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Eviction Notice Templates (4 Types)

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An eviction notice is a letter sent from a landlord to a tenant after a lease violation has occurred. The notice informs the tenant of the violation they committed, the number of days they have to remedy the issue (if permitted), and the consequences they will face if they do not cure the violation or move out.

By State

By Type (4)


Notice to Comply or Quit (Violation of Lease) – Used when a tenant has violated their lease in any manner other than late rent. Examples include having too many guests on the premises, playing music too loud, parking in the wrong spot, and causing damage to the property.

Download: PDF, Word (.docx), OpenDocument

 


Notice to Quit (Illegal Activity) – For any activity that allows the landlord to terminate the lease immediately under State law. Typically requires the shortest amount of notice.

Download: PDF, Word (.docx), OpenDocument

 


Lease Termination (for Month-to-Month Tenancies) – Allows the landlord or tenant to terminate by issuing notice in accordance with state law.

Download: PDF, Word (.docx), OpenDocument

 


Contents

What is an Eviction?

An eviction is a type of lawsuit (also called an “unlawful detainer”), whereby a tenant is legally removed from a rental property due to a breach of their lease. The keyword here is “legal,” as a landlord cannot evict a tenant unless they have a valid reason for doing so. Common reasons for eviction include the following:

  • One (1) or more missed rental payments.
  • Violating the lease (e.g., unauthorized pets, loud noise).
  • Purposeful damage to the rental or surrounding premises.
  • Illegal activities are conducted in or near the rental.

How to Evict a Tenant (7 Steps)

Evicting a tenant is rarely easy. However, the more prepared a landlord is, the better their odds of having the ordeal end in their favor. The following steps provide an overview of the eviction process:

Step 1 – Understand State Eviction Laws

Each state has its own unique eviction laws. While some go into greater detail than others, many of them cover the required notice lengths that must be given in eviction letters before beginning the court process of legally removing the tenant.

More information on each state’s laws can be found below.

It’s very important the landlord knows that they have the legal grounds to evict the tenant. If the landlord is providing a rental that is uninhabitable, for example, many states permit the tenant to withhold rent payments until the problem is remedied.

Step 2 – Speak with the Tenant

In the majority of cases, heading to Step 3 and delivering an eviction notice is the recommended course of action. However, for tenants that have routinely made rental payments on time, treated the rental with respect, and followed all conditions of the lease up to this point, landlords should give them a chance to explain their situation. The landlord will be able to better understand why the tenant was late on rent, how soon they can make the payment, and remind them of the consequences (eviction notice) that may occur if they don’t make the payment soon.

Regardless of the tenant’s answer, the landlord needs to remain steadfast in their decision. During their conversation, they need to give the tenant two (2) options:

  1. Pay off the rent immediately, or
  2. Leave the rental ASAP.

The tenant needs to understand the consequences in the event they don’t comply with either option. An eviction would severely damage their credit score, cause them to be sued to collect rent or damages, and severely hamper their ability to enter into a lease in the future. If they leave or pay the rent, the process stops here. If they continue living in the rental without fixing the issue, the landlord can proceed to the next step.

Step 3 – Deliver an Eviction Notice

If the tenant is hard-set on staying in the property after being told they will be evicted, the landlord will need to deliver an eviction notice to the tenant. To do this, select the state from the list above that corresponds to the one where the property is located. Then, select the form type that matches the situation. As an example, if the tenant is refusing to pay rent, the state may require landlords to provide a minimum of seven (7) days of notice prior to starting the process.

A major step in the eviction process is ensuring the landlord has proof that the tenant received the notice or that a legitimate attempt was made to provide the tenant with notice of their lease violation. Landlords can typically use the following methods for delivering the notice:

  1. Certified Mail (Best Option) – A process provided by the USPS; certified mail gives landlords proof that a delivery attempt was made to the tenant. This is done by providing the landlord with a mailing receipt, electronic verification, and signature proof (if requested). After delivery has been made, landlords will receive the receipt, which they can later provide to the judge to prove that adequate notice was provided.
  2. Hand-delivering to Tenant – Issuing the notice personally to the tenant by knocking on their door is a valid way of informing them of their breach of contract. The tenant should sign the notice in front of the landlord to serve as proof they received it.
  3. Posting to Front Door – Although some states provide landlords with this option, it should be avoided due to the difficulty in proving the tenant received it. Posting the notice to the front door in addition to sending it via certified mail is recommended.

