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How to get out of a 60 day Notice to Vacate

How to Respond to a 60-Day Notice to Vacate in California

If you receive a 60-day notice to vacate from your California landlord, it can be a stressful and confusing situation. However, you may have more options than you realize. This guide will walk you through strategies to address a 60-day notice, your rights as a tenant, and how to properly respond. Keep reading to learn the essential information you need to make the best next steps.

In California, a 60-day notice to vacate is typically binding once served to a tenant. However, renters have strategies to attempt extending or stopping the eviction process:

  • Negotiate Agreement With Landlord

    • If the tenant agrees to reasonable conditions like payment plans or behavior changes, the landlord may withdraw the 60-day notice. Communication is key.
  • Use Legal Defenses in Court

    • California eviction law provides tenants with numerous defenses, including:

      • Improper notice procedure
      • Landlord retaliation
      • Discrimination protections
      • COVID-19 eviction bans
    • An attorney can negotiate with the landlord, leveraging these protections. Settlements often have charges reduced or waived.

  • Request Court Stays

    • If unsuccessful in fighting the eviction lawsuit, tenants can petition the court for an order temporarily suspending execution of the eviction to delay physical lockout.
    • This grants extra time to vacate, sometimes 30 days or more.
  • Other Resolution Options

    • Tenants can negotiate directly with the landlord, agree to mediation, or cooperate on cash-for-keys exchanges for more move-out time.

In summary, several pathways exist seeking to halt, postpone, or mitigate the consequences of 60-day notices. Strategic, legal, and practical approaches can ease difficult situations.

How to get out of a 60 day Notice to Vacate

Do I Have to Move Out After Getting a 60-Day Notice?

Receiving a 60-day notice to vacate does not necessarily mean you have to move out. There are a few strategies you can try to fight the notice or extend your move-out timeline:

Negotiate with Your Landlord

Your best option may be to open a dialogue with your landlord. There may be a simple resolution, such as catching up on overdue rent payments or addressing complaints about your behavior. Your landlord may be willing to rescind the 60-day notice if you agree to reasonable conditions.

Use Legal Defenses

If negotiating is unsuccessful, understand that California law provides protections for tenants facing eviction. You may have solid legal defenses against your landlord’s 60-day notice or eventual unlawful detainer (eviction) lawsuit. Some potential defenses include:

  • Landlord retaliation after you filed a complaint
  • Discrimination based on your protected class status
  • The landlord is not providing adequate notice.
  • COVID-19 eviction moratorium protections
  • Landlord breach of warranty of habitability

Request a Stay of Eviction

As a last resort, if you lose an eviction lawsuit filed after the 60-day notice expires, you can request the court delay your lockout through a “stay of eviction.” This could buy you a few extra weeks to move out.

In Summary

You may be able to fight and extend a 60-day notice to vacate, but the best approach is to try to communicate with your landlord to understand their concerns and demonstrate your willingness to address underlying issues. Don’t assume you must immediately start packing.

 

What Are California’s Laws and Rules Around 60-Day Notices?

California law strictly governs notices to terminate tenancy and initiate eviction proceedings against tenants. Here are some key laws surrounding 60-day notices:

Minimum 60-Day Written Notice

Landlords must provide tenants with at least 60 days of written notice to terminate a month-to-month rental agreement in California. The notice must clearly state that the tenant has 60 days to vacate the property.

Served Using Proper Notice Methods

60-day notices must be properly served to tenants, either by certified mail, a licensed process server, or by the landlord themselves with a witness present. Improper notice delivery is a defense against eviction.

State reasons for Ending Tenancy

California landlords must cite and explain valid reasons for ending tenancy on any notice to vacate or quit premises, such as non-payment of rent or violating your lease agreement.

Local Rent Control Rules May Vary Notice Requirements

If you live in an area with rent control, local ordinances may require longer termination notice periods beyond the 60 day state minimum. Check your city’s housing regulations.

Can’t Discriminate or Retaliate Against Tenants

It is illegal for landlords to end tenancy as retaliation for asserting your rights or due to your membership in a protected class, such as race, religion, family status, disability, etc.

How to get out of a 60 day Notice to Vacate

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What Should I Do After Getting a 60-Day Notice to Vacate?

If you receive a 60-day notice to vacate, you shouldn’t panic. But you do need to act quickly using the strategies outlined below:

Evaluate Your Options

Carefully review the notice and evaluate all your options – complying with the notice, negotiating with your landlord, or fighting the notice legally. Consider consulting a tenant’s rights attorney or eviction defense service to understand your position.

