Court Rules Against Los Angeles County Eviction Notice Requirement

The Court ruled in the California Apartment Association’s case that the notice is preempted by state law.

By Ayiesha Beverly |

| Updated

4 minute read

Key Takeaways

  1. Los Angeles County’s 30-day eviction notice requirement is preempted by California state’s 3-day eviction notice requirement.
  2. Los Angeles County is prohibited from implementing or enforcing the 30-day eviction notice requirement.
  3. Los Angeles County must return to the state’s 3-day eviction notice requirement.


On April 11, 2023, the California Apartment Association (CAA) filed a lawsuit against the County of Los Angeles challenging their “Covid-19 Tenant Protections Resolution” (the Resolution). Specifically, CAA challenged the Resolution’s provision that requires housing providers in the County to give residents “in default on rent 30 days’ notice to pay or potentially face eviction proceedings,” arguing that the County’s 30-day eviction notice requirement was preempted by the state’s 3-day eviction notice requirement. CAA petitioned the Superior Court of Los Angeles County for an order prohibiting the County from “implementation and enforcement” of the Resolution’s notice requirement and a preliminary and permanent injunction preventing enforcement of the Resolution’s notice requirement.

On January 18, 2024, the Court granted CAA’s petition for a writ of mandate.

Court’s Analysis

In his ruling, Judge Mitchell Beckloff stated that the court presumes that local regulation in an area traditionally controlled by the local government is not preempted by state law.  Therefore, CAA had the burden of “demonstrating” that the Resolution was preempted by state law.

Judge Beckloff outlined the relevant framework for a procedural-substantive preemption analysis as set forth by the California Supreme Court in Birkenfeld v. City of Berkeley (Birkenfeld). “[U]nder Birkenfeld, ‘municipalities may by ordinance limit the substantive grounds for eviction by specifying that a landlord may gain possession of a rental unit only on certain limited grounds… But they may not procedurally impair the summary eviction scheme set forth in the unlawful detainer statutes....’”

CAA argued that the County’s 30-day notice requirement contradicts the state’s 3-day notice, “enters into a field fully occupied by state law” and that “[t]he amount of notice required to evict [a resident] for nonpayment of rent falls squarely withing the realm of a procedural requirement rather than a substantive one.”

The Court agreed with CAA’s analysis, stating that the 30-day notice had nothing to do with the substantive grounds for eviction, was purely procedural and delayed housing providers “ability to initiate the summary nature of the remedy.” By requiring housing providers to give a 30-day eviction notice, the judge concluded that the Resolution creates a procedural barrier to housing providers’ ability to bring summary unlawful detainer actions. Earlier in his Order, Judge Beckloff took note that the California Court of Appeals had previously explained the state’s 3-day eviction notice requirement was “intended to provide an expeditious and adequate remedy for obtaining possession of premises wrongfully withheld by tenants.”

The order also outlined why the County’s argument, likening the 30-day eviction notice requirement to case law that previously upheld ordinances in San Franciso, was “unpersuasive” and “distinguishable.”

Lastly, the court determined that the intent of the California Legislature was to “return to the [procedural-substantive framework] of preemption of local eviction laws that existed before the [Covid-19 Tenant Relief Act] was originally enacted in 2020.”

What’s Next

With the court’s written command to Los Angeles County against implementing or enforcing the 30-day notice requirement, and with the permanent injunction preventing enforcement of the notice requirement in place, housing providers in Los Angeles County are now allowed to issue 3-day eviction notices for residents who have defaulted on their rent payments.

For the National Apartment Association’s (NAA) Click & Lease users, NAA is updating the California forms library to remove the Los Angeles County and Los Angeles City 30-day notices. Click & Lease users will receive a broadcast notification when those updates are completed.

It’s important to note that while this case dealt with a 30-day eviction notice requirement, it is not the same 30-day notice to vacate provided for in Section 9058(c) of the CARES Act. NAA continues its multi-year advocacy efforts to remove the federal notice requirement for evictions at properties covered by the CARES Act.