What is an Eviction Notice?
Sometimes called a Notice to Quit, an Eviction Notice requests that the tenant vacate the property (“quit”). Depending on the laws in your state and the situation, the tenants may sometimes have an option to fix the issue (“cure”), such as pay unpaid bills or correct an issue that violates lease terms. Other times the Eviction Notice may be "unconditional", meaning the tenants only option is to vacate the property.
It's important to note that an Eviction Notice cannot force renters to move. It is only the first step for a landlord attempting to evict tenants from a rental property. You still need a court order to evict a tenant legally.
When can you use an Eviction Notice?
- 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.
DAY NOTICE TO TERMINATE TENANCY
TO TENANT(S) AND ALL OTHERS IN POSSESSION OF THE PREMISES LOCATED AT:
PLEASE TAKE NOTICE that upon the tenancy pursuant to the lease and/or rental agreement dated under which you hold the possession of the herein described premises there is now due unpaid and delinquent rent in the total sum of , representing rent due for the period from to .
PLEASE TAKE FURTHER NOTICE that within days after service of this notice, you are hereby required to pay the above-listed amount in full OR quit the subject premises, move out, and deliver up possession of the same to . Failure to pay the rent in full OR vacate the premises WITHIN days as required by this notice will result in forfeiture of the lease and/or rental agreement and will institute legal proceedings against you to recover rent, damages and possession of said premises.
PLEASE TAKE NOTICE that you have violated the following term(s) in your lease and/or rental agreement dated : .
PLEASE TAKE FURTHER NOTICE that within days after service of this notice, you are hereby required to perform the aforesaid covenant(s) OR quit the subject premises, move out, and deliver up possession of the same to . Failure to perform aforesaid covenant(s) OR vacate the premises WITHIN days as required by this notice will result in forfeiture of the lease and/or rental agreement and will institute legal proceedings against you to recover rent, damages and possession of said premises.
PLEASE TAKE NOTICE that your month-to-month tenancy under which you hold the possession of the herein described premises is hereby terminated as of the date days after the service of this NOTICE upon you. YOU ARE HEREBY required to quit and surrender possession thereof to on or before the date days after service of the NOTICE upon you. Failure to do so will result in forfeiture of the lease and/or rental agreement and will institute legal proceedings against you to recover rent, damages and possession of said premises.
PLEASE TAKE FURTHER NOTICE that within days after service of this notice, you are required to quit and deliver up possession of the premises to on or before that date. Failure to do so will result in forfeiture of the lease and/or rental agreement and will institute legal proceedings against you to recover rent, damages and possession of said premises.
PLEASE TAKE NOTICE that the tenancy under which you hold the possession of the herein described premises shall end days after service of this notice, and you are required to quit and deliver up possession of the premises to on or before that date. Failure to do so will result in forfeiture of the lease and/or rental agreement and will institute legal proceedings against you to recover rent, damages and possession of said premises.
THE REASON THIS NOTICE IS BEING SERVED IS:
LANDLORD RESERVES ALL THE RIGHTS AND REMEDIES PROVIDED UNDER THE RENTAL AGREEMENT AND UNDER APPLICABLE LAWS OF THE STATE OF COMMONWEALTH OF INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO DAMAGES FOR UNPAID RENT OR PROPERTY AND NOTHING IN THIS NOTICE MAY BE CONSTRUED AS A WAIVER OF SUCH RIGHTS AND REMEDIES.
Eviction Notice Checklist
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___Sign this document. This document needs to be signed by:
___Everyone gets a copy. Make one copy for each tenant listed in the notice. Each tenant must receive their own copy of the eviction notice.
Deliver the notice and sign an Affidavit of Service or hire a certified process server to legally serve the tenant(s). Make sure the service of the notice complies with applicable state laws. Many states have specific service requirements that must be met for the notice to be legally effective.
If you have chosen to serve on your own behalf, create an Affidavit of Service at RocketLawyer.com
You may never forcibly evict a tenant without going through the formal tenant eviction process.
If the tenant(s) remain in possession of the property after the notice has expired, you can then proceed with a formal eviction case in local court. However, the eviction process is a large expense and you should try to work it out with the tenant(s) whenever possible.
If you end up having to file a formal eviction case, make sure you file your eviction case in the right court. Every state is broken up into different jurisdictions, and you must file in the correct jurisdiction. You can usually figure out where to file by doing some research on your state's website.
About Eviction Notices
Learn how to tell unwanted tenants to vacate the property
How to Write an Eviction Notice
Below is a list of details you may need when preparing an Eviction Notice. Not all items will apply to every situation. Any documents related to the rental agreement, lease violation, including any late rent notices or proof of lease violation, will also be helpful.
Addresses of the rental property and landlord or property management company.
