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Termination of Rental Agreement California

Termination of Rental Agreement California: Steps to End Your Tenancy

Are you a tenant in California looking to terminate your rental agreement? Maybe it`s due to financial circumstances, health issues, or a move to a new location. Whatever the reason may be, it`s crucial to follow the proper steps to end your tenancy legally and avoid any legal problems in the future.

In California, there are various ways to terminate a rental agreement, depending on the type of tenancy and the reason for termination. Here`s a guide to help you navigate the process smoothly.

Month-to-Month Tenancy

Suppose you`re in a month-to-month tenancy, meaning you pay rent every month and don`t have a fixed end date. In that case, you can terminate your tenancy by giving your landlord a written notice at least 30 days before the intended move-out date. If you`ve lived in the rental unit for one year or more, you`ll need to give your landlord a notice 60 days before moving out.

The written notice should include your name, the rental unit`s address, and the date you intend to move out. It`s best to send the notice via certified mail, return receipt requested, or hand-deliver it to the landlord or their agent and get a receipt.

Fixed-Term Tenancy

If you`re in a fixed-term tenancy, meaning you have a specific lease end date, you can`t terminate the agreement early unless there`s a legal reason or the landlord agrees to it. The most common legal reasons for early termination are:

– The rental unit is uninhabitable or unsafe

– The landlord breached the lease terms, such as refusing to make necessary repairs or violating your privacy rights

– The tenant is a victim of domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking

If any of these apply to you, you should consult a lawyer or a local tenant`s rights organization to see how you can proceed. If you and the landlord agree to terminate the lease early, make sure to get the agreement in writing and signed by both parties.


If you don`t follow the legal process for termination or breach the lease terms, the landlord can evict you from the rental unit. In California, evictions require a court order, and the landlord can`t use self-help methods such as changing the locks, shutting off utilities, or removing your belongings.

The most common grounds for eviction in California are:

– Nonpayment of rent

– Violation of lease terms, such as having unauthorized pets, subletting without permission, or causing a nuisance

– End of lease without renewal or extension

If you receive an eviction notice, it`s essential to act quickly and get legal advice. You have five days to respond to the notice, and if you don`t, the landlord can file for a default judgment, meaning they win by default.


Terminating a rental agreement in California requires following the proper legal steps and giving written notices as per the type of tenancy and the reason for termination. It`s always best to consult a lawyer or a tenant`s rights organization if you`re unsure or facing an eviction notice. By taking the right steps, you can end your tenancy smoothly and avoid any legal complications down the road.