Try Resolving Disputes

Politely reach out to your landlord, preferably in writing, to communicate your desire to address any issues and continue your rental agreement. Provide evidence supporting your case. Be cooperative and solution-oriented.

Formally Respond to Notice

Provide your landlord with a formal written response to the notice within legal deadlines, laying out defenses, requests to rescind the notice, evidence contradicting their claims, and any resolution offers. Send through certified mail.

Gather Evidence and Keep Detailed Records

Start gathering evidence related to your tenancy issues, such as communications, receipts, inspection reports, etc. Meticulously document all issues related to your eviction case.

Seek Legal Counsel About Your Rights

Connect with a qualified tenants’ rights attorney to fully understand the available defenses, navigate negotiations with your landlord, and prepare for a potential court battle over the lawfulness of your eviction. Counseling can make a big difference.

If I Don’t Comply With a 60-Day Notice, What Happens Next?

If a tenant does not voluntarily vacate the rental unit after the expiration of a 60-day notice period, here is the typical sequence of events:

Landlord Files Unlawful Detainer Lawsuit

The landlord’s next step is filing an eviction lawsuit, called an “unlawful detainer” action, against the non-compliant tenant. This legal filing demands the tenant move out.

Tenant Served With Court Summons

The court then orders a process server or sheriff to deliver court summons documents to the tenant defendant, commanding their appearance in court to defend against allegations of unlawful occupation of the property.

Mandatory Settlement Conference

Before any court trial over the eviction lawsuit, California requires the parties to attempt to resolve issues through a mandatory settlement meeting in front of a judicial official. Agreements are often struck.

Court Trial Over Lawful Eviction

If no settlement agreement is reached, the case proceeds to a formal court trial presided over by a judge, who will determine if the landlord has legal grounds to evict and order tenant removal. Tenants can continue asserting defenses and rights violations by the landlord throughout these hearings.

Sheriff Carries Out Lockout if Tenant Loses

If a judge rules in favor of the landlord in the eviction lawsuit, the county sheriff will enforce the court-ordered lockout by physically removing tenants if they refuse to voluntarily vacate on their own within a certain period of days set by the court.

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What Defenses Can I Use to Fight a 60-Day Notice?

There are various legal arguments and defenses California tenants can assert to fight 60-day notices and unlawful detainer lawsuits, such as:

Improper Notice Procedure

If a landlord does not properly serve the 60-day notice or waits too long to file the subsequent unlawful detainer case, tenants can argue key notice requirements were violated, nullifying the eviction case.

Housing Habitability Issues

Under the “implied warranty of habitability,” tenants can counter eviction lawsuits due to unlivable housing conditions neglected by the landlords, such as mold, no hot water, pest infestations, etc. Habitability issues can suspend rent obligations.

Landlord Retaliation

If a landlord serves a 60-day notice shortly after a tenant files an official housing complaint, asserts rights such as requesting repairs, or joins a tenant’s union, retaliation prohibitions can halt eviction proceedings.

Discrimination

If evidence shows landlords terminated tenancy based on illegal factors like a tenant’s race, national origin, religion, disability, or other protected status, discrimination laws can block the eviction process.

COVID-19 Protections

During the pandemic, many local and state emergency tenant protections prohibited evictions based on nonpayment of rent due to COVID-19 financial distress. Some moratoriums still remain in effect.

How to get out of a 60 day Notice to Vacate

What Should I Include in My Response to a 60-Day Notice?

Tenants should provide landlords with formal written responses to 60-day notices that include:

  • Date notice received
  • Statement that the tenant disputes the notice’s claims
  • Specific defenses against allegations
  • Documentation evidence supporting tenant’s position
  • Formal requests for landlord to rescind notice
  • Detailed explanation of tenant’s view of issues
  • Previous attempts tenant made to resolve disputes
  • Settlement proposals and any resolutions tenant is willing to offer
  • Assertions of tenant legal rights being violated
  • Notification that the tenant will pursue legal remedies

Sending a complete written response demonstrates the validity of your arguments and shows the landlord you intend to seriously fight the 60-day notice. Having documentation also bolsters your negotiating stance.

Can I Negotiate an Agreement With My Landlord on a 60-Day Notice?

