When the tenant fails to pay rent timely, the landlord should serve the tenant a Three Day Notice to Pay Rent or Quit. The notice must be in writing and accurately state:
- The full name of the tenant or tenants;
- The address of the rental property;
- The exact amount of rent that is due. The notice cannot go back more than 1 year and cannot include anything other rent, e.g., no interest, late charges, utilities or other damages;
- The dates the overdue rent is for;
- The rent must be paid within three days of receiving the notice or the tenant must move out;
- The days and times the tenant can pay the rent he or she owes, and the address and telephone number he or she can pay it at. If the tenant can pay the back rent by mail, give the address the tenant should send the money to. Keep in mind, the law assumes that the rent payment is received by the owner on the date of postmark;
- Alternatively, the notice may state the name, street address and account number of the financial institution where the rent payment may be made (if the institution is within five miles of the unit), and if an electronic fund transfer procedure was previously established for paying rent, payment may be made using that procedure; and
- Be signed by the landlord or his or her agent, and state the date of the notice.
If your notice fails to comply with any of these requirements, you risk the Court dismissing your unlawful detainer case because of an improper notice.