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How do I respond to an invalid 3 day notice to quit?

Union City, CA |

My contract at move in required the $1200.00 for last months rent, $1200.00 for a deposit, and $1200.00 at move in. So, I paid the last months rent on the landlords 30 day notice from 09/1-10/01/12. She put a 3 day notice to quit on my door. Is that legal? This is a "no cause" notice, and I believe it is in retaliation for a subsequent contact I asked them to sign for managing their main house utilities and paying a $2000.00 utility bill when my power got turned off due to their other tenants they were evicting. They took no action so I had to pay it to get my power back on.

Attorney Answers 3

  1. 3 -day notices to quit don't need to be responded to specifically except to cure the defect. If there is no defect find out what they are claiming is the defect which should be stated. If not then you have a defense if they file an unlawful detainer.
    Also there is no reason you should have paid the utilities since they are in put in a person's name and not the residence. You should have just had them connect service in your name. By law they are not required to force you to pay someone else's utilities and you are entitled to have utilities in your name.

    This is not a comprehensive answer. Call us for more information. 619.797.5456

  2. A 3 day notice to pay rent or quit does not require a response. Only a summons and complaint for unlawful detainer requires a response. Therefore, if you are sued in an unlawful detainer lawsuit, you need to raise these defenses.

    Frank W. Chen has been licensed to practice law in California since 1988. The information presented here is general in nature and is not intended, nor should be construed, as legal advice for a particular case. This posting does not create any attorney-client relationship with the author. For specific advice about your particular situation, please consult with your own attorney.

  3. From the manner in which the question is phrased, it appears your asking if its okay to use "last months rent" from your security deposit in lieu of actually paying it. That is improper. "last months rent" is a misnomer. It's part of the security deposit regardless of what its called and your security deposit may not be used to pay last month's rent. As to the $2,000.00. You have a great small claims action against the person whose bill you paid, although being under no legal obligation to do so, you'll have quite the uphill battle.
    If you tried to use part of your security deposit to pay your last month's rent, the 3 day notice is not invalid and, whether a tenant considers the notice to be valid or invalid, the proper advice is always do what is asked and fight about whether what was asked was proper later, unless you prefer the forum of an eviction proceeding.

    A proper response would require a thorough investigation into the history and background of this relationship. The information provided above is just that, information, to be used as you see fit.

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