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  1. #1

    Default Tenant's Rent Past Due - Who Can Serve a 3 Day Notice in California

    my habitually late tenants are severely late on this month's rent (due the 1st, late fee assessed if rent not received by 5th). i decided not to call/contact them as i usually do. but i am extremely late on sending the 3 Day Pay or Quit Notice.

    1) who is the best server (process server, attny, etc) and most economical to serve this notice besides myself? (the property is over an hour away and I really don't want to serve it myself.)

    2) should it be delivered to the property or their work address?

    3) does it need to be signed for by tenant or can it be left with their kids or posted on the door?

    4) do i have to send 2 notices - both boyfriend and girlfriend are listed as tenants on lease.

    any advice is appreciated. thanks!

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Tenant's Rent Past Due - Who Can Serve a 3 Day Notice in California

    For serving notice,
    Quote Quoting How does the landlord give notice to the tenant?
    The landlord has to serve the notice on the tenant or tenants properly. The landlord can do it him or herself, or s/he can ask a friend to do it. The landlord can also hire a process server. The person who serves the notice must be at least 18 years old.

    There are 3 ways to serve the notice:
    • Personal service: The landlord or someone else gives the notice directly to the tenant in person.
    • Substitute service: If the tenant isn't home, the landlord can leave the notice with someone else at least 18 who is at the house AND then mail a second copy to the tenant at the property.
    • "Nail and Mail" (posting) service: If there is no one home to leave the papers with, the landlord can tape or nail the notice to the front door or somewhere where it can be seen easily, AND send a copy by mail to the tenant at the property.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Tenant's Rent Past Due - Who Can Serve a 3 Day Notice in California

    You are right..you are EXTREMELY late in starting this process.

    In CA courts you will often be asked if you followed CA law for service..which requires that you ATTEMPT to serve IN PERSON at the residence, then at their employer then finally if no luck nail/mail process.

    An hour's drive is NOTHING and you really should serve the notice yourself. If not (I think I've answered you on another message board or two?) then the same firm you hire to DO the eviction can do it and complete it as well (CA law has very specific requirements for wording/info on the 3-days..generics won't work!) charging extra. Remember this is only the very FIRST step for an eviction.

    Next time start this process on the 5th or so of the month! If you are an hour away and don't wish to actively manage your property..you might consider using a PM or selling and buying something closer to home. Though an hour away is really not that big of a deal!

  4. #4

    Default Re: Tenant's Rent Past Due - Who Can Serve a 3 Day Notice in California

    I sent the notice today to both tenants using a process server. i copied the language verbatim from Nolo's Landlord Guide, requesting payment to be mailed to my home address. i spoke to different attorney's and they won't even touch it until i sit with them.

    what should i do if i don't receive money from them 3 days from now? who do you recommend to start the eviction process... an eviction service or attorney, etc?

  5. #5

    Default Re: Tenant's Rent Past Due - Who Can Serve a 3 Day Notice in California

    First off...EVICTION legal firms do everything over the TELEPHONE and via FAX..you don't even have to go into the office so you are calling the wrong legal firms! And many have their OWN in house process servers who are DEDICATED to doing nothing else but serving tenants every single day for clients!

    Second, Nolo may or may not be up to date..often times I've found them to NOT be. Here is just some facts about CA 3-day per CA law:

    ....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.

    In addition to that the notice SHOULD state that if not paid within the three days the LL elects to declare FORFEITURE (allowing you to not have to accept money after that time is up and go for possession only initially).

    I don't know what else to tell you..it seems you don't want to "hear" perhaps? You need to call a local LL / apartment association for a referral to a QUALIFIED EVICTION law firm and have them handle it for a FIXED FEE. You should have had THEM do the 3-day and serve it since you do not seem to know the law/requirements and are so reluctant to even do the basic notice service..that way THEY would know it was "solid" and that the case was good going into it.

    If you made one mistake (even a TINY one) on the 3-day and/or omitted any required info or in any way the service isn't done according to specific law for THIS notice you will lose the case because most judges LOOK FOR technicalities to rule against LL's and there are plenty of FREE legal resources for tenants and even "instructions" on the internet for tenants telling them precisely what to look for to trip up the LL's case causing all sorts of delays, etc.

    It sounds as though you probably did NOT provide for example a phone number as required. And you indeed will suffer not providing an in person address to pay at. If you had the attorney's office locally do it, they might even put THEIR info in the form for you..they do on the summons/complaint..though again most LL's do the 3-days themselves.

