California Code of Civil Procedure 1161(2): Eviction for Non-Payment of Rent

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California Code of Civil Procedure 1161(2), which is also known as CCP 1161(2), is the underlying law when the landlord needs to evict a tenant based on non-payment of rent. When a tenant receives a 3 day notice to pay rent or quit in California, the underlying law that supports the 3 day notice is California Code of Civil Procedure 1161(2).

CCP 1161(2) states that a tenant is guilty of unlawful detainer:

When he or she continues in possession, in person or by subtenant, without the permission of his or her landlord, or the successor in estate of his or her landlord, if applicable, after default in the payment of rent, pursuant to the lease or agreement under which the property is held, and three days’ notice, in writing, requiring its payment, stating the amount which is due, the name, telephone number, and address of the person to whom the rent payment shall be made, and, if payment may be made personally, the usual days and hours that person will be available to receive the payment (provided that, if the address does not allow for personal delivery, then it shall be conclusively presumed that upon the mailing of any rent or notice to the owner by the tenant to the name and address provided, the notice or rent is deemed received by the owner on the date posted, if the tenant can show proof of mailing to the name and address provided by the owner), or the number of an account in a financial institution into which the rental payment may be made, and the name and street address of the institution (provided that the institution is located within five miles of the rental property), or if an electronic funds transfer procedure has been previously established, that payment may be made pursuant to that procedure, or possession of the property, shall have been served upon him or her and if there is a subtenant in actual occupation of the premises, also upon the subtenant. The notice may be served at any time within one year after the rent becomes due. In all cases of tenancy upon agricultural lands, where the tenant has held over and retained possession for more than 60 days after the expiration of the term without any demand of possession or notice to quit by the landlord or the successor in estate of his or her landlord, if applicable, he or she shall be deemed to be holding by permission of the landlord or successor in estate of his or her landlord, if applicable, and shall be entitled to hold under the terms of the lease for another full year, and shall not be guilty of an unlawful detainer during that year, and the holding over for that period shall be taken and construed as a consent on the part of a tenant to hold for another year. [emphasis added]

This quote from CCP 1161(2) is a lot to comprehend but basically means that if a California tenant is behind in the rent, the landlord has the legal right to serve a 3 day notice to pay rent or quit on the tenant. If the tenant fails to cure the default within 3 days of being served with the CCP 1161(2) notice, the landlord has the legal right to file an unlawful detainer (eviction) case in court to evict the tenant.

For a Code of Civil Procedure 1161(2) notice to be valid, it must contain certain required information as outlined above in the code. It must also be served correctly. If the notice is defective because it does not contain all the correct information or lacks required information, or if the CCP 1161(2) notice was not properly served, the landlord will lose the unlawful detainer case and need to start over from the beginning, losing valuable time and money.

For more information on CCP 1161(2) notices and non-payment of rent cases, refer to the following:

Read David Piotrowski’s “Landlord Best Practices and Eviction Overview” book. If you need help with an eviction in Southern California, including drafting a valid CCP 1161(2) notice and serving the tenant, contact us today. Also, be sure to check out our reviews! We look forward to helping you. We offer a free consultation on most cases.

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This article is courtesy of the Law Office of David Piotrowski, a California law firm representing landlords with eviction matters.

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The Law Office of David Piotrowski

represents California landlords.

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