Tenant's Notice Terminating Tenancy Letter

If it’s been difficult trying to get your landlord to make repairs, or you just want to make a formal request, this letter will serve that purpose. This letter is designed for serious issues in need of repair at the rental property, but may also be used for any repair request. One important item to note is that a tenant can give notice of a “necessary” repair and a landlord is required to make those repairs within “reasonable” time. “Reasonable time is usually 30 days, per California Civil Code Section 1942. However, if the condition is serious enough, “reasonable” time may be much shorter. For example, if there is no hot water, “reasonable” time may be just two to three days. What if the hot water heater broke down on Saturday night? There may not be a plumber available to repair the water heater. This letter is designed to notify a landlord who has past “reasonable” time, and clearly fails to get repairs done when they should.

Download letter as fillable PDF

Timmy Tenant
1234 Somewhere St.
Los Angeles, CA 90000


Lucy Landlord
789 Nowhere St.
Los Angeles, CA 90000

Via U.S.P.S. Certified Mail with Return Receipt


Dear Ms. Landlord:
This letter constitutes formal notice that I hereby terminate my tenancy at the property located at _____________________________________________________________________ (property address), on ___________________ (date of move-out), due to the uninhabitable conditions that continue to exist and you have failed to correct. This “Notice” is made pursuant to California Civil Code § 1942, where a tenant may choose to vacate a untenantable premises if a landlord neglects to make repairs within a reasonable time.

Under Civil Code § 1942, a premises is untenantable if it: 1. substantially lacks standard characteristics required under Civil Code § 1941.1, and/or; 2. if conditions exist that endanger life, limb, health, property, safety, or welfare of the occupants under Health and Safety Code § 17920.3, and/or; 3. anything which is injurious to health or is indecent or offensive to the senses under Civil Code § 3479.

As you are aware, I previously asked you to repair/correct the following conditions that violate these laws:

  • 1. Bedbug infestations
  • 2. Leaky Roof
  • 3. None or inoperable heating
  • 4. None or inoperable hot water

Along with terminating my tenancy, Civil Code § 1942 states that I am relieved of any further rent payment obligations. Although I have elected to terminate my tenancy as a means to mitigate my damages, this act does not discharge you, the landlord, from your obligations with regard to breach of contract, nuisance, fraud, harassment, constructive eviction, and other violations you are still legally liable.
At this time, per Civil Code § 1950.5(f)(1), I request an initial inspection of the property be conducted on___________________, (date that is two weeks prior to above date), to determine if there are any damages for repairs that fall outside of normal wear and tear, if any, and be itemized and presented with an opportunity to rectify such to avoid deductions from my security deposit and/or charges for repairs.

Please give me a call at ______________________ (phone number) to coordinate a time to schedule the initial inspection, or for any other questions you may have. If I do not hear from you prior to the above termination date, I will assume that my security deposit shall be returned in full. Otherwise, this letter also serves as further notice that any deductions or non-return of my security deposit will be viewed as “bad-faith” and treble (“triple”) damage will be sought.

Timmy Tenant

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