Step 4 – Wait the Necessary Time (The “Cure Period”)

Once the notice has been delivered, the situation falls into the tenant’s hands. As long as the eviction is curable, the tenant can use the number of days mentioned in the letter to remedy the situation. The tenant can remedy the situation by making all outstanding payments (fees included), fixing damages, paying for missed utilities, or fixing another violation as stated in the notice. In the event the tenant ignores the notice and doesn’t comply with what is stated in the form, the landlord should proceed to the next step.

Note on curable and incurable leases: If the notice is incurable, the tenant cannot remedy the situation. They have no other option but to vacate the rental in the time provided. Landlords issue incurable evictions when the tenant has committed the same violation previously, broken the law on the premises, or committed a similar act.

Step 5 – File the Eviction in Court

If the tenant is still residing on the property and the issues have gone unfixed, a complaint will need to be filed in the local courthouse (for a filing fee). Once the landlord has successfully filed, the tenant will be given a summons to appear in court.

Where to File?

The courthouse in the county/jurisdiction where the rental property is located.

What to Bring?

The importance of being prepared can’t be understated. Landlords should bring the following documents/information with them to the courthouse:

  • A signed copy of the lease agreement.
  • Official notice(s).
  • Emails or other forms of communication that took place via SMS, Skype, WhatsApp, etc with the tenant;
  • Statements from neighbors.

Filing Fees

Landlords may need to pay fees anywhere from $30 to $150 depending on the court in which they are filing the eviction suit. Because court fees change frequently, landlords should head to the applicable court website to view the most up-to-date filing fees.

Step 6 – Go to Court

Prior to arriving at the courthouse, the landlord should ensure they have all the necessary documentation to prove that the eviction suit is justifiable. Generally speaking, the more information they have the better, but the following items and information should be brought at a minimum:

  • Any and all records of payment.
  • A copy of the written notice sent or delivered to the tenant.
  • Signed lease agreement.
  • Any bounced checks.
  • All records of communication between the tenant and landlord (texts, emails, messaging apps, etc.)

As an overview, landlords have two (2) main goals during the eviction process: (1) to prove the tenant violated the lease and (2) that they didn’t break any laws during the process.

Be prepared: The most common defenses tenants bring up during the eviction process are:

  • Improper notice – a claim that the landlord did not give the tenant enough time to remedy the issue.
  • A retaliatory eviction – states that the landlord evicted the tenant to seek “revenge.” For example, they may evict them out of spite because the tenant informed the government of violations the landlord was making.
  • Partial rent – if the landlord agreed to accept partial rent from the tenant, their right to eviction is commonly foregone.
  • Unmaintained premises – landlords are legally required to provide a habitable rental (and surrounding premises) for tenants.

Step 7 – Move the Tenant Out + Recover Costs

In the event the landlord wins the eviction, they will receive a writ of possession from the judge. This gives the landlord the legal right to acquire the property from the tenant in a certain number (#) of days. It’s during this time the tenant should be actively packing up and moving from the rental.

If the tenant still remains in the property after the deadline stated on the writ of possession, the landlord will need to receive a writ of restitution. This notice will be posted by the local Sheriff’s department giving the tenant a few additional days to vacate the premises. The sheriff/police officer will physically remove the tenant if they remain on the property after exhausting the final deadline.

If the security deposit isn’t enough to cover the damages, the landlord can pursue the tenant in small claims court. If the judge sides in favor of the landlord, they may be permitted to collect the tenant’s wages, their tax refund, or other funds. Note that each state has its own eviction process, and the process may be slightly different than the steps provided here. For more information on the eviction process, select the appropriate state from the provided list.

Required Notice Periods: By State

Depending on the state in which the rental property is located, the landlord may need to provide up to thirty (30) days’ notice to tenants of their pending eviction (unless the tenant resolves the issue). However, some states allow the landlord to commence eviction right away without any notice. “Not specified” means the state does not explicitly cover notice periods regarding non-compliance, which means landlords can provide any notice they deem reasonable.