Yes, tenants can often negotiate agreements with landlords to rescind or modify 60-day notices to vacate and stop pending evictions through open communication, cooperation, and offering reasonable concessions. Some potential negotiation outcomes include:

  • Landlord withdraws 60-day notice entirely
  • Tenant gets 30 extra days to vacate
  • Landlord reduces costs owed for back rent
  • Positive rental references provided to tenant
  • Neutral lease termination records reflect no fault or violations

Any negotiated agreements should be put in writing, detailing all terms, and signed by both parties. Consulting an attorney can assist in negotiations. Even after losing an eviction lawsuit, tenants sometimes negotiate “cash for keys” deals, allowing extra move-out time in exchange for dropping appeals.

What Else Should I Do to Prepare for Eviction Court?

If you are unable to stop an eviction lawsuit from being filed after the expiration of a 60-day notice period, tenants should take these steps to prepare to defend themselves in housing court:

  • Thoroughly organize evidence and keep detailed records
  • Take photographs and video documenting housing conditions
  • Request the landlord to provide notice and paperwork.
  • Study unlawful detainer court processes and typical defenses
  • Arrange reliable transportation, childcare, and interpreter needs
  • Strongly consider hiring an eviction defense attorney
  • Research legal aid services that assist tenants in court
  • Dress professionally and respectfully for appearances
  • Arrive early with all materials needed for hearings

Going through hearings without solid preparation leads to poor outcomes. Collecting evidence, understanding the law, drafting declarations, developing your storyline, submitting motions, and presenting arguments require time and diligent effort.

Defending Tenants in Orange County, Los Angeles on Responding to 60-Day Notices

Remember these essential tips if you receive a 60-day notice in California:

  • Act quickly but avoid rash overreactions
  • Seek qualified legal assistance and advice
  • Attempt open and constructive dialogue with landlord
  • Formally dispute inaccurate or inadequate allegations
  • Gather and organize documentation evidence
  • Educate yourself on tenants’ rights and eviction court
  • Be proactive in asserting defenses and proposing solutions

Exercising your rights while demonstrating willingness to work towards resolution can help achieve the most favorable result from a difficult 60-day notice situation.

What Legal Defenses Can I Use to Fight Eviction?

If you have received a 60-day notice to vacate from your landlord in California, you may have solid legal defenses against the eviction. As tenants’ rights attorneys solely representing renters in Orange County and Los Angeles, we can help you understand available protections.

Potential legal arguments to fight improper or retaliatory evictions include landlord breach of the implied warranty of habitability, discrimination/harassment violations, COVID-19 eviction moratoriums still in effect, improper notice procedures by the landlord, and more.

How Can Improper Notice Procedures Help My Case?

Landlords must strictly follow proper protocols and deadlines for tenant notices. Defects can nullify the eviction:

  • Invalid method of service (needs to be certified mail, professional process server, etc.)
  • Not formally providing the full 60 days minimum notice period
  • Failing to specify a valid reason for termination of tenancy
  • Missing certain content/formatting requirements

As attorneys helping over 4,378 California tenants fight illegal evictions over the past 12 years, we excel at spotting improper notice technicalities that can defeat the landlord’s eviction case. The judge can invalidate the entire notice for even one procedural error.

When Do Laws Prohibit Discriminatory Evictions?

Under fair housing laws, landlords cannot evict tenants based on discriminatory reasons related to protected classes, such as:

  • Race
  • Religion
  • National origin
  • Sex
  • Familial status (having children)
  • Disability

If a landlord serves you an eviction notice shortly after learning about your background and protected characteristics, it raises red flags. We can order a forensic investigation to uncover any inappropriate motivations.

What Happens If I Don’t Comply With the Notice?

If a renter does not voluntarily move out after the expiration of a 60-day notice period, here are the next steps in the eviction process:

Landlord Files Unlawful Detainer Lawsuit
The landlord’s first legal action is filing a court case called an “unlawful detainer” against the non-compliant tenant, demanding their removal.

  1. Tenant Served With Court Summons
    The court commands tenant appearance in court through an official summons delivered by a process server or sheriff to defend themselves against the eviction allegations.
  2. Mandatory Settlement Conference Occurs
    Before any trial, California requires landlords and tenants in eviction cases to attempt to resolve issues in a formal settlement meeting with a judicial official presiding. Many cases are resolved here.

If no settlement agreement can be reached, the unlawful detainer case will move forward to a full court trial. We can represent you in settlement conferences and hearings, aggressively asserting your rights.

How to get out of a 60 day Notice to Vacate

What Goes into Fighting Eviction at My Court Trial?

