What is a 3-Day Notice? To Pay, Quit, Cure, Perform, Vacate.

A 3-Day Notie to Pay, Quit, Cure, Perform or Vacate – is legally found in C.C.P. 1161 (Code of Civil Procedure – CCP § 1161b). A 3-Day Notice is a legal prerequisite for a landlord to present to a tenant (renter / lessee) prior to him or her filing an Eviction Lawsuit. In the legal world, an Eviction Lawsuit is referred to as an Unlawful Detainer Action.

What Happens When a 3-Day Notice is Served to a Tenant?

Picture of 3-Day Notice Taped If you are a tenant renting or leasing a residential unit in Orange County or Los Angeles County and have been served a 3-Day Notice, that does not mean that you must move out in three days.

In most cases, a 3-Day Notice is delivered to a tenant because the rent (or part of the rent) is not paid and the first of the months has past.

If this is why you received a 3-Day Notice, you should do everything in your power to pay your rent withing the 3-days alloted by the legal notice. Moreover, you should document the payment of rent such that you can prove on what day you paid rent, and how much you paid. Make sure you can prove you paid the amount owed. Get a dated and signed receip! Consider taking a picture of the transaction on the “down-low.”

Finally, please understand that you do not have to move just because your landlord served you with a three-day notice.

Must I Move if I Receive a Three-Day Notice?

No! You do not have to move because a landlord served you a three-day notice. Your tenancy may be headed in that direction, but keep in mind that a landlord cannot evict you unless he or she has gone to court and has obtained a court order.

Know your tenant rights! If you have been served a 3-Day Notice and complied with it – or – even if the time has passed and the 3-days are up, you still have rights! For example, a landlord CANNOT lock you out; cannot change your locks; cannot turn off your power, water, heat or other utilities they might have control over, etc. Similarly, a landlord cannot harass you, enter your rental unit (without proper notice) or exhibit other menacing behaviors in an attempt to force you out of your rental unit which is your legal home. Only following an Unlawful Detainer Action can you be legally evicted from your home.

What is the Purpose and Legal Effect of a Three-Day Notice?

The purpose and legal effect of a three-day notice is to put a landlord’s tenant on notice that an eviction lawsuit can and may be started and served on you following the expiration date of the notice.


There are Different Types of 3-Day Notices:

  1. 3-Day Notice to pay or quit;
  2. 3-Day Notice to cure or quit;
  3. 3-Day Notice to perform or quit; and,
  4. 3-Day Notice to quit.

(1) – 3-Day Notice to Pay or Quit – MEANING

A 3-Day Notice to Pay or Quit – means that a tenant has EXACTLY three days to pay any and all late rent. If the tenant does not pay his or her rent by the end of the third day, the landlord can then file an Eviction Lawsuit (an Unlawful Detainer Action). If the tenant cannot pay within the three days, but for example, has all the rent money on the fourth, fith or sixth day, the landlord is not obligated to accept payment and often will not. Following the third day, a landlord is legally able to proceed with filing an Eviction Lawsuit. If your landlord, refused to accept your rent if you try to pay the landlord after the three-day Notice date, you can be pretty certain (no matter what the landlord or manager might verbal tell you) that you will be receiving an Unlawful Detainer summons in the near future. CALL US! You will likely be needing some experienced STOP or DELAY EVICTION help.

Upshot? – If you have been served a 3-Day Notice to Pay or Quit, it is in your best interest to contact a Tenant Rights Specialist at Legal Service Center (855) 775-5400. We are here to counsel you in what is likely to happen next if you are unable to comply with the 3-Day Notice –and– in many cases, even if you pay your rent or remedy an issue the landlord is asking you to fix, you may still have landlord problems coming your way. Your landlord may still want you to move and may still attempt to evict you.

Whatever happens, we can help! Call (855) 775-5400 and we can share various options you have STOP EVICTION or DELAY EVICTION, if your circumstances are headed that way. There are legal rights and grounds to STOP many evictions and we can help you determine if those facts apply to you. We can always help you DELAY EVICTION so you can STAY in the property as long as possible: often several more weeks. By delaying eviction, you change the few days or weeks often to several weeks which gives you time to save money for rent and security deposit on a new place. Delaying Eviction changes the game! Instead of being pushed out on the landlord’s timetable, you turn the tables on your landlord and have some control over your eventual move out date!

(2) – 3-Day Notice to Cure or Quit – MEANING

A 3-Day Notice to Cure or Quit – is often served on a tenant when the tenant is in violation of his or her rent/lease agreement terms. A 3-Day Notice to Cure is typically served to a tenant who is suspected of being in violation of their rental agreement –and– that the violation is easily corrected.