Every tenant listed on the Lease Agreement, pays rent, or lives there must be included in the notice.
Status and date of lease
Whether the lease is still active or not, or if there is a lease at all.
The reason that the notice is being served
Landlords should always refer to state laws regarding evictions to make sure they have a legally valid reason to evict a tenant. The reason for the eviction will determine the type of notice being delivered.
Review each provision in the lease or rental agreement. If you are evicting tenants for unpaid rent, determine the amount of unpaid rent, if any. If you are evicting tenants for lease violations, determine violations of the lease or rental agreement, if any. Including documentation and the original lease agreement is also a good idea.
Remember, you will need to confirm that any policies and terms referred to in the Eviction Notice are actually present in the fully executed rental contract
The Eviction Notice should clearly spell out how much time the tenant has to resolve the situation before further legal action is taken. Rocket Lawyer can help you determine exactly how much notice is required for your state and situation and build the right document.
Proof of service
The landlord may decide to include a proof of service to officially document when and how the Eviction Notice was delivered to the tenant.
Luckily, you don't need to start from scratch when making an Eviction Notice with Rocket Lawyer. Just answer a few simple questions and we’ll build the right eviction notice for the situation, as well as help with next steps on how to serve your eviction notice.
Types of Eviction Notices
There are a few different types of eviction notices, and these are generally related to the reason for the eviction.
Failure to Pay Rent
Failure to pay rent is the most common type of eviction notice and should be used to give tenants notice that (1) they owe past due rent for a specific period of time and (2) they must either pay the past due rent or vacate the property. The rent must actually be past the due date as explained in the lease or rental agreement. The amount owed should not include any late utility payments or any additional fees associated with the rent.
In most states, tenants who are late with rent payments are given a notice period to pay the past due rent before an eviction lawsuit can be filed. The tenant may correct the violation by paying the past due rent stated in the notice. However, if the tenant pays the overdue rent, the landlord will no longer have a legal cause for eviction unless there are other violations.
Eviction notices for unpaid rent are sometimes called:
- Notice to Pay Rent or Quit
- The number of days a tenant has to pay may also be part of the name, such as in 3-Day Notice to Pay Rent or Quit, 5-Day Notice to Pay Rent or Quit, 7-Day Notice to Pay Rent or Quit, 10-Day Notice to Pay Rent or Quit, 30-Day Notice to Pay Rent or Quit, etc.
- Notice to Pay or Vacate
- Unconditional Notice to Quit
- Less commonly used, Unconditional Eviction Notices may be used when the tenant shows a pattern of not paying rent
Violation of Lease or Rental Agreement
If the tenant has violated a provision of the lease or rental agreement (other than non-payment of rent), the landlord can give the tenant notice of the violation and explain that the violation needs to be remedied. This notice can be used for a variety of situations such as an unpaid security deposit, an unapproved pet, or a utility payment that is due. As long as the landlord can point to the section in the lease or rental agreement that is being violated, the landlord can give notice to the tenant to correct the violation or vacate the premises.
Depending on the state and violation, there may be notice periods for tenants to correct the violation before an eviction lawsuit can be filed. Some violations may be considered “incurable” and subject to immediate eviction lawsuit, such as illegal activities.
Eviction notices for lease violations are sometimes called:
- Notice to Cure or Quit
- The number of days a tenant has to correct the lease violation may also be named, such as in 3-Day Notice to Cure or Quit, 5-Day Notice to Cure or Quit, 7-Day Notice to Cure or Quit, 10-Day Notice to Cure or Quit, 14-Day Notice to Cure or Quit, 21-Day Notice to Cure or Quit, etc.
- These may also be called an Immediate Notice to Cure or Quit when the lease violation must be resolved immediately
- Notice to Cure or Vacate
- Notice to Comply or Vacate
- Unconditional Quit Notice / Incurable Quit Notice
- Incurable Quit Notices are typically used in more severe circumstances, such as when the tenant has caused significant damage to the property or is engaging in illegal activity on the property. Incurable Notices may also be called Unconditional.
Ending a Periodic Tenancy
In many states, landlords do not need a reason to evict tenants with a periodic tenancy. Landlords only need to provide a written notice stating that they are terminating the tenancy on a specific date. The amount of notice is determined by the state and length of the tenancy or how long the tenant has occupied the property.
Eviction notices for ending a periodic rental arrangement are sometimes called:
- Lease Termination Letter
- Notice to Quit
- Depending on the state and length of tenancy, these may be called a 30 Day Notice to Quit, 15 Day Notice to Quit, 60 Day Notice to Quit, 90 Day Notice to Quit, etc.
