Code of Civil Procedure 1162, often referred to as CCP 1162, is the California law that details how to serve a notice of termination of tenancy on a tenant.
Code of Civil Procedure 1162 Allows Notices to be Served on Tenants via Three Methods
Do you need to serve a notice of termination of tenancy on your tenant? Code of Civil Procedure 1162 authorizes three methods to serve the tenant with the notice to terminate tenancy. If the notice is not served by one of the allowable methods, it will be considered an invalid serve. Furthermore, service should be attempted in order, meaning, personal service should be attempted first, then substituted service, and finally posting and mailing.
To be clear, these rules are NOT for serving official unlawful detainer court documents such as a summons and complaint. Rather, these rules are for serving notices to terminate tenancy such as a 3 day notice to pay rent or quit, a 3 day notice to cure or quit, and a 3 day notice to quit.
CCP 1162(a)(1): Personal Service
The exact language of Code of Civil Procedure 1162(a)(1) says:
(1) By delivering a copy to the tenant personally.Code of Civil Procedure 1162(a)(1)
Code of Civil Procedure 1162(a)(1) allows notices to be served to the tenant personally. This is the preferred method of service and this method must be attempted first before any other allowable method.
CCP 1162(a)(2): Substituted Service
The exact language of Code of Civil Procedure 1162(a)(2) says:
(2) If he or she is absent from his or her place of residence, and from his or her usual place of business, by leaving a copy with some person of suitable age and discretion at either place, and sending a copy through the mail addressed to the tenant at his or her place of residence.Code of Civil Procedure 1162(a)(2)
This method of serving notices on a tenant is known as substituted service. This method can be attempted if the server first attempts to serve the tenant personally but the tenant does not open the door, but instead someone else “of suitable age and discretion” is available to take the papers. Under this method of service, the notice must also be mailed to the tenant.
CCP 1162(a)(3): Posting and Mailing
The exact language of Code of Civil Procedure 1162(a)(3) says:
(3) If such place of residence and business cannot be ascertained, or a person of suitable age or discretion there can not be found, then by affixing a copy in a conspicuous place on the property, and also delivering a copy to a person there residing, if such person can be found; and also sending a copy through the mail addressed to the tenant at the place where the property is situated. Service upon a subtenant may be made in the same manner.Code of Civil Procedure 1162(a)(3)
Serving a tenant with a notice via posting and mailing is the third allowable method of serving, but should only be done after first attempting personal service and then substituted service. If serving via posting and mailing, it is a good idea to take a dated picture of the posted notice to prove that the notice was actually posted on the specified date.
Landlord Tip: While the law allows landlords to serve their own notice on the tenant, it is not a good idea. It is better to have the notice served by a neutral third party, such as a process server. Having a neutral third party serve the notice will help the landlord should the tenant dispute the service of the notice.
- Landlords: Contact Us
- Follow on Facebook
- Follow on Twitter
- Bookmark this Blog
- Learn about our eviction law practice.
The information in this article and blog are not meant to be legal advice and is intended for educational purposes only. The laws change frequently and this article may not be updated to reflect current rules. Do not rely on this article when making legal decisions. Consult with legal counsel regarding your particular case before taking any action. It is important for landlords to understand what jurisdiction the rental property is located in, and whether or not there are any special tenant protections or rent control applicable to the property.