Eviction Notice

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An eviction notice is an eviction letter from the landlord asking a tenant to address a violation of a rental or lease agreement or vacate the premise before a stipulated date. If the tenant fails to comply with the terms of the notice, the landlord can then file a forcible detainer in court to evict the tenant. Use this eviction notice template to terminate the lease or rent agreement without conflicts.

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Template Description

sad evicted man

Landlords may create eviction notices to inform tenants of their intentions to terminate a lease agreement. Should the tenant fail to correct a lease violation that was the subject of the eviction notice within a specified number of days, the landlord can file an eviction lawsuit. Possible violations of the contract may include a failure to pay rent or damage to the property. The standard language is included in the printable blank pdf document that is available for download as is or with simple alterations based on need.

What Is an Eviction Notice?

An eviction notice for tenants is a letter of eviction from the landlord asking the tenant to address a violation of a rental or lease agreement or to vacate the premises on or before a stipulated date. If the tenant fails to comply with the terms of the notice, the landlord can then file a forcible detainer in court to evict the tenant. 

Insight

Upon receiving an eviction notice, the tenant will have a specified number of days to remedy the violation or vacate the leased premises per state law.

Parties of the Eviction Notice

  • Landlord –– the owner of a property (such as land, a house, or an apartment) who leases or rents it out to another person to use.
  • Tenant –– a person who pays rent or has agreed to pay rent to live somewhere. This applies even if someone uses only a portion of a house or apartment.

Key Terms

  • Eviction — An eviction occurs when a court orders a tenant to be removed from a property.
  • Reasons for eviction — When a landlord decides to evict a tenant, the reasons for eviction can be nonpayment of rent, damages, illegal activity, or violation of lease terms.
  • Eviction process — An eviction process usually begins when the landlord provides the tenant with a notice asking the tenant to correct certain issues.
  • Eviction proceedings — The landlord may initiate eviction proceedings through a court if the tenant fails to provide a remedy.
  • Eviction judgment — Judges consider testimony and evidence before deciding whether to issue a judgment to evict a tenant.

What Is the Eviction Process?

The eviction process is the same across all states, though there may be small variations, such as the number of days for notice. It is essential to check your state laws before drafting an eviction notice. Once you ascertain that you have a legal basis for eviction, then the following steps can occur: 

1. Preparing and Filing the Eviction Notice Form

The eviction process starts with serving the tenant the appropriate letter of eviction, specifying the reasons and number of days to comply. Should the tenant fail to comply with the required remedy, the landlord can proceed to file a forcible detainer in court. The tenant should vacate before or at the end of the notice period for a without-cause termination. 

A landlord can file a forcible detainer using the following two forms: 

  1. Eviction complaint, which initiates the eviction case; and

  2. Summons, informing the tenant about the eviction case.

Once the landlord files, the local sheriff’s office or a process server delivers the documents to the tenant. At this point, the tenant should follow the instructions in the summons. 

2. Attending the Court Hearing

judge listening to parties

The court will give a hearing date for the forcible detainer. The summons also specifies the time frame during which the tenant should submit his or her statement. If the tenant does not respond or show up for the hearing, the landlord will generally win the case. 

If the tenant responds, then both parties will be heard by the court. During the hearing, the tenant should show cause why the court should not grant the landlord a writ for possession of the premises. As a defense against eviction, a tenant can highlight mistakes in the eviction complaint, cite improper service, or demonstrate that the eviction is in bad faith.

The landlord should bring all relevant paperwork, including: 

  • Correspondence with the tenant—text messages, emails, or phone call records;

  • Checks from the tenant that bounced;

  • A copy of the lease or rent agreement; 

  • A copy of the eviction notice;

  • Proof of receipt of eviction complaint; and

  • A record of payments. 

3. Issuing the Judgment

Usually, the court rules in favor of the landlord, as the process is a summary procedure giving the tenant a limited time to respond.

