Unlawful Detainer Judges in the downtown Los Angeles Courthouse (Stanley Mosk) have recently held that a Three Day Notice to Pay Rent or Quit must identify a natural person to whom rent may be delivered. Listing the name of the apartment complex or property management company is not enough. The natural person or live body to whom rent may be delivered should be identified in the notice at a location near all other payment information (i.e. telephone number, payment location, and usual days and hours available for receipt of payment). Printing a name at or near the signature line may be insufficient. Identifying a title only (e.g. Community Manager) may likewise be insufficient. If more than one employee is available to accept rental payments then it is sufficient to simply list the name of one of the employees.
Please note that so far this defense has only been recognized in the Downtown Los Angeles Courthouse. Until this issue is resolved on appeal, it shall remain a source of risk and uncertainty in nonpayment of rent cases where the name of a person to whom rent can be delivered is not inserted in the pay or quit notice.
Please feel free to contact our Los Angeles office at (800)577-4587 with any questions on this topic.
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