For example – if a tenant is keeping a pet when he or she is phrohibited from having pets by terms of the rental agreement — simply removing the pet will correct (or “cure”) the problem. A Three-Day Notice to Cure or Quit is rather straight-forward: the tenant has 3-days to remove the pet, non-apporved occupant or whatever is violating the terms of the rental agreement.

Other Examples of Activities Landlords Might Want Cured or Remedied:

  • The tenant is committing a nuisance on the property which interferes with other tenants;
  • The tenant does anything that lowers the value of the property significantly;
  • The tenant uses the property for an unlawful purpose;
  • The tenant commits domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalks another tenant on the property;
  • The tenant uses, sells, manufactures, cultivates, or imports illegal drugs;
  • The tenant engages in unlawful activities involving weapons or ammunition.
  • Unfortunately, some landlords will use 3-Day Notices to Cure or Quite willy-nilly to retaliate against a tenant they may not like who is in no way in legal violation of his or her rental agreement. We are here to advocate for a tenant’s rights! Call us if you are being harassed or retaliated against.

    (3) – 3-Day Notice to Perform or Quit – MEANING

    A 3-Day Notice to Perform or Quit – is a the same as a 3-Day Notice to Cure or Quit. This uses a similar term (cure vs. preform) and is usually served on a tenant who is in violation of his or her rent/lease agreement terms.

    (4) – Three-Day Notice to Quit – MEANING

    A Three-Day Notice to Quit – is your landlord requesting that you, the tenant, move out. In these cases, it is very likely that your landlord is preparing and will soon serve you an Unlawful Detainer Action (an Eviction Lawsuit). That will likely happen in just a few days after the 3-Day Notice’s date has passed. Because a “3-Day Cure” notice was not used, it is generally assumed that the landlord is alleging that the tenant is in breach of the rental agreement in such a major or significant manner, that the issue(s) or violation(s) cannot be easily corrected nor remedied.

    Examples of a “significant” breach of the rental agreement – could be when a landlord suspects or has proof that a tenant is selling illegal drugs. Allegations of selling narcotics from an apartment would be typical for a serving a Three-Day Notice to Quit. Another common example of a tenant breaching their rental agreement os when a “problem tenant” or the tenant’s regular quests are fighting, exhibiting violence, or are known gang members which is perceived as a threat to other tenants.

    That said, not all Three-Day Notices to Quit are legitimate – nor are for serious, non-correctable reasons. Some landlords in Los Angeles rent-controlled areas are often caught using Three-Day Notices to Quit to intimidate tenants into moving out so they can re-rent that unit at a much higher rent to a new tenant.

    Call Legal Service Center at (855) 775-5400 – if you are confused in understanding the differences between #-Day Notices and what they might mean to you. Calling us would be very useful if you are not going to be able to pay your rent by the notice date, or unable to cure an issue that your landlord wants you to remedy.


    Tenants Have Rights! – You Do Not Have to Move Out.

    We are Tenants Rights advocates! – Remember, you do not have to move out simply because you have received a Three-Day Notice. Upon receiving a 3-Day Notice to Pay, Quit, or Cure, it is important to CALL US if you need clarity or advice.

    Are You Confident the 3-Day Notice is Headed to an Eviction?

    Three-Day Notice to Quit served on TenantIf you suspect this 3-Day Notice is likely a legal step your landlord must make before evicting you, CALL US so we can talk over your options to STOP EVICTION or DELAY EVICTION. There are many ways to stop an eviction if your landlord is not running a tight and oraganized business. If we can’t help you stop eviction, we can help you DELAY your eviction whiich will buy valuable time. Time for you to save money to put down on a new place; more time to stay in the property you are in now when you are no longer paying rent. Rather than hit the streets in days — on your landlord’s timetable — you can take control! You can add weeks or months to your current stay, and turn the tables on your landlord.

    If your landlord handed you, posted on your door, or mailed you a Three-Day Notice concerning your tenancy, call us at once!. If you are unable to call because you are at work, have no privacy or it is the middle of the night, use our STOP EVICTION form (to the right or under on a smartphone) so we can hook up with you at a time of your choosing. We can help you DEFEND Eviction or DELAY Eviction. We can help you with formulating a defense, engineer a response, draft any legal paperwork you might need, and even file your paperwork for you.

    At Legal Service Center – we are Tenant Rights avocates ready and able to help you at once!

    Call Us at (855) 775-5400

    Orange County Eviction Service

    11455 Paramount Blvd – Suite J
    Downey, CA 90241

    Monday – Friday 9:00 am to 5 pm.

    We can connect you with a Paralegal up to 10 PM ~ 7 Days a Week!

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