A Lease Holdover is a tenant who is remaining on the property after the lease has expired or after the landlord has given notice of termination of the lease. If the landlord continues to accept rent payments, the tenant can continue to legally occupy the property. However, if the landlord does not accept further rent payments, the landlord can give notice to the tenant to vacate the property. In some states, the landlord can immediately file an eviction lawsuit if the lease has expired. However, it is common courtesy to provide a tenant with a notice explaining they need to vacate the property immediately.
- Lease Termination Letter
- Notice to Quit
- Depending on the state and length of tenancy, these may be called a 15-Day Notice to Quit, 30-Day Notice to Quit, 60-Day Notice to Quit, 90-Day Notice to Quit, etc.
- Notice to Pay Rent or Quit
Eviction Notice FAQs
Do I need an Eviction Notice?
No matter how frustrated you may be, you should not try to remove a tenant without the proper legal action and paperwork. It is important to carefully document your communications and operate fully within the law. If you go rogue and take illegal actions such as turning off utilities, changing locks without a court order, or entering a unit without proper notice, you might end up on the losing side of a court battle. You will also want to refrain from excessive phone calls, text messages, or notes because it could be considered harassment. It is best that you work with a lawyer and follow the formal eviction process.
When properly drafted, an Eviction Notice letter can help protect you as a landlord or property manager by:
- Documenting the tenant's noncompliance with the lease terms.
- Setting forth a date by which the tenant should fix the issue at hand.
- Providing the tenant official written warning that you plan to take further legal action.
Even if you do not have a written lease in place, it is still critical to follow the formal legal process starting with an Eviction Notice.
Am I allowed to evict tenants for not paying rent?
Normally, yes, and you may draft an Eviction Notice to initiate the process. However, due to the pandemic, there are a few special protections in place for tenants who cannot pay rent. Although the federal ban on eviction was struck down by the Supreme Court, state and municipal governments across the country have the authority to maintain their own regulations for evictions. Keep up with the ask a local lawyer for more specific input.
Please note that in many states, it is within a tenant's rights to withhold or deduct rent if the landlord is not fulfilling their contractual obligation to keep the property habitable and safe. If you find yourself in this situation, it is recommended that you speak with a lawyer.
What are common reasons to evict a tenant?
Some common reasons to evict a tenant include:
- Violation of the rental or Lease Agreement.
- Non-payment of rent.
- Causing a nuisance or breaking the law.
- Damaging property.
- Not vacating after the end of a Lease Agreement.
- Owner move-in.
- Selling the property.
It is important to note that state or local laws may limit a landlord’s ability to evict a tenant in many circumstances. For example, in areas with rent control, or strong renter protections, tenants may only be evicted for certain reasons, such as not paying rent, violating the law, or causing a nuisance. You can learn more here.
How many days notice do I need to give in my Eviction Notice?
The amount of notice that landlords are required to give varies based on state law. There can also be different notice periods for nonpayment of rent compared to other lease violations. In a few states, no notice may be required for certain types of evictions, however, using the legal court process is still required. Typically, the eviction notice period can range between 3 and 30 days depending on the state, with the most common times being 3, 5, or 7 days. When you make an Eviction Notice with Rocket Lawyer, your document will automatically be populated with the legal notice period required in your state.
Depending on the state and on the terms of the Lease Agreement, there may be additional rules regarding how long the rent must be overdue before an Eviction Notice can be delivered. As housing laws can vary by locality, it is important to talk to a lawyer to understand what laws apply to your specific situation.
Is it legal to provide more than the minimum notice?
Generally, yes. When making an Eviction Notice, a landlord may provide tenants with more time than required by law. The time required by each state is typically a minimum, meaning that a landlord may provide more time if they so choose.
Landlords may also delay filing an eviction lawsuit in court to provide the tenant more time to move out or fix whatever issue prompted the Eviction Notice. This can often be the result of negotiating with a tenant after providing an Eviction Notice. Long delays or failed negotiations, however, may require restarting the process and sending a new Eviction Notice.
Can I evict month-to-month tenants?
In most cases, you can evict month-to-month tenants without cause. You'll need to verify the local requirements, but in most areas, you can serve a 30- or 60-day notice of termination. Before you deliver the notice, verify that the original lease did not automatically roll over into a new rental contract. If an active Lease Agreement still exists, you will need to comply with the terms of that lease.
If the rental is located in a rent-controlled area, you may not be able to evict without cause. This can include nonpayment of rent, causing a nuisance, and other significant problems. If your rental is located in an area with strong renter protections, you may want to speak with a lawyer before starting the eviction process.
What kind of notice do I use for tenants who do not leave?
When a tenant does not leave after a Lease Agreement expires or after a Notice of Non-Renewal, they are called a holdover tenant. If you do not plan on renewing a lease, you need to provide your tenant with a Notice of Non-Renewal within a certain amount of time. The amount of time depends on the location of the property and often how long the tenant has lived in the unit. If the tenant does not vacate before the end of that time, then a landlord can start the eviction process. Depending on your state or local law, before filing in court, you may be required to send an Eviction Notice after a Notice of Non-Renewal does not prompt a tenant to vacate.
