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Proper Service of Notices Attorney in San Francisco, California

How to Respond to Notices (for Tenants)

California Landlord-Tenant Attorney

If a tenant violates the terms of a lease or rental agreement, landlords have a right to terminate a tenancy. Providing you with a written notice is your landlord’s first step in the eviction process. If you do not move out or respond to the notice, the landlord can begin an unlawful detainer lawsuit against you in court. For California tenants who receive an eviction notice, your mind may be filled with uncertainty and you may not know how to respond to such situations. Therefore, it is critical to consult with a skilled California landlord-tenant lawyer who can help you deal with the complicated process of eviction.

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Why Do I Need a Landlord-Tenant Lawyer in California?

   how to respond to notices lawyer for tenants san franciscoIf you have violated a rental or lease agreement provision, you may receive a notice from your landlord or property owner terminating the tenancy. You may be given the option to fix the violation within a certain time or the landlord may require you to leave without giving you this option. In this case, it is crucial to seek legal advice from a reliable San Francisco landlord-tenant attorney who can help you understand the eviction process and determine how to remedy the situation. At Steven Adair MacDonald & Partners, P.C., we have extensive experience in successfully handling various landlord-tenant disputes and other real estate law issues. We have helped numerous clients in the Bay Area for more than 30 years. Our legal team works diligently to protect the rights and achieve the goals of our clients. We can help you formulate a proper response to your eviction notice and guide you through the complex legal process. Contact us now and schedule an initial consultation to learn more about your options.

What is an Eviction Notice?

When a landlord or property owner begins the eviction proceedings, serving a written notice is the first step in the legal process. The landlord must follow specific rules as to how and when the tenant is given notice. If you live in an apartment covered by the San Francisco Rent Ordinance, your landlord is required by law to serve you with a written notice before initiating an unlawful detainer lawsuit against you. A knowledgeable San Francisco landlord-tenant attorney can guide you through the eviction process and give you advice on how to proceed. A written eviction notice tells you why landlords want to end your lease or rental agreement and how much time you have to do what they ask or move out. The notice should specify if the landlord is terminating your tenancy for reasons related to non-payment, lease violation, violation of the law, or for no reason at all (no fault).

What are the Common Types of Eviction Notice?

An eviction notice may come in a variety of forms. The type of notice a landlord must send to a tenant depends upon the state law and the reason for eviction. A credible San Francisco landlord-tenant can help you determine the different types of eviction notices. Knowing the type of notice and the basis for the eviction will help the tenant figure out what actions to take in response to the notice, how much time you have to take action, what defenses might be available against the eviction, and what documents can be filed with the court to contest the notice. There are three basic types of eviction notices that a landlord may send a tenant:

Pay Rent or Quit

The purpose of a notice to pay rent or quit is to give you a warning of the landlord’s desire to terminate your tenancy, which is only the first step in the eviction process. This notice may be sent out if you have missed your rent payment beyond a certain number of days. You will be given a few days to either pay the rent or quit the lease.

Cure or Quit

This type of notice is given by landlords when a tenant violates a term of the rental or lease agreement. The tenant will be given a certain period to correct, or “cure,” the violation. A tenant who fails to do so might face the possibility of an eviction lawsuit.

Unconditional Quit

Not all notices provide an option to cure. Depending on the allegations in the notice, your landlord may not allow you to cure. A tenant who receives an unconditional quit notice must leave or quit the lease without being allowed to fix the violation or pay back rent. This type of eviction notice can only be used when the tenant has shown a pattern of paying late rent or not paying rent, seriously damaging the rental property, or engaging in illegal activity on the rental property.

How Do I Respond to a Notice?

Regardless of the cause, landlords must go through the eviction process that allows the tenant to answer the landlord’s claims. If you get served with an eviction notice you need to take it seriously and take action to protect yourself. Failure to act could cause the process to escalate and put your tenancy in jeopardy. A qualified San Francisco landlord-tenant attorney can help you determine the best course of action depending on the circumstances of your situation.

Figure Out What the Notice Says

A notice is like a written warning that has a deadline. Each type of notice has different deadlines. Some notices give you a certain period to pay your rent or cure a problem. If you don’t, you must move out before the given deadline. For instance, if you choose not to pay rent or move out of the rental unit, the landlord can proceed with the eviction at the end of the three days.

Check If the Notice Follows the Law

Proper notice must include all the necessary information and it must be delivered the right way. If the landlord doesn’t follow the eviction rules, the court may consider the eviction invalid. In some cases, if the tenant receives a notice that does not provide a reason why the tenancy is ending, the notice and the lawsuit are illegal.

Decide How to Respond to the Notice

If you agree with the provisions of the notice, you can do what the notice says before the deadline. On the other hand, if you disagree with the notice, try to speak and negotiate with your landlord before the end of the grace period. If you ignore the notice, your landlord might start an eviction case in court.  

Real Estate Disputes?

Whether you're dealing with a landlord-tenant dispute or addressing a real estate concern in California, our San Francisco real estate attorneys are here to protect your rights.

Call Our Seasoned San Francisco Landlord-Tenant Lawyer in California Now!

Getting an eviction notice can be an overwhelming experience. The legal eviction process is long and complicated. Along the way, there are many possibilities for negotiations and ways to make the California law work in your favor. Taking the time to understand how the eviction process works will help San Francisco tenants evaluate the options available and choose the best option under the circumstances. If you find yourself faced with an eviction notice or eviction lawsuit, it is highly advisable to seek legal help from our experienced San Francisco landlord-tenant attorney at Steven Adair MacDonald & Partners, P.C. who can help you know your rights and protect your tenancy. Schedule an initial consultation with our real estate law firm now to discuss your particular situation and learn about your legal options.
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