Archive for June 2012

Commercial Landlords – Don’t Let Your Lease Make Evictions More Costly or Difficult

Effective January 1, 2011, California’s legislature made it easier for commercial landlords to serve commercial tenants with notices to pay or quit and notices to perform or quit under a lease by amending California Code of Civil Procedure section 1162.

Today, landlords may serve a notice in three ways, with no additional due diligence required:  (1) by personal service (hand the tenant a copy of the notice); (2) substitute service at the premises (leave a copy of the notice with an adult at the commercial premises and then mail a copy to the commercial premises), or; (3) “nail and mail” (conspicuously post a copy of the notice at the commercial premises and then mail a copy to the commercial premises).  However, some case law suggest that commercial lease terms requiring notice in a different manner (such as by mail or overnight delivery) or in a different location (such as the tenant’s home or other business location) may supersede the “default” provisions of the Code.  As a result, commercial landlords may not always be able to avail themselves of the new service “shortcut” of California Code of Civil Procedure section 1162.

To be safe, commercial landlords should send notices to tenants in accordance with the notice terms of their lease and California Code of Civil Procedure section 1162.  Landlords should also have their lease form reviewed and revised by a lawyer so that, going forward, compliance with California Code of Civil Procedure section 1162 is sufficient notice pursuant to their leases.