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Learn more about Eviction Notice

Eviction Notice Basics

As a landlord, you may need to evict a tenant for one reason or another. Generally considered the first step in the process, an Eviction Notice tells tenants to vacate the property. Using an Eviction Notice helps ensure that the process goes smoothly so that both you and your tenants can move on, while also establishing a record of your eviction attempts in case you need to pursue further legal action.

Use an Eviction Notice if:

  • You're a landlord, and you want to terminate the tenancy and remove the current tenant(s) from your property.
  • You own or manage a rental property, and want your tenants to either remedy their violation of a lease provision, or move out.

Sample Eviction Notice

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Other names for an Eviction Notice:

Notice to Vacate Letter, Notice to Quit, Eviction Notice Letter, Rental eviction Notice, Notice to Vacate (the) Premises

How to Evict a Tenant:

Before reading any further, there’s something that must be stressed up front: you cannot evict a tenant without a court order. An Eviction Notice is a part of the process, but you can’t simply pin one to the door and demand your tenant vacates. It just doesn’t work that way.

You need a reason to evict a tenant:

Although laws do vary state by state, you’ll need a proper reason to evict a tenant. Commonly, that reason is failure to pay rent. But evictions can also be caused by excessive lateness with rent, damage to property, or breaking the lease, perhaps by adopting a pet, having extra people stay in the property, making noise at all hours, or failing to maintain any other provision of your Rental Agreement.

Keep in mind, if you have a good tenant with a problem you can deal with, consider mediation. Eviction can be time consuming and costly and should be embarked upon as a last resort.

Serving an Eviction Notice:

An Eviction Notice is generally the first step of the eviction process. In your notice, you’ll want to include the reason you’re evicting the tenant (such as failure to pay rent for several months) and whether the tenant can remedy the offense. If you appear flexible, the courts may look more kindly on your claim during the process. Often, tenants are given 30 days to fix the issue, at which point you can call off the eviction.

If your tenant doesn’t remedy the situation, your Eviction Notice is the first step. Although it varies depending on where you live, you’ll eventually end up in court. A judge will decide if you have a claim and the tenant will be given a finite period of time to vacate the property. In California, for example, this is generally 5 days after the judge’s ruling.

Evicting someone who lives with you:

If you have a problem roommate or family member who won’t leave after you’ve asked, in most states, you’ll need to go through the eviction process. Typically, roommates are evicted because they’ve not paid rent, but if they’ve broken another part of the lease, you can ask they leave as well. Going through the eviction process with a roommate helps solidify that, even though the lease was perhaps broken, if wasn’t your fault.

The importance of a Real Estate Attorney:

Eviction Notices and the eviction process can be tricky. They’re not only different in every state, but often in every county. If you’re thinking about evicting a tenant, it’s strongly recommended you consult with an attorney. Eviction takes time and it takes follow through. If it goes wrong, you can be stuck with a bad tenant for a long time. So talk with an experienced lawyer before you serve your notice. You’ll save yourself a lot of grief.

Other documents for landlords and property managers:

Here are some documents you may need, either to finalize your eviction notice or, once you have an empty property, to fill it back up.

If you have any questions about what’s right for you, we can connect you with a lawyer for quick answers or a document review.


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