Warning

However, if the court finds that the landlord failed to comply with his or her responsibility as outlined in the rent or lease agreement, the court may rule in favor of the tenant. Should the tenant demonstrate that the eviction is due to taking legal action against the landlord, the court may decline to issue a writ for possession. 

If the tenant refuses to vacate voluntarily after the hearing, the judge will award an eviction order (an order or writ for possession). The law provides the landlord the opportunity to work with local law enforcement to remove the tenant from the property. 

4. Other Steps

Other orders that the court may issue include an agreed order for possession, which works the same as an eviction order, only that the tenant has agreed to it. The types of agreed orders for possession include the following:

  • Agreed to move out and compliance status—At this point, the court issues a move-out date with a follow-up court date. If the tenant complies, the court dismisses the matter without judgment. Should the tenant not comply, the court will issue an order for possession. 

  • Dismissal with leave to reinstate—A leave or reinstate order means that the court dismisses the case but maintains a possibility of reinstating if either party fails to follow through with the agreement.

  • Pay and stay agreement—This agreed order allows the tenant to stay on the property, subject to complying with a payment plan.

In cases where the judge finds that the landlord issued an eviction notice without sufficient reasons, the court will seal the proceedings so they will not be accessible to the public. 

If the landlord issued the notice for eviction because of rent arrears, the landlord could opt to dismiss the rent claim with prejudice, giving up the right to collect the rent. If the court dismisses the matter without prejudice, the landlord can still attempt to collect the amount owed later. 

Why Is an Eviction Notice Important?

An eviction notice helps a property owner to reclaim and protect his or her rights to a property. If a tenant violates any aspect of a lease or rent agreement, the landlord has the right to regain possession. There are three main types of termination notices with cause, and each plays a significant role:

  1. Pay rent or quit/pay or vacate notices—Pay rent or quit notices can be sent to renters who are not up to date on their rent payments. The notice gives the tenant a time limit for paying the rent arrears before an eviction lawsuit will be filed.

  2. Cure or quit notices—Send a cure or quit notice to tenants who violate a portion of the rent or lease agreement, such as a no-pet clause or cleanliness standards. The notice specifies the time allowed for the tenant to rectify the error. Failure to cure the problem will permit the landlord to evict the tenant.

  3. Unconditional quit notices—The harshest of these notices, an unconditional quit notice is usually sent to a tenant who has a pattern of violating the terms of the agreement. 

Other reasons for unconditional notices include if the tenant has:

  • Engaged in dangerous or illegal activity on the premises;

  • Has caused significant damage to the property;

  • Is regularly late with rent payments; and

  • Has violated a substantial clause of the rent or lease agreement.

Insight

Depending on the state in which the rental property is located, the landlord may need to provide up to thirty days’ notice to tenants of the pending eviction. But some states allow the landlord to proceed with eviction immediately without prior written notice.

When Do You Need an Eviction Notice?

There are many scenarios in which a tenant may have trouble making the agreed rent payments, but after taking reasonable steps to remedy the situation, a landlord may need to take legal action to protect his or her asset and livelihood. A landlord must use an eviction letter to legally terminate a rental or lease agreement and remove a tenant from his or her property.

What Should a Landlord Include in the Eviction Notice Letter?

The eviction notice should capture the circumstances surrounding the eviction. It should outline how the tenant violated the lease and how the tenant can remedy the situation, depending on its nature. A proper sample eviction notice will include the following:

  • Date of the notice—Date the lease termination notice. Ensure that the date of the notice is the same as the date of service so that the tenant can count the exact days that make the notice period. 
  • Name(s) of the tenant(s)—Give the legal names of the tenant or tenants. The name in the notice should match the tenant’s name as captured in the tenancy agreement. 
  • Address of the property—Indicate the property’s address, including the name of the building, apartment unit, city, state, and zip code as applicable. 
  • Reason for the eviction—Give the reason or reasons for eviction. For a cause termination notice, the reason should be a direct violation of the rent or lease agreement. For a without-cause eviction, indicate the date when the tenancy agreement will end. 
  • Notice duration and date that the tenant must comply—Provide the date and duration given for compliance. State the exact date when the tenancy ends if the tenant fails to comply with the notice demands. 
  • Name and signature of the landlord or property manager—Indicate the name of the landlord or property manager as listed in the lease agreement.  

