Notice to Pay Rent or Quit
If you do not want to “quit” (quit means leave the unit) you will need to pay the amount of rent in the way it says on the notice (and make sure you can prove it) or your landlord can start the eviction process in court. A receipt for a money order is an okay proof of payment, but if you can provide a dated and signed receipt that the landlord accepted the money order from you that’s even better! Other ways to keep a form of payment is a copy of the check or cashier check you wrote, or a mail receipt from USPS.
If you did not pay rent and you are able to pay rent:
- Pay it within 3 days exactly how the notice says. Make sure you have proof of payment.
- If the notice gives you the option to pay by mail or in person, try to pay in person first and ask for proof of payment. If your landlord is not available when the notice says they will be, put together evidence that you tried to pay in person at the specified time and place and were not able to. You can even film yourself knocking on their door saying the date and time.
- If you can’t pay in person, send the rent certified mail with a return receipt. If the only option is to pay by mail, you just need to send it postmarked within the three days. Keep a copy of your signed and dated letter.
- Late fees may only be charged for rent five or more days overdue. This section will only be applicable if the written rental agreement was entered into or renewed on or after April 16, 2020. The maximum late fee is 5% of the total monthly rent up to a maximum of $50.00.
If you have not paid rent and you are unable to pay rent:
- try out [these rental assistance programs- Learn More Here , Apply Here]. Know that this sometimes happens and it’s okay to get support. Alameda County and the city of Oakland have recognized how vulnerable people are to displacement and evictions. These programs support tenants in this situation. Note that most of these programs are one time assistance.
- You can also try to work out a payment plan with your landlord within the 3 days. If you are able to work something out, make sure you get it in writing.
- If you send your landlord a partial payment during the notice period, your landlord can still file an unlawful detainer based on the 3-day notice. Partial payment during the notice period is not sufficient to avoid an eviction.
- However, if a landlord accepts any payment, even a partial payment, after the 3-day notice expires then they have canceled the three-day notice. They have essentially renewed your tenancy and waived their right to evict you based on the three-day notice.
If your landlord claims that you have not paid rent but you have paid rent:
- Write back through a letter form with the specifics on when you paid and include copies of the evidence that you paid.
- Keep a copy of your signed letter and send the letter through overnight certified mail. Keep a copy of the receipt.
- Note that if you paid cash and did not receive a proof of payment from your landlord, it may be hard to prove in court that you paid.
- We recommend talking to lawyer from our resources ASAP. If this has happened more than once, check our our Harassment section to address this issue as a harassment as you may have additional rights.
3 day notice – I paid rent but the landlord claims I did not
If you think the eviction is retaliation for requesting repairs, it is illegal for landlords to retaliate for a tenant exercising their rights, like requesting repairs to live in a habitable unit. If you are covered under Just Cause (Am I covered under Just Cause) then you can:
If you are not covered under Just Cause, then: