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legalgems, attorney
Category: Landlord-Tenant
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We live, months now, in an "Extended Stay America" hotel in

Customer Question

We live, for 6 months now , in an "Extended Stay America" hotel in San Dimas, CA. We fell behind on the rent and had a three-day pay or quit notice taped to our door last Friday, for $1,375 rent due. Although we have $800 available to pay today, with the balance to be paid this coming Friday (5 days later), the land lord will only accept the total amount - today. So we can have it all paid by 3/25, much earlier than the expiration of an Unlawful Detainer, and it seems to me that he should go with that. But he is not making himself available to talk to. What should I do? Thanks, ***** *****(###) ###-####***@******.***.
Submitted: 7 months ago.
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Expert:  legalgems replied 7 months ago.

I am sorry to hear this.

If the landlord gives the tenant a three-day notice because the tenant hasn't paid the rent, the notice must accurately state the amount of rent that is due. In addition, the notice must state:

  • The name, address and telephone number of the person to whom the rent must be paid.
  • If payment may be made in person, the usual days and hours that the person is available to receive the rent payment. If the address does not accept personal deliveries, then you can mail the rent to the owner at the name and address stated in the three-day notice. If you can show proof that you mailed the rent to the stated name and address (for example, a receipt for certified mail), the law assumes that the rent payment is received by the owner on the date of postmark.
  • Instead, the notice may state the name, street address and account number of the financial institution where the rent payment may be made (if the institution is within five miles of the unit). If an electronic fund transfer procedure was previously established for paying rent, payment may be made using that procedure.

The landlord normally cannot require that the tenant pay the past-due rent in cash.

Depending on the type of violation, the three-day notice demands either (1) that the tenant correct the violation or leave the rental unit, or (2) that the tenant leave the rental unit. If the violation involves something that the tenant can correct (for example, the tenant hasn't paid the rent, or the tenant has a pet but the lease doesn't permit pets), the notice must give the tenant the option to correct the violation.

Failing to pay the rent, and most violations of the terms of a lease or rental agreement, can be corrected. In these situations, the three-day notice must give the tenant the option to correct the violation

If you attempt to pay all the past-due rent demanded after the three-day period expires, the landlord can either file a lawsuit to evict you or accept the rent payment. If the landlord accepts the rent, the landlord waives the right to evict you based on late payment of rent

If you stay beyond the three days without paying the rent that is properly due, you will be occupying the rental unit unlawfully. The landlord then has a single, powerful remedy: a court action to evict you and recover the unpaid rent (called an "unlawful detainer [eviction] lawsuit". Failure to pay the rent and to leave promptly may also become part of your credit history, which could affect your ability to rent from other landlords.

You mention that the notice was posted - this is an acceptable form of service, but it requires that the paper also be mailed. Service of the notice is not complete until the copy of the notice has been mailed. The three-day period begins the day after the notice was posted and mailed.

Expert:  legalgems replied 7 months ago.

A landlord need not agree to accept partial payment of rent; though it is uncommon for them to refuse as a partial payment is better than no payment; perhaps offering to execute a promissory note or providing collateral will help .

Expert:  legalgems replied 7 months ago.

Brochure on landlord/tenant issues:

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