What to do when you get a move-out notice – Orange County Register

You’ve gotten a three-day notice to “PAY OR QUIT.”

Over the next few weeks, more notices arrive, filled with legal jargon and bearing labels like “COMPLAINT-UNLAWFUL DETAINER.”

You are not a person, but the “DEFENDANT.”

Finally, a sheriff’s deputy shows up at your door and hands you a sheaf of papers labeled “NOTICE TO VACATE.”

Rich or poor, people value their home.

Now you’ve got just days before yours will be taken away from you.

What should you do?

At this stage of the game, your options are few, and none of them are good.

But, evictions can move fast. Experts say the earlier you take action, the better. Here is a brief guide.

Pay the rent: Generally, a lawful tenant has the same rights to his or her home as homeowners do to their property. Tenancy gives you the right of possession, subject to the terms of your lease or rental agreement. Pay your rent on time, follow the reasonable and legal rules of your contract, and you’re chances of being forced to move out are slim.

The Eviction Defense Network website advises against using cash and that tenants get a receipt.

Even if you do faithfully pay the rent, landlords still can order you to leave your rental by giving a formal notice of 30 or 60 days before the end of your lease or month-to-month rental term, depending on how long you have lived there and whether you live in a rent-controlled city like Los Angeles or Santa Monica.

“Three-Day Notice to Pay or Quit:” This gives you three days to pay up your rent or move out. If you make a payment, the landlord must accept it. Don’t ignore these notices. The count starts the day after your notice was delivered and includes weekends and holidays, although you have until the following business day if it ends on a weekend or holiday.

Failure to pay the rent is the primary reason for such orders, but landlords also can order tenants to leave for such rental agreement violations as having unauthorized pets, being a public nuisance or…

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