STATE NON-PAYMENT NON-COMPLIANCE STATUTES
Alabama 7-Day Notice 7-Day Notice § 35-9A-421(b, a)
Alaska 7-Day Notice 10-Day Notice AS 34.03.220(b), AS 34.03.160(a)
Arizona 5-Day Notice 10-Day Notice § 33-1368(2B, A)
Arkansas 3-Day Notice 14-Day Notice § 18-60-304(3), § 18-17-701(a)
California 3-Day Notice 3-Day Notice § 1161(2), § 1161(3)
Colorado 3-Day Notice 3-Day Notice § 13-40-104(d+e)
Connecticut 3-Day Notice 3-Day Notice / 15-Day Notice § 47a-23(a), § 47a-15
Delaware 5-Day Notice 7-Day Notice § 5502(a), § 5513(a)
Florida 3-Day Notice 7-Day Notice § 83.56(3), § 83.56(2)
Georgia Immediate Not specified § 44-7-50(a)
Hawaii 5-Day Notice 10-Day Notice § 521-68(a), § 521-72(a)
Idaho 3-Day Notice 3-Day Notice § 6-303(2) and (3)
Illinois 5-Day Notice 10-Day Notice § 9-209, § 9-210
Indiana 10-Day Notice Not specified § 32-31-1.6, § 32-31-7-7
Iowa 3-Day Notice 7-Day Notice § 562A.27(2) and (1)
Kansas 10-Day Notice 14-Day Notice § 58-2507, § 58-2564(a)
Kentucky County Based County Based § 383.660(2) and (1)
Louisiana 5-Day Notice 5-Day Notice Art. 4701
Maine 7-Day Notice 7-Day Notice § 6002 (1)
Maryland Immediate 30-Day Notice § 8-401, § 8-402.1(a)
Massachusetts 14-Day Notice As written in lease Ch. 186 § 11
Michigan 7-Day Notice 30-Day Notice § 554.134(2)
Minnesota 14-Day Notice (periodic leases only) Optional § 504B.135(b)
Mississippi 3-Day Notice 14-Day Notice § 89-7-27, § 89-8-13(3)
Missouri Immediate 10-Day Notice § 535.060, § 441.040
Montana 3-Day Notice 14-Day Notice § 70-24-422(2) and (1)
Nebraska 7-Day Notice 14/30-Day Notice § 76-1431(2) and (1)
Nevada 7-Day Notice 5-Day Notice NRS 40.2512(1), NRS 40.2516(1)
New Hampshire 7-Day Notice 30-Day Notice § 540.3(I) and (II)
New Jersey Immediate 3-Day Notice / 1-Month Notice § 2A:18-61.2
New Mexico 3-Day Notice 7-Day Notice § 47-8-33(D) and (A)
New York 14-Day Notice 30-Day Notice § 711(2), § 753(4)
North Carolina 10-Day Notice Optional § 42-3, § 42-26(a)
North Dakota 3-Day Notice 3-Day Notice § 47-32
Ohio 3-Day Notice 3-Day Notice § 1923.02(5a), § 1923.04(A)
Oklahoma 5-Day Notice 10/15-Day Notice § 131(B), § 132(A, B)
Oregon 3-Day Notice/6-Day Notice 10/14-Day Notice § 90.394(2)(b), § 90.392
Pennsylvania 10-Day Notice 15-Day Notice / 30-Day Notice 250.501(b)
Rhode Island 5-Day Notice 20-Day Notice § 34-18-35(a), § 34-18-36(a)(3)
South Carolina 5-Day Notice 14-Day Notice § 27-40-710(B) and (A)
South Dakota 3-Day Notice As reasonable § 21-16-1(4), § 43-32-18
Tennessee 14-Day Notice 14-Day Notice / 30-Day Notice § 66-7-109(a) and (b)
Texas 3-Day Notice 3-Day Notice § 24.005
Utah 3-Day Notice 3-Day Notice § 78B-6-802
Vermont 14-Day Notice 30-Day Notice § 4467(a) and (b)(1)
Virginia 14-Day Notice (5-Day after July 1st, 2022) 30-Day Notice § 55.1-1415, § 55.1-1245(A)
Washington 14-Day Notice 10-Day Notice § 59.12.030(3) and (4)
West Virginia Optional Optional § 55-3A-1
Wisconsin 5-Day Notice 5-Day Notice § 704.17(2)(a) and (b)
Wyoming 3-Day Notice 3-Day Notice § 1-21-1003

Grace Periods + Late Fees: By State

Grace periods and late fees come into play when a tenant hasn’t paid the rent by the agreed-upon due date. On one hand, grace periods can be detrimental to landlords because they give tenants the ability to leave rent unpaid until the end of the grace period. On the other hand, late fees are a tool used by landlords to motivate tenants to pay on time. Late fees should never be thought of as a means of getting extra income, but rather as a means of keeping tenants tied to their obligation as stated in the lease.

Note about late fees: In order for landlords to legally charge late fees, the fee must be stated in the signed lease agreement.

