A Kentucky eviction notice is a document that landlords must deliver to tenants before initiating an eviction lawsuit. The notice informs the tenant of the reason they’re being evicted, the number of days they have to vacate (the notice period), and whether they can save their tenancy by paying rent or curing a lease violation. Tenants who fail to act in accordance with the landlord’s terms before the expiration of the notice period may have an eviction lawsuit filed against them and be forced to pay an additional amount for expenses associated with the legal proceeding.
7-Day Notice to Quit for Non-Payment – Notifies a tenant that they have seven (7) days to either pay rent or vacate the leased dwelling.
14-Day Notice to Quit for Non-Compliance – This notice informs a tenant that they have fourteen (14) days to either remedy a lease violation or vacate. It may also be used to terminate a lease after a tenant commits a second (2nd) violation within six (6) months of receiving an initial notice.
30-Day Notice to Terminate Month-to-Month Lease – Allows a landlord or tenant to terminate a monthly lease by providing thirty (30) days advance notice to the other party.
- Grace Period (§ 383.565(2)): None
- Non-Payment of Rent (§ 383.660(2)): Seven (7) Days
- Lease Non-Compliance (§ 383.660(1)): Fourteen (14) Days
- Lease Non-Compliance (2nd Violation) (§ 383.660(1)): Fourteen (14) Days
- Periodic Tenancy Termination (§ 383.695(2)): Thirty (30) Days
Evictions in Kentucky are accomplished through a legal process known as a “forcible detainer.” Landlords may only file for eviction after serving their tenant with a notice to vacate (a.k.a. “notice to quit”) indicating the reason for the eviction and the amount of time they have to move out.
Note: The instructions below are applicable for counties that support the Uniform Residential Landlord Tenant Act (URLTA). As of 2009, the following counties have adopted the URLTA: Barbourville, Bellevue, Bromley, Covington, Dayton, Florence, Lexington-Fayette County, Georgetown, Louisville-Jefferson County, Ludlow, Melbourne, Newport, Oldham County, Pulaski County, Shelbyville, Silver Grove, Southgate, Taylor Mill, and Woodlawn. If the property is located outside of the above-mentioned jurisdictions, the landlord should contact their district court to learn the proper eviction procedures for their county.
Step 1 – Download a Notice
An eviction notice must be drafted by the landlord and delivered to the tenant. From the following list of options, the landlord must download and complete the notice type that corresponds with the reason for the eviction:
- 7-Day Notice to Quit for Non-Payment
- 14-Day Notice to Quit for Non-Compliance
- 30-Day Notice to Terminate Month-to-Month Lease
Step 2 – Deliver Notice to Tenant
The notice must then be given to the tenant to notify them that they may be evicted if they fail to comply with the landlord’s terms. The tenant will have seven (7) days to pay rent, fourteen (14) days to remedy a lease violation and, for month-to-month tenancies, thirty (30) days to move out. If the eviction is for a lease violation or the non-payment of rent, the tenant will have the opportunity to avoid eviction if they cure their lease violations or pay rent before the notice period expires.
Step 3 – File Complaint for Eviction
If the notice period expires before the tenant pays rent, fixes their lease violations, or vacates the premises, the landlord may proceed by submitting a Forcible Detainer Complaint with the district court. The complaint must be accompanied by a Civil Case Cover Sheet and the payment of a filing fee (contact the district court for local rates).
Step 4 – Notify Tenant of Court Date
A court date will be set and the sheriff’s office will serve the tenant a Notice of Eviction Hearing Trial by the Court. This document informs the tenant that an eviction lawsuit has been filed against them and that they must appear in court to defend their case. Should the tenant fail to appear before the court, a default judgment may be awarded to the landlord. However, if the parties wish to resolve the matter outside of court, they can file a Forcible Detainer Settlement Agreement.
Step 5 – Eviction Judgement
If the landlord wins the eviction trial, they will be awarded a Forcible Detainer Judgment which orders the tenant to vacate the premises within seven (7) days. The tenant may appeal the judgment within the same seven (7) day period.
Step 6 – Evict Tenant
If the tenant neither appeals the judgment nor vacates the premises within seven (7) days, the landlord must visit the district court to request that a Warrant for Possession be served on the tenant by the sheriff or a constable. The tenant, after receiving the warrant will be required to vacate within the number of days indicated therein. If the tenant continues to occupy the dwelling past the given time period, the landlord may enter the space alongside a deputy to evict the tenant from the property.
- Civil Case Cover Sheet (AOC-104)
- Signing: N/A
- Forcible Detainer Complaint (AOC-216)
- Signing: Landlord (or Attorney)
- Forcible Detainer Judgment (AOC-217)
- Signing: Judge
- Forcible Detainer Settlement Agreement (AOC-218)
- Signing: Landlord and Tenant and their Attorneys (if applicable)
- Notice of Eviction Hearing Trial by the Court (AOC-215)
- Signing: Clerk
- Warrant for Possession (AOC-220)
- Signing: Landlord (or Attorney) and Judge