Can you restrict a renter's ability to give 30 days notice on a month-to-month tenancy in California?

Asked over 2 years ago - San Francisco, CA

California civil code §1946 clearly allows a renter to give 30 days notice of termination at any time on a month-to-month rental agreement. Can a landlord insert language in the agreement which restricts this right, by (a) prohibiting a tenant from giving notice effective mid-month, and/or (b) prohibiting a tenant from giving notice during certain months of the year? I'm no lawyer, but these seems clearly to contradict the law to me.

Attorney answers (3)

  1. Frank Wei-Hong Chen

    Contributor Level 20

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    Answered . No, the landlord cannot in a residential rental agreement restrict the tenant from being able to give notice of termination mid-month, nor may the landlord prohibit the tenant from giving notice during certain months of the year.

    If the rental property is located in the City and County of San Francisco, keep in mind that the San Francisco Rent Ordinance might also be in effect.

    Frank W. Chen has been licensed to practice law in California since 1988. The information presented here is... more
  2. Kevin Lewis King

    Contributor Level 14

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    Answered . Per your comment, yes, terms that contradict the law are void.

    Keep in mind, however, that if you do give notice mid-month, your 30-day notice will terminate mid-month of the next month, meaning that your rent will likely have become due on the first or thereabout.

    To avoid a 3-day Notice to Pay or Quit, you should pay the FULL month's rent and then request a reimbursement for the pro-rated half-month along with your security deposit. There might be an argument under CA Civil Code § 1946 that you only have to pay the half-month's rent, but then you leave yourself open to asserting that argument as a defendant in an Unlawful Detainer action based on the 3-Day Notice to Pay or Quit for failing to pay the full month's rent.

    Kevin King, Principal- Essential Law Services. HTTP://ESSENTIALAW.COM, 415-562-6862. The information presented... more
  3. Peyman Dadmehr

    Contributor Level 11

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    Answered . No. Any attempt to put language in a lease that contradicts the law will be void and unenforceable.

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