*This is a non-exhaustive list but just a few important points for the notice to include.*

How To Write an Eviction Notice

Once you have decided to give your tenant an eviction notice, the type of notice depends on the reason for evicting the tenant. The example and outline below is for a rental notice. 

  1. Fill out tenant information and property address
    Provide the tenant’s name, reflecting what is listed in the original lease agreement. Indicate the address and location of the rental property, including the apartment number, room number, and street name that is the subject of the contract.
  2. Enter lease agreement and late rent details
    Cite the name of the original lease agreement with the tenant. State that the eviction is due to the tenant’s being late in making rent payments contrary to the lease agreement. Provide the rent amount due and the date when the rent became due as per the agreement. If the lease agreement provided a fine for late payment, include the total that the tenant should pay, including the fine.
  3. Tell the tenant how to pay the late rent
    Give the tenant information about how to remedy the error. Inform the tenant of the exact number of days allowed and dates to pay the rent due or face eviction, providing the expected amount and the means of payment. 
  4. Reference state statutes and sign notice
    Search your state’s law and cite the relevant statute that applies to notice served due to rent arrears. Double-check to see that all details are accurate, and sign the notice. 
  5. Provide proof of service information
    Your process server should provide an affidavit given under oath as evidence that he or she served the eviction notice to the tenant, including his or her name, the service date, and the process server’s signature. In the affidavit, provide the date when the notice is served and the number of days the tenant has to comply.

How To Use an Eviction Notice

An eviction action summons and complaint generally must be served by a constable, sheriff, or licensed process server. The summons and complaint must either be personally served on the tenant or placed in a visible place and then mailed to the tenant in a certified letter. If a judge authorizes alternative service methods, they are available.

Common Use Cases

The most common reasons for evicting a tenant include: 

  • Non-payment of rent;
  • Not paying the rent in full;
  • Persistent late payment of rent;
  • Causing damage to the rental property;
  • Illegal activity;
  • Impairing the safety of others;
  • Interfering with the reasonable enjoyment of other tenants or the landlord;
  • Overcrowding the rental unit;
  • Unauthorized occupant;
  • Personal use by purchaser;
  • Personal use by the landlord;
  • To conduct major repairs or renovations;
  • To demolish the rental unit or home.

When Not To Use the Eviction Notice

When a landlord evicts a tenant, he or she must act in good faith, stating the intent to use the rental unit for the purpose stated in the eviction notice. When applying for no-fault evictions, landlords must also disclose their previous experience with no-fault evictions. This way, the authorities can determine whether the application was made in good faith and whether an eviction order should be issued.

Evictions in bad faith include the following cases:

  1. After repairs or renovations, the landlord doesn’t allow the tenant back into the unit;
  2. Neither the landlord nor the purchaser moves into or uses the unit themselves.

State Law

As a matter of state law, eviction laws set forth the requirements that a landlord must follow to end a tenancy. The type of termination notice a landlord must provide to the tenant depends on the circumstance. Each state has its own provisions regarding when termination notices and eviction papers need to be issued.

As a rule of thumb, eviction notices are issued in two cases – nonpayment of rent and breach of the rental contract. Below see the table of specific timeframes for the nonpayment of rent and noncompliance with the lease contract when the eviction notice can be issued, plus state laws across the US.

State Law
Alabama

Nonpayment of Rent: 7 days

Breach of the Rental Contract: 14 days (the rental agreement may be terminated upon a date not less than 7 business days after receipt of the notice).

