When must a California landlord use a 90-day notice?

Tenants may provide notice of termination on a much shorter time period than landlords. For tenants who have not yet resided at the residence for twelve months, a 30-day notice will terminate a month-to-month lease agreement. Once they cross the twelve-month mark, the landlord must give a 60-day notice to terminate the same month-to-month lease, even though the tenant may still give just 30 days’ notice. But occasionally, a landlord must give a 90-day notice.

The law supporting the 90-day notice is a strange mix of state and Federal law. Federal law establishes, creates, and governs the Section 8 voucher program, but nothing in the Federal law mentions that tenants must receive a 90-day notice. California law requires that owners provide 90-day termination notices of leases approved under the Section 8 voucher program.

Title 24 Code of Federal Regulations section 982.310 gives the rules for when a landlord may terminate a tenancy when the tenant receives Section 8 voucher assistance. Section 8 housing is governed by federal law. The federal laws are not as clear as California law regarding notice. Nothing in Title 24 Code of Federal Regulations part 982 (Housing Voucher Program) states how long the notice must be.

We find the 90-day notice requirement within California law. Specifically, Civil Code section 1954.535 establishes a 90-day termination requirement where the landlord terminates a lease in which a governmental agency has an interest. Because the public housing agency (PHA) reviews and approves all the lease agreements and “provides for rent limitations to a qualified tenant” (Civ. Code § 1954.535) California requires that owners provide a 90-day notice of any termination.

If you need help with California evictions, Coleman & Horowitt LLP is here to help. Call 661-325-1300 to schedule a consultation.