Form-of-the-week: 30-day Notice of Change in Rental Terms – Form 570
All conditions in a month-to-month rental agreement or expired lease agreement may be changed on written notice served on the tenant on any day during the month by residential or nonresidential landlords.
A residential or nonresidential landlord under a month-to-month rental agreement or expired lease agreement can increase the rent or shift repair and maintenance obligations to the tenant by serving a 30-day notice of change in rental terms. The 30-day notice is used by residential landlords or property managers when the rent is increased 10% or less within a 12-month period. Nonresidential landlords are not bound by the 10% threshold applicable to residential occupancies. Thus, nonresidential landlords and property managers use the 30-day notice regardless of the amount of the rent increase. [See first tuesday Form 570]
However, residential landlords use a 60-day notice when rent is increased greater than 10% within a 12-month period. [Calif. Civil Code §827; see first tuesday Form 574]
To be enforceable, a notice of change in rental terms needs to be served in the same manner as a three-day notice to pay rent or quit. However, only the landlord may unilaterally change the terms in a rental agreement. [CC §827]
A month-to-month tenant has no ability to unilaterally alter the terms of the rental agreement, being limited to terminating the tenancy by notice and vacating. [CC §1946]
In rent control communities, a landlord or property manager needs to be fully aware how rent control ordinances affect their ability to alter provisions in rental agreements.
When a residential landlord under a month-to-month rental or expired lease agreement desires to increase rent, the length of the notice period depends on the amount of the rent increase. To determine whether a 30-day or 60-day notice is required, the landlord or property manager needs to compare the rent amount sought with the lowest rent amount paid by the tenant during the last 12 months.
If the total increase in rent is not more than 10% of the lowest amount of monthly rent paid during the previous 12 months, the landlord may serve the tenant with a 30-day notice of change in rental terms. [See first tuesday Form 570]
However, if the total increase in rent is more than 10%, the residential landlord or property manager needs to serve the tenant with a 60-day notice of change in rental terms. [CC §827; see first tuesday Form 574]
first tuesday’s 30-day Notice of Change in Rental Terms is used by a landlord or property manager when a rent increase of 10% or less is sought. It is also used to change any other terms in a residential month-to-month tenancy. For nonresidential property, the form is used regardless of the amount of the rent increase or to change any other terms. [See first tuesday Form 570]
In addition to referencing the rental or expired lease agreement to be modified, the 30-day notice of change in rental terms provides for:
- change in the rent amount;
- change in the common area maintenance (CAM) charge;
- change in utility payment responsibility;
- additional security deposit;
- allocation of new or additional non-smoking areas; and
- a space for additional changes in the terms to the rental or expired lease agreement. [See first tuesday Form 570]