State Law: Ala. Code § 35-9A-421

State Law
Alaska

Nonpayment of Rent: 7 days

Breach of the Rental Contract: 7 days 

State Law: Alaska Stat. §§ 09.45.090, 34.03.220

State Law
Arizona

Nonpayment of Rent: 5 days

Breach of the Rental Contract: 10 days or an immediate termination of the rental agreement in case of an irreparable material breach.

State Law: Ariz. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 33-1368

State Law
Arkansas

Nonpayment of Rent: 5 days

Breach of the Rental Contract: 14 days after receipt of the notice.

State Law: Ark. Stat. §§ 18-16-101,18-17-701

State Law
California

Nonpayment of Rent: 3 days

Breach of the Rental Contract: 3 days

State Law: Cal. Civ. Proc. Code Part 3, Title 3, Chapter 4 § 1161

State Law
Colorado

Nonpayment of Rent: 10 days

Breach of the Rental Contract: 3 days

State Law: Colo. Rev. Stat. §§ 13-40-104, 13-40-107.5

State Law
Connecticut

Nonpayment of Rent: 3 days

Breach of the Rental Contract: 3 days

State Law: Conn. Gen. Stat. Ann. §§ 47a-23

State Law
Delaware

Nonpayment of Rent: 5 days

Breach of the Rental Contract: 7 days

State Law: Del. Code Ann. tit. 25, §§ 5501(d), 5502, 5513

State Law
Florida

Nonpayment of Rent: 3 days

Breach of the Rental Contract: 7 days

State Law: Fla. Stat. Ann. § 83.56

State Law
Georgia

Nonpayment of Rent: 7 days

Breach of the Rental Contract: No legislation

State Law: Ga. Code Ann. §§ 44-7-50, 44-7-52

State Law
Hawaii

Nonpayment of Rent: 15 days

Breach of the Rental Contract: 10 days for improper use of the premises, tenant’s waste, failure to maintain, or unlawful use.

State Law: Haw. Rev. Stat. §§ 521-68, 521-69

State Law
Idaho

Nonpayment of Rent: 3 days

Breach of the Rental Contract: 3 days

State Law: Idaho Code § 6-303(2)

State Law
Illinois

Nonpayment of Rent: 5 days

Breach of the Rental Contract: 10 days

State Law: Ill. Comp. Stat. § 5/9-209

State Law
Indiana

Nonpayment of Rent: 10 days

Breach of the Rental Contract: Reasonable time to remedy the noncompliance by the tenant.

State Law: Ind. Code Ann. §§ 32-31-1-6, 32-31-7-7

State Law
Iowa

Nonpayment of Rent: 3 days

Breach of the Rental Contract: 7 days

State Law: Iowa Code §§ 562A.27, 562A.34

State Law
Kansas

Nonpayment of Rent: 10 days for a three-month tenancy or longer; 
3 days for a tenancy less than three months.

Breach of the Rental Contract: 14 days

State Law: Kan. Stat. Ann. §§ 58-2507, 58-2508,  58-2564(b), 58-2570

State Law
Kentucky

Nonpayment of Rent: 7 days

Breach of the Rental Contract: 14 days

State Law: Ky. Rev. Stat. Ann. §§ 383.660(2)

State Law
Louisiana

Nonpayment of Rent: 5 days

Breach of the Rental Contract: Reasonable time to remedy the noncompliance by the tenant.

State Law: La. Civ. Proc. Code Ann. art. 4701

State Law
Maine

Nonpayment of Rent: 7 days

Breach of the Rental Contract: 7 days

State Law: Me. Rev. Stat. Ann. tit. 14, § 6002

State Law
Maryland

Nonpayment of Rent: 10 days

Breach of the Rental Contract: 30 days

State Law: Md. Code Ann. [Real Prop.], §§ 8-401, 8-402-1

State Law
Massachusetts

Nonpayment of Rent: 14 days

Breach of the Rental Contract: 30 days

State Law: Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 186, §§ 11, 11A, 12

State Law
Michigan

Nonpayment of Rent: 7 days

Breach of the Rental Contract: 7 days (24 hours in certain cases)

State Law: Mich. Comp. Laws § 554.134(2)

State Law
Minnesota

Nonpayment of Rent: 14 days

Breach of the Rental Contract: No legislation.

