By default, a landlord seeking to evict a tenant must serve a notice that complies with California Code of Civil Procedure §§ 1161 and 1162. These notice requirements cannot be changed or waived in the context of a residential lease. However, parties to a commercial lease can designate in the lease any form of service that they can agree upon, including email service.
For most landlords, agreeing to as many means of service as possible is preferred. More often than not, the landlord will be the party giving notice. Accordingly, the landlord will benefit from having multiples types of service available to effectuate service. Where possible, commercial leases should include service by: (1) mail, (2) facsimile, (3) email, and (4) in person.
No matter what the method of service stated in a commercial lease, it must be strictly complied with. This includes making sure the service is effectuated on the address set forth in the lease. In California, there is good case law (legal authority) that says that service at the agreed upon address in the lease was more important than actual notice. Therefore, it is crucial that landlords ensure their notices are served at the address stated in the lease and only by the method(s) authorized in the lease. Dealing with notices both in the residential and commercial setting are a highly technical area of the law. Unfortunately or even fortunately, Courts routinely strictly construe notice provisions and frequently rule against parties who fail to give proper notice.
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