Owning rental property can be a double-edged sword. You love the extra income it provides, but you sometimes encounter less than desirable tenants. You may one day find yourself needing to evict a tenant. This template, which notifies tenants of your intent to evict, can help.
Before Serving the Notice
Before serving a notice to evict on a tenant, make sure to review the laws in your state to determine if there are additional requirements. Most courthouses have a Landlord-Tenant Act handbook that outlines the specific requirements for your state.
This template allows you to create a basic Notice to Quit, which must be served on the tenant before you can start the eviction process. The blank box allows you explain the reasons why the tenant is being evicted. Be as specific as possible and only provide details that are relevant to the eviction. Make sure to check the landlord-tenant act in your state to determine whether any additional information beyond what is listed in this template must be included.
If you need help downloading the template, check out these helpful tips.
Notice to Quit
A notice to quit, sometimes called a notice to terminate tenancy, is the first step in the eviction process. The notice to quit informs the tenant that you are terminating the tenancy (their right to live in the rental under the lease agreement) and states how many days they have to vacate the premises or correct the problem before you file a forcible entry and detainer (FED) action in court.
Reasons for Serving Notice to Quit
There are a number of reasons why you may wish to evict a tenant:
- Failure to pay rent, or habitually late on rent
- Destruction to property
- Drugs, prostitution or other illegal activity taking place on the property
- Failure to pay utilities that result in damage to the property
- Violation of any provision of the lease
It is important to note that you cannot evict a tenant simply because you don't like him or because you want to rent the property to a friend or family member.
Time to Cure
In some instances the law requires that you provide the tenant an opportunity to cure, or correct, the violation. Generally, the amount of notice varies from 24 hours to 90 days, depending on the reason you are terminating the tenancy (the longer notices apply to termination of the tenancy at the end of the lease agreement). The amount of notice required varies depending on the type of offense and location of the rental property.
If the offense is habitual - for example, the tenant has been late paying rent every month for three months - you may not have to give the tenant an opportunity to correct the problem.
Service of Notice to Quit
The notice can be served in one of four ways:
- Personally handing the notice to the tenant. Try to get his signature on the record of service, if he will agree.
- Serving the notice on an adult physically present at the property and mailing a copy.
- Posting the notice on the entrance to the property and mailing a copy.
- Mailing the notice via certified mail.
Once notice is served, make sure that you complete a copy of the "Record of Service" on the bottom of the notice and keep it for your records. If you must go to court, this will serve as your proof that you provided notice to the tenant as required.
Forcible Entry & Detainer
If you are lucky, the tenant will either correct the violation, and you can ride out the remainder of the lease, or will simply move out by the time stated in the notice, allowing you to find a more desirable tenant. If that doesn't happen, you will need to file a FED.
The FED is the legal proceeding whereby the court can order the tenant to vacate the premises and authorize the police to remove the tenant if they fail to do so of their own free will.
Getting the Eviction Process Started
If a tenant is habitually late on rent or destroying your property, you want them out as quickly as possible. This template is the first - and hopefully only - step you will need to take to get the eviction process started.