State Law: Minn. Stat. Ann. §§ 504B.135, 504B.291

State Law
Mississipppi

Nonpayment of Rent: 3 days

Breach of the Rental Contract: 30 days

State Law: Miss. Code Ann. §§ 89-7-27, 89-7-45

State Law
Missouri

Nonpayment of Rent: A procedure of filing a statement with any associate circuit judge in the county of property is stipulated, given that the prior notice as specified in § 441.060 is not required. 

Breach of the Rental Contract: 10 days

State Law: Mo. Rev. Stat. §§ 535.020, 441-060

State Law
Montana

Nonpayment of Rent: 3 days

Breach of the Rental Contract: 14 days (3 days in certain cases)

State Law: Mont. Code Ann. § 70-24-422(2)

State Law
Nebraska

Nonpayment of Rent: 7 days

Breach of the Rental Contract: 14 days

State Law: Neb. Rev. Stat. § 76-1431

State Law
Nevada

Nonpayment of Rent: 5 days (for commercial premises); 7 days (for other than commercial premises).

Breach of the Rental Contract: 5 days

State Law: Nev. Rev. Stat. Ann. §§ 40.2512, 40.253

State Law
New Hampshire

Nonpayment of Rent: 7 days

Breach of the Rental Contract: 30 days

State Law: N.H. Rev. Stat. Ann. §§ 540:2, 540:3, 540:9

State Law
New Jersey

Nonpayment of Rent: 30-day notice prior to the institution of the action for possession.

Breach of the Rental Contract: Reasonable time to fix the damage made to the property.

State Law: N.J. Stat. Ann. §§ 2A:18-53, 2A:18-61.1, 2A:18-61.2, 2A:42-9

State Law
New Mexico

Nonpayment of Rent: 3 days

Breach of the Rental Contract: 7 days

State Law: N.M. Stat. Ann. § 47-8-33(D), 47-8-37

State Law
New York

Nonpayment of Rent: 14 days

Breach of the Rental Contract: 30 days

State Law: N.Y. Real Prop. Law § 235-e(d); N.Y. Real Prop. Acts. Law § 711(2)

State Law
North Carolina

Nonpayment of Rent: 10 days

Breach of the Rental Contract: The landlord can immediately provide an eviction notice only in certain cases as specified in N.C. Gen. Stat. § 42-26. 

State Law: N.C. Gen. Stat. §§ 42-3, 42-14, 42-26

State Law
North Dakota

Nonpayment of Rent: 3 days and no more than 15 days from the date on which the summon of a proper district court is issued.

Breach of the Rental Contract: 3 days and no more than 15 days from the date on which the summon of a proper district court is issued.

State Law: N.D. Cent. Code § 47-32

State Law
Ohio

Nonpayment of Rent: 3 days

Breach of the Rental Contract: 3 days

State Law: Ohio Rev. Code Ann. § 1923.02

State Law
Oklahoma

Nonpayment of Rent: 5 days

Breach of the Rental Contract: 15 days

State Law: Okla. Stat. Ann. tit. 41, §§ 131, 132

State Law
Oregon

Nonpayment of Rent: 3 days

Breach of the Rental Contract: 14 days

State Law: Or. Rev. Stat. Ann. §§  90.394(2)(a), 90.392

State Law
Pennsylvania

Nonpayment of Rent: 10 days

Breach of the Rental Contract: 15 days

State Law: 68 Pa. Cons. Stat. Ann. § 250.501(b)

State Law
Rhode Island

Nonpayment of Rent: 5 days

Breach of the Rental Contract: 20 days

State Law: R.I. Gen. Laws § 34-18-35, 34-18-36, 34-18-37

State Law
South Carolina

Nonpayment of Rent: 5 days

Breach of the Rental Contract: 14 days

State Law: S.C. Code Ann. §§ 27-37-10(B), 27-40-710(B)

State Law
South Dakota

Nonpayment of Rent: 3 days

Breach of the Rental Contract: Reasonable time to fix the damage made to the property.