STATE GRACE PERIOD LATE FEE STATUTES
Alabama N/A N/A No statute
Alaska N/A N/A (specified by lease) No statute
Arizona N/A N/A No statute
Arkansas Five (5) days N/A § 18-17-701(b)
California N/A Fee amount must be justifiable + included in the lease California Tenants’ Guide (P.30)
Colorado N/A N/A No statute
Connecticut Nine (9) days N/A § 47a-15a
Delaware Five (5) days Cannot exceed 5% of monthly rent § 5501(d)
Florida N/A N/A No statute
Georgia N/A N/A No statute
Hawaii N/A Cannot exceed 8% of monthly rent § 521-21(f)
Idaho N/A N/A No statute
Illinois Five (5) days $20 or 20% of the rent payment (whichever is greater) 770 ILCS 95/7.10(a & c)
Indiana N/A N/A No statute
Iowa N/A

Rent is $700/month or less: Max fee of $12/day or $60/month

Greater than $700/month: Max fee of $20/day or $100/month

§ 562A.9
Kansas N/A N/A No statute
Kentucky County-specific County-specific N/A
Louisiana N/A N/A No statute
Maine Fifteen (15) days Cannot exceed 4% of monthly rent § 6028(1 & 2)
Maryland N/A Cannot exceed 5% of monthly rent § 8-208(d)(3)(i)
Massachusetts Thirty (30) days N/A § 15B(1)(c)
Michigan N/A N/A No statute
Minnesota N/A Cannot exceed 8% of monthly rent § 504B.177(a)
Mississippi N/A N/A No statute
Missouri N/A N/A No statute
Montana N/A N/A No statute
Nebraska N/A N/A No statute
Nevada Three (3) days Cannot exceed 5% of periodic rent § 118A.210(4)
New Hampshire N/A N/A No statute
New Jersey Five (5) days N/A § 2A:42-6.1
New Mexico N/A Cannot exceed 10% of periodic rent § 47-8-15(D)
New York N/A N/A No statute
North Carolina Five (5) days Cannot exceed 5% of monthly rent or $15 (whichever is greater) § 42-46(a)
North Dakota N/A N/A No statute
Ohio N/A N/A No statute
Oklahoma N/A N/A No statute
Oregon Four (4) days 5% of the periodic rent (can be charged every 5-day period rent goes unpaid) § 90.260(1 & 2)
Pennsylvania N/A N/A No statute
Rhode Island Fifteen (15) days N/A § 34-18-35(a)
South Carolina N/A N/A No statute
South Dakota N/A N/A No statute
Tennessee Five (5) days Cannot exceed 10% of monthly rent § 66-28-201(d)
Texas Two (2) days

Building has 4 or fewer units: 12% of the rent due

Building has 4 or more units: 10% of the rent due

§ 92.019
Utah N/A N/A No statute
Vermont N/A N/A No statute
Virginia Oral agreements only: Five (5) days N/A § 55.1-1204(C)(5)
Washington N/A N/A No statute
West Virginia N/A N/A No statute
Wisconsin N/A N/A No statute
Wyoming N/A N/A No statute

How to Evict a Roommate

The To-Be-Evicted Roommate is the Master Tenant

Whether or not a roommate can be evicted depends on the status of the roommate. If the tenant to be evicted is the master tenant, which is the tenant that solely leased with the landlord and essentially “sublet” to the other tenants, they cannot be evicted by the other tenants. With that in mind, explaining the situation to the landlord might influence them to file eviction proceedings against the master tenant and create a new lease with the subtenant using a separate agreement.

The To-Be-Evicted Roommate is a Co-Tenant

If the to-be-evicted tenant is a co-tenant of the other tenant, they cannot start the eviction proceedings themself. In this situation, they would need to inform the landlord of the situation and have them begin the eviction process. Important note: both tenant names would appear on records, even though only one tenant would be the cause of the eviction. The landlord can release the other tenant from liability in this situation.

The Roommate Looking to Evict is the Master Tenant

Finally, if the tenant looking to evict another roommate is the master tenant, they can proceed with proceedings as normal without the landlord’s involvement. In this situation, the eviction process will closely resemble the steps found above.

Requirements & Tips

  • Ensure there is a good reason for eviction: Landlords can only evict if they have a legally valid reason, and the same goes for roommates; they can’t evict another roommate for something trivial such as not liking them. Tenants must refer to their state’s laws to ensure the reason for eviction is valid and legal.
  • Always remain professional: Maintain composure at all times – while the process can evoke a lot of emotions, the more that is said to the other roommate in anger, the more that roommate can use it against you in court. Additionally, ensure all digital communication is retained, and hold onto any documents and other information that can later be used as evidence against the other tenant.
  • Avoid eviction in the first place: Before starting the process, which can be costly and extremely time-consuming, roommates should have a serious conversation about the problems they are having, and how they might be able to solve the issues, or perhaps just move out.