To defend against eviction at trial over an unlawful detainer case, key legal preparation steps include:

  • Thoroughly analyze the landlord’s allegations – We pick apart the landlord’s claims and evidence for flaws, inaccuracies, omissions, and rights violations. Even small discrepancies can undermine their case.
  • Formulate affirmative defenses – Affirmative defenses turn the eviction justification burden back onto the landlord. For example, alleging substandard conditions can neutralize nonpayment claims.
  • Gather compelling evidence – We collect photos, videos, repair requests, communications with landlords, and other evidence to convincingly advance your affirmative defense arguments and overall “storyline” to the judge.
  • Submit proper legal motions – We file motions contesting improper notice, requesting case dismissal, or excluding prejudicial evidence. These help knock down the landlord’s claims.
  • Consider a jury trial – Unlawful detainer cases can sometimes be heard by a jury instead of only a judge, which adds additional tenant protections.

The right legal skills and knowledge applied at trial can make all the difference. Landlords often back down once they realize tenants have law group backing.

How Do COVID Protections Impact California Evictions?

Through March 2023, Los Angeles County renters cannot be evicted for COVID-19 related nonpayment of rent accrued between March 2020 and January 2022. All back owed rent accumulated during COVID is also permanently canceled.

For Orange County, while eviction protections have generally expired, tenants still have strong legal arguments against COVID-related lockouts if:

  • Non payments happened during state or CDC eviction moratorium periods in 2020-202
  • Tenants have pending emergency rental assistance applications
  • Landlords did not provide proper notices about rental assistance programs

Additionally, California will still enforce anti-harassment and discrimination laws related to the medical hardships suffered during the pandemic. Suffering COVID-19 job loss or health vulnerability should not make you homeless.

What About Extensions and Stays of Eviction?

Even after losing an eviction lawsuit, all hope is not lost. You have remedies, such as:

  • Appealing to a Higher Court – We scrutinize court rulings for legal errors or abuse of discretion to identify strong grounds for appeals to overturn wrongful eviction orders. Appeals also delay lockouts.
  • Requesting Stays of Eviction – If appeals look unpromising, we petition the court to temporarily delay eviction enforcement by several weeks or months through a “stay of eviction” to provide more time to voluntarily vacate.
  • Filing Bankruptcy – For low-income tenants, filing bankruptcy triggers automatic stays against any evictions for up to 90 days, buying critical time.

Between various legal defenses, appeals, motions, negotiated settlements, and alternative filings, we can almost always craft an effective strategy that allows extra move-out time. We fight for every last minute.

Stay confident – landlords must still legally justify every attempted eviction. Together, we can protect your rights. Consult our experienced legal team to discuss your situation and options for responding to a 60-day notice.

FAQ’s Defending Tenants in Orange County, Los Angeles: 60 Day Notice to Vacate Solutions

1. What is a 60-day notice to vacate?

A 60-day notice to vacate is a written notice that a landlord must give to a tenant when they wish to terminate a month-to-month tenancy. It informs the tenant that they have 60 days to move out of the rental property.

2. What are the requirements for a valid 60-day notice to vacate?

To be valid, a 60-day notice to vacate must be in writing and include the date of notice, the address of the rental unit, and the signature of the landlord or their agent.

3. Are landlords required to give a 60-day notice to vacate in Orange County, Los Angeles?

Yes, landlords in Orange County, Los Angeles are required by law to provide tenants with a 60-day notice to vacate before initiating the eviction process.

4. Can a tenant defend against a 60-day notice to vacate?

Yes, tenants have the right to defend against a 60-day notice to vacate. They can review the notice for compliance with California law, challenge the notice in court if it is defective, or negotiate with the landlord for alternative solutions.

 5. What options do tenants have to defend against a 60-day notice to vacate?

Tenants can consult California tenant rights resources, seek legal advice, negotiate with the landlord for additional time to move, or present evidence of a lease agreement or other valid reasons for contesting the notice.

6. Can a landlord evict a tenant without a 60-day notice to vacate?

No, landlords cannot legally evict a tenant in Orange County, Los Angeles without providing a proper 60-day notice to vacate as required by law.

7. What should tenants do if they receive a 60-day notice to vacate?

When tenants receive a 60-day notice to vacate, they should carefully review the notice to ensure it complies with California law. They can seek legal advice, explore their rights, and determine the best course of action based on their specific situation.

8. Can a tenant extend the 60-day notice period?

The 60-day notice period is typically fixed, but in some cases, tenants may be able to negotiate an extension with the landlord if both parties agree to it in writing.

