Abandonment by residential and commercial tenants is an issue that frequently arises in California. Effective January 1, 2019, the statutory provisions relating to a landlord establishing a legal abandonment will be revised. Civil Code Section 1951.3 will be restricted only to residential real property, with the Legislature creating a new Civil Code Section 1951.35 for commercial properties.

Depending on the language in a commercial lease concerning when a “rent default” occurs by the tenant, the new Civil Code Section 1951.35 will in most cases reduce the amount of time that a landlord must wait to serve a Notice of Belief of Abandonment to a commercial tenant. A statutory Notice form is also included in the new Civil Code section for landlords’ use in commercial abandonment situations.

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