The Three Day Notice to Pay Rent or Quit is the first document that precedes an unlawful detainer that must be served upon a tenant. It is important to remember than when filling out a 3 Day Notice to Pay Rent or Quit that you properly fill out the amount of rent that is due. You cannot include late charges, utility charges, interest, or any other types of fees or charges that is not “rent.” Often times these items are called “additional rent” in your rental agreement; however, for purposes of California law (specifically Code of Civil Procedure Section 1161a) you cannot make such requests in a 3 Day Notice to Pay Rent or Quit.
Further, you cannot demand cash only in a 3 Day Notice. It is important to note that rent is always due in advance for the entire month on the date rent is due. For example, February’s rent is due February 1st, so a tenant is “prepaying” a landlord February’s rent to live in the rental unit in February.
It is important also to include all rent that is owed at the time you fill out and serve the Three Day Notice to Pay Rent or Quit because otherwise a landlord may not be able to seek the delinquent rent as part of the unlawful detainer.
It is vital to have a properly filled out 3 Day Notice to Pay Rent or Quit. California law requires a strict interpretation of the requirements for a Three Day Notice, so if the Notice is not filled out properly, a landlord can potentially lose the unlawful detainer and start all over again. Therefore, before beginning an unlawful detainer, you should ensure that your Three Day Notice to Pay Rent or Quit was properly filled out.