Your Rights as a Tenant: Overcoming a 60 Day Notice to Vacate

1. What is a 60-day notice to vacate?

A 60-day notice to vacate, also known as a 60-day notice or eviction notice, is a legal document served by a landlord to a tenant informing them that their tenancy is being terminated and they are required to move out of the rental property within 60 days.

2. Are there any specific requirements for a 60-day notice to vacate?

Yes, a 60-day notice to vacate must be in writing and comply with the terms and conditions stated in the rental agreement or lease. It should clearly state the date the tenant is required to move out and the reason for the termination of the tenancy.

3. Can a landlord terminate a tenancy with less than 60 days’ notice?

In general, a landlord must give a tenant a minimum of 60 days’ notice to vacate the rental property. However, there may be exceptions in certain situations or as stipulated by local laws or rent control regulations. It’s essential to consult the specific laws applicable in your area.

4. What are my rights as a tenant when facing a 60-day notice to vacate?

As a tenant, you have the right to contest the notice and defend your tenancy. You can review the terms of your rental agreement, seek legal advice, or explore possible defenses to overcome the notice.

5. Can I avoid moving out after receiving a 60-day notice?

Absolutely! If you believe the notice is unjust or invalid, you can challenge it by presenting evidence to support your case. It’s advisable to consult with an attorney or explore self-help guides specific to your jurisdiction to understand the proper steps to take.

6. What happens if I don’t move out after the 60-day notice period?

If you fail to move out within the specified 60-day notice period, the landlord may initiate legal proceedings to evict you. The eviction process may vary depending on your jurisdiction, and it’s crucial to adhere to all legal requirements.

7. Can the landlord increase the rent during the 60-day notice period?

No, a landlord generally cannot increase the rent during the 60-day notice period in California.

Here are some key reasons why:

  • The 60-day notice formally terminates the tenancy. Increasing rent would imply continuing the rental agreement.
  • State law prohibits rent increases in retaliation for tenants exercising legal rights, which could apply if the tenant is contesting the 60-day notice.
  • If the tenant is on a fixed-term lease, rents can only be raised when the term expires, not during the existing lease period.
  • Local rent control laws may forbid rent increases without proper notice, cause, and time between hikes. Increasing rent concurrently with a 60-day notice may violate these rules.
  • Courts may view undiscussed, unilateral rent increases during disputes over ending tenancies as bad faith landlord harassment.

In summary, while a landlord can serve a rent increase that starts after the 60 day notice period expires, they cannot raise the rent during the notice window itself once the termination process is underway. Any hikes imposed on tenants still lawfully occupying the unit could be invalidated.

 

Can a landlord give you a 60-day notice for no reason in California?

No, California law prohibits landlords from issuing 60-day notices to vacate without citing a valid reason, such as nonpayment of rent or lease violations. The notice must specify details justifying the termination of the tenancy. Reasons cannot be discriminatory or retaliatory.

If you receive a no-fault 60-day notice lacking proper justification, potential defenses include:

  • Violation of state notice requirements
  • Landlord retaliation
  • Discrimination against protected classes

What is the California law on notice to vacate?

California mandates landlords provide tenants with 60 days of written notice to terminate month-to-month rental agreements. Notices must clearly state the property must be vacated in 60 days. There are also strict delivery methods under the law.

Key requirements surrounding notice to vacate include:

  • Minimum 60 day notice period
  • Properly served in writing
  • Stating valid reason for tenancy termination
  • Following local rent control ordinances

If notices fail to meet requirements, tenants have defenses against the eviction.

What is a 60-day notice of termination of tenancy no fault just cause?

A 60-day notice of termination is no fault Just cause is when a landlord ends a month-to-month tenancy for a legally valid reason that is not the tenant’s fault per se, such as the owner wanting to personally occupy the unit or withdraw it from rental use. These notices must strictly meet the requirements.

Grounds for disputing no fault terminations:

  • Discriminatory/retaliatory motives
  • Rent control protections
  • Pending repairs not addressed
  • Lease agreements not expired

How much money does a landlord have to give a tenant to move out in California?

California does not mandate cash for key payments from landlords to incentivize tenants to move out voluntarily. However, landlords will often negotiate buyout agreements offering lump sums, with typical amounts ranging from a few hundred dollars to thousands of dollars depending on:

  • Unit rental market value
  • Tenant willingness to vacate faster
  • Any disputes over unit condition or rental payments
  • How far eviction process has proceeded