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     Eviction Notice

    Eviction Notice

    Real estateLandlords
    The 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 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. Use this eviction notice template to terminate the lease or rent agreement without conflicts from both parties. Edit this legal sample in a few clicks, download it in PDF, and submit it where necessary.
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    Template Description

    As a landlord, you may use an eviction notice template to inform tenants of your intentions to terminate a lease agreement. Should the tenant fail to correct a lease violation that was the subject of the eviction notice, also called a notice of lease termination, 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.

    What Is an Eviction Notice?

    An eviction notice for tenants is an eviction letter from the landlord asking a 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. 

    In other instances, the tenancy agreement between the landlord and the tenant is not for a fixed term but is, rather, month to month. In such a case, the landlord can legally issue an eviction notice even if the tenant is not in violation of the agreement.

    What Is the Eviction Process?

    The eviction process is the same across states, though there may be small areas of variation, such as the number of days for notice. It is essential to check your state laws before drafting eviction notices. Once you ascertain that you have a legal basis for eviction, then you will follow these steps: 

    1. Prepare and file the eviction notice form

    The eviction process starts with serving the tenant the appropriate letter of eviction, specifying the reasons and number of days that serve as notice. Should the tenant fail to comply with the requirement, 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: 

    • Eviction complaint, which initiates the eviction case; and
    • 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. Court hearing

    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 prevail. 

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

    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. 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. 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, then 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. 

    1. Additional Details

    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 paper 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 of tenant 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 try and collect the amount owed later. 

    Why Is an Eviction Notice Important?

    Eviction notice is what helps one to claim and protect the right for a property. If a tenant violates any aspect of a lease or rent agreement, the landlord has the right to regain that power. There are three main types of termination notice with cause, and each of them plays a significant role:

    • Pay Rent or Quit/Pay or Vacate Notices. As the name suggests, pay rent or quit is an eviction notice letter sent to renters who are not up to date with their rent payments. The notice gives the tenant a time limit for paying the rent arrears before an eviction lawsuit will be filed.
    • 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 given to the tenant to rectify the error. Failure to cure the problem will permit the landlord to evict the tenant.
    • 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: 
    1. Engaged in dangerous or illegal activity on the premise;
    2. Has caused significant damage to the property;
    3. Is regularly late with rent payments; and
    4. Has violated a substantial clause of the rent or lease agreement.

    If you didn’t enter into a fixed-term lease with a tenant, you might ask him or her to quit the property even without violating any aspect of the rent or lease agreement. In such circumstances, states require that the landlord give either a 30- or 60-day notice period.

    When to 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 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 again to reflect the details captured in the lease agreement.  

    *Please consider that 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 to evict the tenant. The example and outline in this section is for a rental notice. 

    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. 

    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.

    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 for payment. 

    Reference state statutes and sign notice

    Search your state law and cite the relevant statute that applies to notice served due to rent arrears. Then double check to see that all details are accurate and sign the notice. 

    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.

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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.