In most states, if a tenant does not leave after a lease ends, and the landlord does nothing, the lease will either automatically become a month-to-month lease, or it may renew for the same amount of time as the original Lease Agreement, under the same terms.
Can I evict an individual tenant if there are multiple tenants on the lease?
Generally speaking, no. A landlord cannot be awarded a court order for possession of a property if any tenants will continue to reside there. It is important to name all of the tenants in your Eviction Notice so that the court can grant you full possession of the property. Failure to name all of the tenants could result in a dismissal of your case.
If an individual tenant is causing problems for other tenants, there may be other legal options to remove that tenant. These situations can be legally complex, so it may be best to work with a lawyer.
Do I have to hire an attorney to evict someone?
It depends. While you may prefer to draft a Notice of Eviction by yourself, the majority of property owners who end up going to court have a lawyer present. When you sign up for a Premium Membership, you can ask any specific legal questions or have an attorney review your Eviction Notice before you sign it.
There are several scenarios, where you might prefer to work with a lawyer. If this is your first eviction or if you expect that your tenant will have legal representation, it is strongly recommended that you hire an attorney. If the tenant is filing for bankruptcy, if they are an employee of yours (like an on-site property manager), or if the unit is rent-controlled, it may also be in your best interest to seek legal guidance.
How much does it cost to evict a tenant?
Making an Eviction Notice with Rocket Lawyer is free, however, there may be other fees associated with the rest of the eviction process, such as court costs. The cost associated with hiring a traditional legal provider to evict a tenant could total anywhere between hundreds of dollars and thousands. With Rocket Lawyer, any landlord or property manager with a Premium Membership can take advantage of up to a 40% discount when hiring an On Call attorney.
When considering the cost of eviction, you will also need to account for court fees and process server or certified mail fees (if applicable), as well as the cost of a locksmith, movers, or storage. Outside of immediate monetary costs, eviction can also be stressful and time-consuming, so it is often ideal that you invest in better tenant screening upfront to avoid potential problems with renters in the future.
Legal fees for eviction are a tax-deductible business expense for landlords, so be sure to keep your invoices and talk to an accountant or CPA, if you have questions.
What should I do after making an Eviction Notice?
Each completed Eviction Notice form comes with a Make It Legal™ checklist of the actions you need to take to finalize your document. Your checklist will be specific to the state that your property is located in. Here are a few general next steps:
Ask a lawyer - Since eviction is a complex process with strict rules that vary by state, it is highly recommended that you work with a lawyer to review your approach. With Rocket Lawyer, you can ask a question about your Eviction Notice, and an On Call attorney will reply with a personal response. Most questions are answered within 4 business hours. As a Premium member, you also have access to document review and a free 30 minute consultation on each new legal matter. Premium members who need more help can save up to 40% on legal fees when hiring a lawyer from our network.
Make It Legal™ - You will need to sign the Eviction Notice before it is served on the tenant(s).
Serve the Eviction Notice - Your local housing laws will dictate how you need to serve the notice. It is critical to understand exactly what delivery methods are legal in your state, since failure to follow the law can lead to the dismissal of your case. If you are unsure, ask a lawyer.
It is important to remember that "do-it-yourself" or "self-help" evictions are not legal. Property owners must use the legal eviction process to remove tenants from a rental property. Even after a court orders an eviction, landlords should not turn off utilities and services, padlock entrances, move property, or attempt to force or intimidate tenants in any way in an effort to make them move out. After winning an eviction case in court, landlords may request law enforcement do the physical act of removing tenants. Acting lawfully leading up to and throughout the eviction proceedings will give you the best chance of removing tenants successfully with an official judgment from the court.
What information do I need to file an eviction with the courts?
As you prepare to file for an eviction, it is always a good idea to work with a lawyer. An attorney with experience in evictions can help make sure you follow local laws and processes. In order to assemble all of your records for your lawyer, you may want to fill out an Eviction Process Worksheet. This document provides basic information about your tenant and their violation(s) of your rental agreement. You can also attach documentation, including a copy of the lease, photographs of the damage, repair estimates, written statements of witnesses, police reports, and other documents to support your case. Outside of reviewing your Eviction Notice letter, your lawyer can help you prepare and defend your case once it goes in front of a judge.
If you need to move forward with legal action after delivering the Eviction Notice, you will need to file your lawsuit properly with the local courts. The local government website or a local lawyer can tell you which documents you will need to file and what the fees might be. A local lawyer with experience in evictions can help you navigate the process efficiently.
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