drugs or for performing some other illegal action. It could even be used in the event of a more minor infraction such as having an unauthorized pet at the unit.
 
This notice is not widely used in the Hayward area due to the difficulty that has been encountered when a court action is needed to enforce the notice. The burden of proof is on the owner of the property to show that the tenant has really broken the Rental Agreement. This has proven to be difficult with the current feelings of the courts towards tenants. 
 
If you have Month-to-Month Rental Agreement, it has proven best to use the 30-Day notice to Terminate Tenancy because no reason is needed to terminate this agreement.
 
If you have a lease with several months remaining on the term of the agreement, a 3-Day notice to Correct or Quit may be your best choice. Keep in mind that you have to prove that a breach of the contract occurred. 

30-Day Change Terms of Tenancy
This notice is typically used to increase the rent. It can also be used to change the day of the month when the rent is due, change the late charge fee, add a charge for an NSF check, or not allow pets in the unit. Any change that is desired can be made through this 30-Day Change Terms of Tenancy notice.
 
A change in the terms of a Rental Agreement can only be made at the end of the term of the Agreement. If the Rental Agreement is a Month-to-Month agreement, a change can be made at the end of any month. If the Agreement is a lease for a year, the change can only be made at the end of the year.
 
When an owner wishes to make a change to the terms of a Verbal Rental Agreement a written notice to make these changes should be given to the tenant
 
- The notice should contain all of the following items:
- The name(s) of all the adult tenants, including those who were not originally on the rental agreement.
- The address of the unit.
- The date when these new terms will become effective (at least 30 days from the date you prepare the notice). Also include the words "or 30 days from the date this is served".
- State the new terms. For example: "the new rent will be $995.00" or "pets are no longer allowed at the property".
- Date 
- Signature line
- Your address or phone number. 
 
The notice does not need to be typed but should be legible. Be sure to keep a copy of the notice for your file. 

30-Day notice to Terminate Tenancy
This notice is very similar to the 30-Day notice to Change Terms, with the change being that the tenant will no longer live in the rental unit. This notice should contain all of the items mentioned for the Change Terms notice with the exception of the "new terms". 
 
As with the Change Terms notice, this notice can only be given at the end of the term of the agreement, either at the end of the month or end of the lease.

Service of the notice
Once the notice has been prepared it must be served to the tenant in order to become a valid notice. This can be done in one of several ways.
 
Personal Service
 
This is the best type of service and should be attempted every time a notice needs to be delivered. Make a copy of the notice. Go to the unit where the tenant lives, knock on the door and when the tenant answers the door, verify that this is the person on the notice either by sight or ask them who they are and hand him/her the notice. Once they take hold of the notice it has legally been served.
 
If the person refuses to accept the notice, just place it on the floor or porch. This too is a valid service. 
 
On the copy that you made of the notice, note the time and date that you served the notice and to whom you served the notice. If the person served is one of the tenants, the service is now complete.
 
If the person who comes to the door is not someone that lives there, give the notice to them, and write down the name of the person that you gave the notice to and the time and date. If the person will not give you his/her name, just make notes about the physical description of the person. When you return home, make another copy of the notice with all of the delivery information and mail the copy, first class mail, to the tenants. Be sure to make a note on the original notice that has the personal service information written on it, the date you mailed it to the tenants. This service is now complete.
 
If no one is home when you drop by to deliver the notice, try a second time a little later in the day. Make a note of when you tried to deliver it. If the tenants are not home when you try to deliver the notice the second time, tape the notice to the front door of the unit. This is often referred to as "posting" or "nailing" the notice. Make a note of the date and time that you "post" the notice. Then when you are back at home, make a copy of the notice with the posting information on it and mail it, first class mail, to the tenant. This service is now complete.

When is a notice needed? Here are some of the most common reasons to give a notice to a tenant:
1. When the rent is late. If the rent is due on the 1st and you are nice enough to give them three days before you charge a late charge, and the rent has not been paid by the 3rd, you should serve the tenants with a notice on the 4th.
 
2. When the tenant is breaking the lease by his/her actions. If the tenant has moved someone else in to the unit that was not part of the original agreement you should serve them with a notice. If the tenant now has a pet that was not part of the original agreement you should serve them with a notice.
 
3. If it has been a year since you last raised the rent you should serve the tenant with a notice to increase the rent. (or a letter letting them know that you appreciate the way they take care of your unit and you will not be raising their rent this year)
 
4. If you want to change any term or condition of the rental agreement you should serve a notice.
When it comes to serving notices, it is not important whether you have a Verbal Rental Agreement or a Written Rental Agreement. Both you and the tenant have certain rights and responsibilities protected by law. There are also certain terms that are considered a part of every rental agreement whether the agreement is verbal or written.
 
A Rental Agreement does not have to be in writing to be enforceable. A Verbal Rental Agreement is just as binding, it is just more difficult to prove the terms of the agreement if the parties disagree on those terms. If your only Agreement is a Verbal Agreement, you should immediately go to the stationary store or contact a legal "forms" publishing outlet
( ie Professional Publishing) and put in writing the terms of your agreement with your tenant as you understand them, and have all adult tenants sign the Agreement.
 
There are 3 basic notices that are used with a 4th notice that can be used to the owners advantage under certain circumstances. We will discuss the 3 notices in detail.
 
3-Day Notice to Pay Rent or Quit
 
This is perhaps the most widely used notice. When a tenant has not paid the rent as prescribed in the Rental Agreement (written or verbal), you should use this notice. Most of the time, the tenant will realize that you mean business when you serve this notice and they will pay the rent or make some sort of arrangement. 

Aapex Property Management
21550 Foothill Blvd. Suite 201,
Hayward, CA 94541
510-293-3530

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