State Law: S.D. Codified Laws §§ 21-16-1(4), 21-16-2, 43-32-18, 43-32-15

State Law
Tennessee

Nonpayment of Rent: 14 days

Breach of the Rental Contract: 14 days

State Law: Tenn. Code Ann. § 66-28-505

State Law
Texas

Nonpayment of Rent: 3 days

Breach of the Rental Contract: 3 days or other term for certain tenancies as specified in § 91.001.

State Law: Tex. Prop. Code Ann. §§ 24.005, 91.001

State Law
Utah

Nonpayment of Rent: 3 days

Breach of the Rental Contract: 3 days

State Law: Utah Code Ann. § 78B-6-802

State Law
Vermont

Nonpayment of Rent: 14 days

Breach of the Rental Contract: 30 days (14 days when termination is based on criminal activity, illegal drug activity, or acts of violence).

State Law: Vt. Stat. Ann. tit. 9, § 4467(a)

State Law
Virginia

Nonpayment of Rent: 5 days

Breach of the Rental Contract: 30 days

State Law: Va. Code Ann. §§ 55.1-1245, 55.1-1250, 55-225, 55-222, 55-239

State Law
Washington

Nonpayment of Rent: 3 days

Breach of the Rental Contract: 10 days

State Law: Wash. Rev. Code Ann. §§ 59.12.030(3), 59.18.057, 59.18.650

State Law
West Virginia

Nonpayment of Rent: The landlord can immediately provide an eviction notice without the right to cure the lease breach.

Breach of the Rental Contract: The landlord can immediately provide an eviction notice. 

State Law: W.Va. Code § 55-3A-1

State Law
Wisconsin

Nonpayment of Rent: 5 days (30 days in case of lease for over a year).

Breach of the Rental Contract: 5 days (30 days in case of lease for over a year).

State Law: Wis. Stat. Ann. §§ 704.17, 704.19

State Law
Wyoming

Nonpayment of Rent: 3 days

Breach of the Rental Contract: 3 days

State Law: Wyo. Stat. Ann. §§ 1-21-1002 to 1-21-1003

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Frequently Asked Questions

Do I have to hire an attorney to evict someone?

Strictly speaking, you don’t need a lawyer to evict a tenant. Some states have provided standardized forms and accelerated eviction proceedings to ensure that evictions of undesirable tenants happen timeously. 

The process varies significantly by state. A landlord must comply with every step according to the law. A mistake can delay the proceedings and even require the landlord to start the process anew, potentially outweighing attorney fees in lost rental income.

When can I write an eviction notice?

An eviction notice is used when a tenant owes rent. In most states, when tenants are late with the rent, landlords must give tenants an official written notice that they have a specified number of days to pay up or move out. 

If the tenants do not comply, the landlord can file for eviction. In some states, landlords must wait a couple of days after the rent is due before giving the tenant notice; some states allow landlords to file for eviction instantly. 

How long does it take to evict someone?

In some states, the judge can make an eviction order immediately at the end of the trial. But the court customarily gives the tenant one to four weeks to vacate the property. Thus, the eviction process can take five weeks to three months, assuming no delays. 

If there are complications, like an appeal, the process can take up to a year. According to the eviction order, the landlord will have to hire a sheriff or marshal to forcibly evict the tenant if the tenant does not leave the premises. It depends on state laws, the particular eviction, and other factors.