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What are the essential points the include in a letter requesting that a tenant vacate the premises of a rental property?

San Diego, CA |

I own a condo in San Diego, CA. I rented the unit to a person and she never payed a security deposit or her first months rent. She has agreed to move out at the end of this month, but I know there are legal liabilities that I can face if I do not approach this situation correctly. I drafted a letter that I'm going to have the tenant sign (states address, date and location of signature, and a simple statement by the tenant that they are agreeing to vacate the premises because they do not have a valid lease and because no deposit or rent has been paid). If I have the tenant sign this letter upon move out (this weekend), will this be enough to protect me in case she lies in the future stating that I threw her out without notice?

Attorney Answers 1


You need to serve her with a 3-day pay or quit notice. Once the period prescribed in the notice expires you will need to file an unlawful detainer suit. Good luck with your case.

Marcus W. Morales, Esq.
Law Offices of Marcus Morales
115 W. Mission St.
Santa Barbara, CA 93101
(805) 845-5405

All content posted on and is for educational purposes only and should not be relied on as legal advice. Any information conveyed to, or by telephone to the Law Offices of Marcus W. Morales does not create an attorney-client relationship until an attorney-client fee agreement has been entered into and signed by both parties.

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Is the following letter (I wrote myself and not an attorney, so may be problematic) enough to protect myself legally? I, _____________________________________________________ (“OCCUPANT”), agree to vacate the “PREMISES” (****, San Diego, CA 92101) on this date, ____________________________________________________________________________, 2013, because I do not have a valid lease agreement, nor have I paid any security deposit or the necessary rent ($1800 per month) to reside in this property. I agree to vacate the “PREMISES” and to remove all of my personal property from the “PREMISES” under the supervision of **** (“OWNER”). I, **** (“OCCUPANT”), hereby release, now and forever, **** (“OWNER”) from any and all claims, causes of action, or liability arising from my occupancy of said property (“PREMISES”) or any and all claims, causes of action, or liability arising from my vacating of said property (“PREMISES”). By signing this letter, I agree that I am voluntarily vacating the “PREMISES” and have no disputes or claims against **** (“OWNER”). This is intended to be both a Release and a Covenant Not to Sue. This agreement shall be governed by the laws of the State of California and all disputes arising under it shall be held in an appropriate court of law located within the city of Los Angeles, California (Los Angeles County). I have read and understand this agreement, including its Release, Covenant Not to Sue, and that I have given up substantial rights by signing it and I sign knowingly, freely, and voluntarily on the date aforementioned. I SWEAR UNDER PENALTY OF PERJURY THAT THE INFORMATION CONTAINED IN THIS DOUCMENT IS TRUE AND CORRECT. Signature _______________________________________________________ ____ **** (“OCCUPANT”) Signed on this date, _________________________________________________________________________________, 2013, at ****, San Diego, CA 92101. Signature ______________________________________________ _________ **** (“OWNER”) Signed on this date, _________________________________________________________________________________, 2013, at ****, San Diego, CA 92101.

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