Bracamontes & Vlasak, P.C.
San Francisco Office
220 Montgomery Street
San Francisco, CA 94104
1901 Harrison Street
Oakland, CA 94612
San Francisco Personal Injury
A prerequisite to filing an unlawful detainer action (eviction lawsuit) is the issuance of a three-day notice. After being served with a three-day notice, many San Francisco tenants contact Bracamontes & Vlasak, P.C., and ask whether they have to move out in three days. You do not have to move simply because the landlord served you with a three-day notice. A landlord cannot evict you unless he or she has obtained an order from the court. It is illegal for a landlord to change your locks, shut off your utilities, or use other menacing conduct to force you out of your home.
The legal effect of a three-day notice is to put the tenant on notice that an eviction lawsuit may follow after expiration of the notice. There are different types of three-day notices. There are three-day notices to pay or quit; three-day notices to cure or quit; and three-day notices to quit. An attorney experienced in landlord-tenant law can help you understand the difference.
A three day notice to pay or quit means that a tenant has three days to pay late rent. If the tenant does not pay by the end of the third day, the landlord can then file an unlawful detainer action (eviction lawsuit). Even if the tenant comes up with the money on the fourth or fifth day, the landlord is not obligated to accept payment and can proceed with the eviction. If you have been served with a three-day notice to pay or quit, it is important to speak with an attorney because the condition of your unit, and whether the landlord has kept the building in good repair, may determine whether you have to pay rent. Defense to a three-day notice is best sought from an experienced tenant attorney. To speak with an experienced tenant attorney about defend against an eviction in San Francisco, Oakland, or Berkeley, call Bracamontes & Vlasak, P.C., at 415.835.6777.
A three-day notice to cure or quit is generally issued when the tenant has allegedly done something that violates the lease but can be easily corrected. For example, if a tenant places potted plants or bikes in a common area or walkway, the landlord may issue a three-day notice to cure or quit. In other words, the tenant has three days to remove the items or face eviction. Some three-day notices to cure or quit are pretextual and are really a means of retaliating against a tenant for exercising his/her rights.
A three-day notice to quit is the landlord requesting that a tenant move out. Generally, an unlawful detainer action will follow shortly. In these instances, the landlord is alleging that the tenant has breached the lease in a significant manner that cannot be corrected. For example, trafficking drugs out of your apartment would be grounds for a three-day notice to quit. However, not all three-day notices to quit are brought for such serious reasons. In fact, many landlords in rent-controlled tenancies use bogus three day notices to quit to scare tenants into surrendering tenancies that are below current market rental value.
As stated above, you do not need to move out simply because you have received a three-day notice. Upon receiving a three-day notice to quit, it is important to speak with a tenant’s attorney as soon as possible.
If your landlord has posted or mailed a three-day notice concerning your tenancy, contact us by email, or call the law office of Bracamontes & Vlasak, P.C., at 415.835.6777. We can help you defend against an eviction, formulate a proper response to your particular three-day notice, and protect your rights.
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