Northridge, CA asked in Contracts and Landlord - Tenant for California

Q: Breaking a month to month lease

As a landlord I want to break my tenants lease because they won’t agree to me raising the rent. Can I write my own document saying i’m ending the lease? Or do I need to get an actual lawyer to write up a termination. Thank you.

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2 Lawyer Answers
James L. Arrasmith
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  • Landlord Tenant Lawyer
  • Sacramento, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: In California, a landlord can terminate a month-to-month tenancy by serving the tenant with a written 30-day notice if the tenant has resided in the property for less than one year, or a 60-day notice if the tenant has resided in the property for one year or more. You do not need a lawyer to write the notice, but it must comply with California law.

Here are a few key points to consider:

1. The notice must be in writing and clearly state that the tenancy will terminate in either 30 or 60 days, depending on the length of the tenancy.

2. The notice should be served to the tenant either in person, by substituted service, or by mail with an additional 5 days for mailing.

3. The termination of the tenancy cannot be retaliatory. If the tenant can prove that the termination is in response to the tenant exercising a legal right, such as refusing a rent increase that exceeds legal limits, the termination may not be valid.

4. In some cities with rent control ordinances, additional restrictions may apply when terminating a tenancy.

While you can write the notice yourself, it is essential to ensure that it complies with all applicable laws. If you are unsure about the process or have specific concerns, it may be beneficial to consult with a lawyer specializing in landlord-tenant law to ensure that you are following the proper procedures and to help protect your legal rights.

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Delaram Keshvarian
Delaram Keshvarian
  • Landlord Tenant Lawyer
  • Orange, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: Thank you for your question!

There is a huge difference between a commercial and a residential lease. (This information is missing in your question).

Residential lease:

A good cause for eviction is required in many cities or properties. Give a 30-day notice of the increase of rent to tenants. The raised amount may be subject to some restrictions based on which city your property is in. After, the notice, if the tenant fails to pay the legally increased amount of rent, you can evict them.

Commercial lease:

Look at lease agreement for the provisions of the lease agreement for notices. If the lease is silent on that, give 30 day notice of the increase rent, or simply end the lease with proper notices.

Hire an attorney for ethe viction process.

This is merely a discussion of general laws and not legal advice. For legal advice, more specific facts and investigations are needed. I recommend you consult with an attorney for more details.

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