Topic No. 202: General Eviction Notice Requirements

Recent amendments to the Rent Ordinance, effective November 9, 2015, may have changed some of the information provided here. The Rent Board is currently considering amendments to its Rules and Regulations that may also affect the accuracy of the information provided here. This information will be updated in the near future. You may contact the Rent Board at (415) 252-4602 or visit the office at 25 Van Ness Avenue, Room 320 in San Francisco if you have questions about this topic.

If a landlord is seeking to evict a tenant, the Rent Ordinance and/or Rules mandate that all notices to vacate must contain the following, as applicable:

  • A notice to vacate must be given to the tenant in writing and it must state the grounds under which possession of the unit is sought.
  • The notice must state that advice is available from the Residential Rent Stabilization and Arbitration Board.
  • California Code of Civil Procedure Section 1161 requires that a Three Day Notice for non-payment of rent must state the amount of rent due, plus the name, telephone number and address of the person to whom the rent payment should be made. Section 1161 additionally requires that if payment is to be made personally, the notice must provide the usual days and hours when the person to whom rent shall be paid is available to receive the rent payment. Alternatively, the notice must provide an account number in a financial institution into which the rental payment may be made or state that payment may be made pursuant to a previously established electronic funds transfer procedure.
  • For owner/relative occupancy evictions, the landlord must comply with additional notice requirements as set forth in the Rent Ordinance.

A copy of all notices to vacate except Three Day Notices to Pay Rent or Quit, and a copy of any additional written documents informing the tenant of the grounds under which possession is sought, shall be filed with the Rent Board within ten days following service of the notice to vacate.

Whenever a San Francisco building with two or more residential units is offered for sale, the seller must disclose to any prospective purchaser the legal grounds for terminating the tenancy of each unit to be delivered vacant at the close of escrow and whether the unit was occupied by an elderly or disabled tenant at the time the tenancy was terminated. Disclosure on a flier or other document describing the property which is made available to prospective purchasers at each open house and any tour through the property will constitute compliance with the disclosure requirements.

There may be other state law requirements governing eviction notices that are not covered here. Landlords are advised to seek legal advice regarding the preparation of a proper eviction notice.

For more information about eviction notice requirements, refer to Fact Sheet 4. To receive a copy of the Fax Sheet 4, you can fax it to yourself through our Fax Back system by calling (415) 252-4660 or visit our website at Fact Sheet 4 is also available at our office.


January 2007