California Civil Code 1946, also known as CC 1946, is the California law that says either the landlord or the tenant can terminate a month-to-month tenancy when either side gives the other side at least 30 days written notice terminating the tenancy. Even after giving the CC 1946 notice, the tenant is still obligated to pay rent during this time and so long as the tenant is in possession of the rental unit. Oftentimes, tenants will stop paying rent after the landlord gives the tenant a CC 1946 termination notice. If the tenant stops paying rent, the landlord would have sufficient grounds to serve the tenant with a 3 day notice to pay rent or quit under CCP 1161(2).
The parties may agree in writing when the tenancy is created that less than 30 days’ notice is sufficient, but not less than 7 days. However, most residential leases do not provide for a shorter notice period.
The 30 day notice must be served properly as outlined in Civil Code 1162 or by sending a copy by certified or registered mail addressed to the other party. Civil Code 1162 will be the topic of a different blog post.
A relatively new requirement is that each 30 day notice given by a landlord to a tenant must contact verbiage regarding the ability of a tenant to reclaim abandoned personal property (see below for the exact language required).
The full Civil Code 1946 (CC 1946) reads:
A hiring of real property, for a term not specified by the parties, is deemed to be renewed as stated in Section 1945, at the end of the term implied by law unless one of the parties gives written notice to the other of his or her intention to terminate the same, at least as long before the expiration thereof as the term of the hiring itself, not exceeding 30 days; provided, however, that as to tenancies from month to month either of the parties may terminate the same by giving at least 30 days’ written notice thereof at any time and the rent shall be due and payable to and including the date of termination. It shall be competent for the parties to provide by an agreement at the time the tenancy is created that a notice of the intention to terminate the same may be given at any time not less than seven days before the expiration of the term thereof. The notice herein required shall be given in the manner prescribed in Section 1162 of the Code of Civil Procedure or by sending a copy by certified or registered mail addressed to the other party. In addition, the lessee may give the notice by sending a copy by certified or registered mail addressed to the agent of the lessor to whom the lessee has paid the rent for the month prior to the date of the notice or by delivering a copy to the agent personally. The notice given by the lessor shall also contain, in substantially the same form, the following:
“State law permits former tenants to reclaim abandoned personal property left at the former address of the tenant, subject to certain conditions. You may or may not be able to reclaim property without incurring additional costs, depending on the cost of storing the property and the length of time before it is reclaimed. In general, these costs will be lower the sooner you contact your former landlord after being notified that property belonging to you was left behind after you moved out.”
Different rules may apply in rent control jurisdictions that may supersede CC 1946. Furthermore, if the tenant has lived in the property for longer than one year, then a 60 day notice of termination is required in most instances instead of a 30 day notice of termination, per CC 1946.1.
The Law Office of David Piotrowski can assist landlords with drafting and serving a CC 1946 termination of tenancy notice on their tenants. If you need help with an eviction in California, contact us today. We represent landlords only with eviction cases.
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