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How to Write an Eviction Notice to a Tenant

What is an eviction notice and what should landlords know about it? An eviction notice is a written letter where the landlord states that the tenant must comply with the lease or move out.   

For instance, if your tenant has failed to pay rent on their due date or violated another lease term, then an eviction notice is the best way to get them out. 

The question is, what should be found in the eviction notice? What do you need to do before and after writing the notice? Let us discuss them below.

Before writing the letter

1. Identify the reason for eviction. 

What did your tenant do to deserve an eviction? Did he stay beyond the lease term on the property? Document the reason down. Determining and recording the violations of the lease agreement will help you write the “reason for eviction” part of the letter.

Top legal reasons to evict a tenant include non-payment of rent, unauthorized pets, unapproved occupants, and nuisance complaints. Reasons for eviction are often the same for all states. 

2. Be familiar with local and state law regarding evictions. 

What does your city or state say about the lease agreement violations? What are the time frames for eviction on the said violation? What is the process?

For example, damage to the rental property is a ground for eviction 2 days after the reported damage and serving of the eviction letter. 

Ask the local or state court for eviction laws on rental property or work with a real estate attorney in your state. 

3. Consider your tenant’s fate.

Will you give your tenant a chance by paying late? Will you fine him for damage and repairs instead of kicking him out? Decide on these questions and draft them to use later for your eviction letter. If the tenant has been in your rental for less than a year, give a 30-day notice to vacate. If the tenant has been in your rental for more than a year, consider a 60-day notice to vacate. 

Writing the letter

1. Address the letter to the individual on the lease (Envelope)

Evictions only apply to those whose names are signed on the lease. You cannot write an eviction letter to someone who is not legally bound to your lease.

2. Specify dates

The notice must specify the date the tenant must move out of the rental and the due date for any money that the tenant owes. 

3. Write the body of the letter

Start with the notification and directions when to vacate. This part needs to be clear that you are evicting the tenant as it is the purpose of the letter.

Example: "The purpose of this letter is to notify your eviction. You are directed to vacate the property at [address of the rental] no later than [date]." 

Next, state your reason for eviction. If you have evidence to support your reason, it is important to state that as well. 

Example: "I have found that you’re damaging and endangering the property by leaving cooking equipment working unattended. When I inspected the property last month, I saw burn marks on the kitchen’s upper cabinets, your appliances and on the outlets of the kitchen counter. I have taken pictures and documented them." 

Then state the law. 

Optional: Offer options to fix the situation and ways the tenant can contact you.

Example: "However, if you pay for the damages that you have incurred, make a promise by the paper to be more careful hereon and not to let this happen again, then I will consider on letting you stay. Here is my contact information (123) 456-7890."

After writing the letter

1. Make a copy of your own

This is important if the tenant refuses to move out and takes it to court. Save a record for yourself showing that you did what you could in compliance with the law.

2. Serve the eviction letter to your tenant

Make sure the tenant receives the envelope. The eviction letter is void if there is no proof that the tenant has received it. The best way to make your tenant receive your eviction letter is to hand it in person. If your tenant is unavailable to meet you in person, you can use mail carrier or courier services. Either way, they will provide a higher certainty and proof that your tenant has received the letter.  

Writing an eviction letter is a hassle, but it saves you from dealing with a bad tenant in the long run. The best way to avoid writing an eviction letter is to have a good tenant. 

>>Related post: Evictions: When a Tenant Refuses to Leave

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