How to Write

Step 1 – Download

Save the eviction notice in PDF, Word (.docx), or OpenDocument.

Step 2 – Tenant Name(s) + Premises

At the top of the first page, start by writing the names of the tenant(s) who will receive the notice. Then, enter the full address of the rental property including street, apt # (if any), city, state, and ZIP code. Below that, enter the date that the original lease agreement began, the state the property is located in, and the number (#) of days the tenant has to comply with the notice.

Step 3 – Notice Type

The form can be used for violations of the lease (or law), missed rent payments (including late fees), or for terminating a short-term (month-to-month) lease. Additionally, the document includes a section, known as the “Certificate of Service,” that is used for proving the tenant received the notice.

The landlord needs to place a checkmark next to ONE (1) of the five (5) total eviction options as listed below and complete the necessary information related to the option checked. The other four (4) notice types should be left blank.

  • Non-payment of rent: If this violation type is selected, check the first box and enter the name of the person (typically the landlord) to whom the tenant should provide the late rent payment. Then, select any combination of the checkboxes and enter the applicable dollar amount next to the checked options. Add up all the payments and enter the amount in the “Total amount due” area.
  • Lease / Law Violation: Here the landlord has two (2) options: 1) the tenant can remedy the problem (check the first box and include what the tenant has to do), or 2) the tenant must vacate the premises within the time provided (check the second box and describe the tenant’s illegal activity).
  • Month-to-Month Tenancy Termination: Because monthly-based tenancies can be terminated by either party, this section can be completed by either the tenant or landlord. If the landlord is terminating the contract, check the first box, enter the start date of the lease, and the date the lease is officially terminated. For tenants, check the second box and enter the same information as what would be entered if the first box was selected.

Step 4 – Certificate of Service

This section serves as proof that the tenant (or landlord) received the notice or that a valid effort of delivery was made. The recommended method is using certified mail, which is the best form of delivery for providing proof that the other party received the notice (or that a valid effort was made). Stapling to the door in addition to sending it via certified mail is also suggested to ensure it is received.

Enter the date that the notice was sent or served and check the delivery method(s) that were utilized. The recipient of the notice should sign their name in the “Signature” field (if applicable).


Frequently Asked Questions

How long does an eviction stay on your record?

While the length can vary, evictions may stay on a person’s record for seven (7) years. Evictions are reported as a “civil judgment,” which occurs after a landlord successfully sues the tenant for unpaid rent or damages. Until the eviction no longer appears in public records, it can make entering into a lease very difficult for the tenant. A previous eviction is a major warning sign for landlords; once they see the previous eviction, the likelihood of them renting to a tenant is extremely slim. However, because seven (7) years is a long time and people can change, tenants that were going through a rough time when the eviction occurred should explain this to potential landlords. Better yet, if the tenant can get into contact with the landlord that evicted them, they may be able to make amends and have that landlord speak favorably of them on a rental application.

How long does an eviction take?

An eviction can take anywhere from two (2) weeks to two (2) months. The length of time mainly depends on the cause for eviction and the state where the eviction process is taking place. Although many landlords may wish to speed up the process to minimize financial loss, the importance of strictly following the eviction process is mandatory; otherwise, the judge may not side in favor of the landlord during the trial.

How much ($) does the average eviction cost?

Evictions can be very costly for landlords, not to mention missing out on monthly rent during that period. The following list includes a rough breakdown of what a landlord may be required to pay over the course of an eviction process:

  • Missed rent – Taking the average rent in the United States, which is roughly $1200, landlords can potentially lose up to $2400+ in lost rent alone.
  • Filing costs – Can range anywhere from under $100 to $400+.
  • Serving the notice – Having the sheriff’s office serve the notice can cost upwards of several hundred dollars, although around $50 is more common.
  • Attorney fees – Assuming an attorney is only needed for an hour or two, fees will run between $200 to $400 for completing paperwork and appearing in court. If charged as a single fee, exceeding $400 would be more common.
  • Moving out the tenant – Hiring a moving company to assist with physically removing the tenant’s belongings can cost anywhere from a few hundred dollars to thousands.

In situations where the tenant isn’t being evicted for non-payment of rent, the costs may total less than $1,000; however, landlords should expect to spend upwards of $1,000 in most cases.