How are days in a notice to vacate counted? Does the notice day count?
April 13, 2017 12:51 AM   Subscribe

Does an N-day notice to move out include the day that notice is given in US/California/LA? Specifically, if I was given 45 day notice on March 1st, is the last day I'm entitled to occupy the space (a) April 14th or (b) April 15th?

I'm subleasing a room in a house from someone who gave me that 45 days notice on March 1st. They understood the notice period as including the 1st, and assumed I would be out on Friday the 14th. I assumed the notice period started on the 2nd, and planned to be out by Saturday the 15th. Neither of us took pains to bring up a specific calendar date before the Monday just past (the 10th) when they began making noises about a cleaning company they'd scheduled to arrive the afternoon of the 15th. I responded that I'd understood my last day to be the 15th, and that I'd planned on moving out that day, but that I'd be packed up by that morning and only shuttling things out during the day, so I'd be fine working around cleaners if it was helpful. This initially seemed like it a compromise that would work, but they're now stating that they see the 14th as my definitively last day, and are applying pressure to be gone before the clock strikes 12 that night.

Needless to say, moving is easier on a Saturday, and also, new space isn't open to me until the 15th. If the common understanding and force of law stipulates the 14th, I'll make every effort to comply, but I'd like to make sure I understand first, and if convention and the law afford me the luxury of taking the 15th, I'd like to take it.

I've found some things that support my understanding. This discussion a 3 day notice period from a Santa Barbara law firm seems to indicate that it does not include the day notice is given. This discussion from the California Department of Consumer Affairs says "if the landlord served a 60-day notice on July 16, you would begin counting the 60 days on July 17" which seems to indicate to me the day notice is given isn't included. So: Mar 2nd => day 1, Mar 3rd => day 2, ... Mar 31st => day 30, Apr 1 => day 31, Apr 2 => day 32, ... Apr 15 => day 45. Right?

But I'm naturally biased toward my point of view, and I'd like to double-check and make sure I'm not misunderstanding. Or I'd like to come up with even stronger sources of support.

I know: you are not my lawyer, but then again this is not likely to end up in any court more serious than the court of continued discussion with the leaseholder, and if I make a good case there (or am on the receiving end of a good case to the contrary) that's enough.
posted by wildblueyonder to Law & Government (4 answers total)
From the page you linked, that full sentence looks pretty cut and dried to me that the day you were given notice is not included in the count:
If you receive a 30-day or 60-day notice, you must leave the rental unit by the end of the 30th or 60th day after the date on which the landlord served the notice (see Written Notices of Termination). For example, if the landlord served a 60-day notice on July 16, you would begin counting the 60 days on July 17, and the 60-day period would end on September 14. If September 14 falls on a weekday, you would have to leave on or before that date.

Think of it this way - if they had given you one day's notice that you had to leave, would that mean you had to leave that day? No, it would mean you had to leave the next day. Now extend that out by 45 days.
posted by the agents of KAOS at 1:01 AM on April 13, 2017 [7 favorites]

Not only what agents of KAOS said, but Saturday and Sunday are legal holidays and a notice to leave can't land on those days. (Depending on how they delivered the notice to you it's possible that the clock wouldn't start until the 2nd or the 3rd, either.) So you probably actually have until Monday from a strictly legal standpoint.
posted by gerryblog at 4:07 AM on April 13, 2017

I would count it as 45 sleeps, so the 15th of April.
posted by kinddieserzeit at 4:19 AM on April 13, 2017

I would consider these three questions:

1. What is the cost of finding out the legally correct answer? (Maybe nothing if we can find the right cites here.)

2. What are the risks of finding out the right answer?

3. What are the penalties or consequences of staying until Saturday even if Friday is the correct last day?

If it were me, I would tell the person, "I have checked my legal rights and I am very confident that I have at least until Saturday. I will be moving my boxes out on Saturday. I repeat my offer to work around and with your cleaning crew."
posted by AugustWest at 7:50 AM on April 13, 2017 [2 favorites]

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