If you get a Notice
Before your landlord can start an eviction case (unlawful detainer), they must give you a written Notice that tells you why they want to end your lease or rental agreement and how much time you have to do what they ask or move out. A Notice is like a written warning that has a deadline.
If you don't do what the Notice says by the deadline, your landlord can start an eviction case in court. Then, they can ask a judge to order you to move out and, possibly, pay the landlord money.
1. Figure out what the Notice says
There are different types of Notices with different deadlines
Some Notices give you a deadline to pay or fix a problem. If you don't, you must move out by the deadline. These are called Notices to “pay or quit” or “perform covenants or quit.” The word “quit” means move out of the home.
Other Notices only give you a deadline to move out, like a 30-day Notice to Quit.
How to figure out your deadline
Each Notice starts with a number of days, like 15-day or 30-day. The number of days is the deadline. You start counting the day after you get the Notice.
For the Notices that ask you to pay or fix a problem or move out, you do not count weekends or court holidays in the deadline.
For Notices to only move out by a deadline, you count each day. But, if the last day is a Saturday, Sunday, or a court holiday, then the deadline is the next business day.
Examples of different types of Notices
Do something Or Move out
- 3-day Notice to Perform Covenants or Quit means you must do something, like remove a pet from the house if the lease says "no pets," or move out within 3 days.
Move out by a deadline
- 3-day Notice to Quit means your landlord thinks you did something very serious to violate the lease and you must move out within 3 days.
- 30-day or 60-day Notice to Quit means your landlord is ending your lease and you must move out by the deadline.
There are a few times when the landlord may not have to give notice. For example:
- If you have a fixed-term lease (a lease for an exact amount of time, like 1 year), the lease is up, and your landlord doesn't extend it, your landlord may be able to start an eviction case without giving notice first.
- If you give notice to end your lease and then don't move out.
- If you work for the landlord and live on their property as part of your job.
2. Check if the Notice follows the law
- The Notice has to be delivered the right way
- The Notice has all the required information
If the landlord doesn't follow these rules, the court may decide the eviction is invalid.
Get legal help if you have questions about what the Notice says, what it means, or if you think there's something wrong with the Notice. Resources for legal and housing help
3. Decide what to do
If you agree
You can do what the Notice says by the deadline. If you do, your landlord shouldn't start an eviction court case.
If you partly agree or disagree
Talk to your landlord before the deadline. If there's time, you can ask them to talk about the problem with a mediator - a person specially trained to help people agree. If you don't reach an agreement by the deadline, your landlord can start an eviction case in court.
If you do nothing
Your landlord might start an eviction case in court. If you lose, a sheriff can make you leave the home. And, the fact you were evicted can be on your credit record for 7 years.
Learn more about the pros and cons of each option
There are advantages and disadvantages of each of these options depending on your personal situation. Get legal help if you have questions about what the Notice says, what it means, or if you think there's something wrong with the Notice.