First, look to your rental agreement. Typically, it will call for rent to be paid on the 1st of each month, but agreements do vary. If rent is not paid on time, then the typical next step is the preparation and service of a Three-Day Notice to Pay Rent or Quit. Keep in mind that if rent in an particular month falls on a weekend or holiday, California law extends the time payment is due thru the next business day, and a tenant is not in default until the day after the rent is due. Once a Three-Day Notice to Pay Rent or Quit is properly prepared and served, a tenant then has three full days to make payment, and again if the third day falls on a weekend or holiday, the tenant has until the next business day to make payment.
Serve the Notice
A Three Day Notice to Pay Rent or Quit can be served in one of three ways, (1) personally, (2) by substitute service which is leaving a copy with someone of suitable age and discretion at the residence or the tenant's usual place of business, and mailing a copy addressed to the tenant at the residence, or (3) posting and mailing (if the the residence and business cannot be ascertained or substitute service is not possible) where the Notice can be posted in conspicuous place on the property and delivering a copy to anyone found residing there, and mailing a copy addressed to the tenant at the residence. The California Code of Civil Procedure outlines specific requirements on the content of such a notice, and stringent requirements on its service. It must be done properly as it may ultimately become part of the Court's records in an Unlawful Detainer proceeding. See, Code of Civil Procedure Section 1161, et seq., and consult with an experienced Real Estate Lawyer with any questions.
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