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Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 117458
Experience:  Licensed attorney practicing landlord-tenant, land use and other real estate law and litigation.
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I have a rental property. The tenant has not paid the rent

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I have a rental property. The tenant has not paid the rent since the first. He has a one year lease ending in May. I called him and he said he was "too busy", Can I post a 3 Day notice myself?
Can I send it registered mail? (what if he does not pick it up?)
I have a late fee on the lease but I read that I cannot charge him a late fee, is this true?

Has he broken the lease?
Thank you for your question. I look forward to working with you to provide you the information you are seeking for educational purposes only.

You can post and send the 3 day notice yourself. It can be sent by registered mail and also posted to the door of the residence if you cannot put it in the hands of the tenant directly. This is called nail and mail service.

As far as late fees, while the CA law says that pre determined late fees cannot be charged in a lease, the exception is that if the late fee is actually reasonably representative of the losses you incur from the late payment. For example, if the late fee represents the reasonable cost of you posting the eviction notice and mailing it, then the courts will likely hold it to be valid.

If he has not paid rent, then he is in breach of the lease and you can indeed seek to evict him for breach of lease.

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