    As you read above in the law, if you do not provide a physical address but rather only a mailing address (still name and phone number must be on the form with it) then they can MAIL it on the 3rd day and you can't file the eviction until you are sure they did NOT do this meaning it further delays and induces uncertainty in the case as well.

    The original along with a sworn statement of service will need to be submitted along with original rental agreement and any subsequent addendums/rent increases to open the case with the law firm. If you use the RIGHT kind of firm..this is all done via mail..but they will open the case right away over the phone/FAX.

    I also suggest in addition to calling a local LL/apartment association for a referral that you actually VISIT the courtroom where your eviction will most likely be held to determine who the "top dog" is and use that firm. And you can learn a LOT just spending an hour or two in court to observe as well.

    I hope the notice you used has all of the most recent required info on it and that you filled it out correctly. No late fees can be included for example or it will be found VOID. Nothing but the past due rent broken out by periodic rental payments that are unpaid as of the date of the notice. And the address, phone (hours if applicable), forfeiture statement, etc. too.

    Good luck.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Tenant's Rent Past Due - Who Can Serve a 3 Day Notice in California

    thanks CA LL. the tenants received it this morning. one of them called me crying, not knowing her hubby never deposited the money into my account nor called. i told her she's got two more days (since it was delivered yesterday), etc.

    i'm now a bit scared about the language i used from Nolo. here's what was written:
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    To: Wifey Tenant, Hubby Tenant
    all tenants, subtenants, adult occupants, and others in possession of the premises at 123 Main Street, City of Vallejo, County of Solano, California.
    PLEASE TAKE NOTICE that the rent on these premises occupied by you, in the amount of $1700.00, for the period from September 1, 2007 to September 30, 2007, is now due and payable.
    YOU ARE HEREBY REQUIRED to pay this amount within THREE (3) days from the date of service on you of this notice or to vacate and surrender possession of the premises. In the event you fail to do so, legal proceedings will be instituted against you to recover possession of the premises, declare the forfeiture of the rental agreement or lease under which you occupy the premises, and recover rents, damages, and cost of suit.
    RENT IS TO BE PAID TO:
    [X] the following person: Missy Landlord
    AT THE FOLLOWING ADDRESS: 456 Eviction Road, San Francisco, California, 94123, phone: (415) 555-1111
    IN THE FOLLOWING MANNER:
    [X] by mail to the person and address indicated above

    Signed: Missy Landlord
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    i did not use an original, as i faxed two signed copies to the process server to deliver. also did not include tenant's phone number, late fee.

    CA LL: where in CA are you located? do you recommend someone here in the Bay Area?

  7. #7

    Default Re: Tenant's Rent Past Due - Who Can Serve a 3 Day Notice in California

    Sorry I'm in SO CA.

    The only issue I see is that per CA STATE LAW, they have the "right" to MAIL on the 3rd day and if they do so and can prove it you MUST accept it even after the three days are up..in other words you must DELAY the filing a few days.

    I'm confused..you told them to MAIL it but then you mention the depositing into your account? Which is it?

    And the law spells out EXACTLY ABOVE both scenarios and what is required for each..suggest you review again.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Tenant's Rent Past Due - Who Can Serve a 3 Day Notice in California

    they usually deposit the rent into my account. i specifically deleted that out of the notice because i want to see the money in my hands instead.

    just spoke with them today. apparently they have some sob story and are going to separate and now renew the lease in december. i wasn't going to renew it anyway.

    so we've agreed to the following: tenants will deliver the funds to me on Friday (4th day after notice delivered). if i don't receive it by end of day then i will begin eviction proceedings. but you say i may have to delay it?

  9. #9

    Default Re: Tenant's Rent Past Due - Who Can Serve a 3 Day Notice in California

    Your answers get more confusing each time..

    First when you say you "agreed" is that in WRITING signed by all parties..otherwise it is worthless.

    NEXT..you said they will "DELIVER" to you...what exactly do you mean by that? Your NOTICE says MAIL which is the WORST option to choose for payment on a 3 day. Now are you saying they must do something else or what? Why would you CROSSOUT the method of payment always previously allowed on the 3-day?

    Please re-read my post..the "delay" comes in IF you mandate payment is mailed and they do mail it because they are allowed to NOT GET IT TO YOU by end of day three only MAIL it be end of day three.

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