A notice to pay or quit for non-payment of rent is a document sent to tenants to notify them that they will be evicted unless they pay the time specified in the notice. The form should be sent after any state-mandated grace period and delivered in a means that proves the landlord made a valid effort to ensure the tenant knew of the lease violation.
- New Hampshire
- New Jersey
- New Mexico
- New York
- North Carolina
- North Dakota
- Rhode Island
- South Carolina
- South Dakota
- West Virginia
A notice to quit for nonpayment is a letter that is delivered to tenants that have become delinquent (late) on rent. The form is one of the first steps a landlord will take in the eviction process. The letter provides the tenant with a deadline they must have all outstanding rent paid. Even if the tenant vacates the rental, they will most likely be required to pay back owed rent until the end of the lease, or until the landlord finds a new tenant. A notice to quit should only be delivered by certified mail, which is a service provided by USPS that serves as legal proof the letter was signed by the tenant (or a legitimate attempt was made).
Oftentimes, the method in which a notice to quit is delivered to the tenant can make or break whether or not the judge sides with the landlord or not. Why? If a tenant can prove the landlord didn’t take the proper steps in notifying them of the eviction, the case will most likely be thrown out.
To avoid this scenario, the landlord needs to ensure they have undeniable proof that the tenant:
- Received the notice personally, or
- That a reasonable effort was made in providing the tenant the notice.
The following steps overview the steps needed to properly issue a notice to quit to a tenant:
Having a thorough understanding of state laws is imperative for landlords. Although the majority of eviction lawsuits end in the landlord’s favor, the lawsuits that don’t are commonly due to errors in delivering the notice, or not ensuring a proper paper trail during the process. One of the most common defense tenant’s use is that they didn’t know of the eviction notice or that they did anything wrong – don’t let them get away with that excuse.
Depending on the state in which eviction will take place, landlords may need to wait anywhere from no time at all to up to thirty (30) days, although the average time is seven (7) days. For states that don’t have laws that specifically cover non-payment notices, the notice given for non-payment should be referenced. To save time and effort, download the notice specific to your state.
Once the correct notice type has been selected, filled out, and printed, it needs to be delivered to the tenant in a manner that complies with state law. The importance of delivering the notice in a certain way is because the landlord would need to prove in court that the notice was sent to the tenant on a certain date and that a significant effort was made in having the tenant receive the letter.
Offered through the United States Postal Service (USPS), certified mail provides landlords with “electronic verification” that delivery (or an attempt at delivery) was made. Additionally, by purchasing return receipt service, landlords will obtain an official receipt of the tenant’s signature, officially proving the tenant obtained the notice. Proof of delivery includes:
- The date the notice was delivered;
- The signature of the tenant; and
- The tenant’s address (which should be the same address the notice was delivered to).
Known as the “cure period”, the landlord may need to wait a mandatory length of time (as stated on the notice) to give the tenant time to pay the rent in full. So long the tenant is not a repeat-offender (in which the notice can be made “incurable”), if the tenant pays their rent in the time allotted the landlord is required by law to not eviction the tenant.
|Alabama||7-Day Notice||§ 35-9A-421(b)|
|Alaska||7-Day Notice||AS 34.03.220(b)|
|Arizona||5-Day Notice||§ 33-1368(2B)|
|Arkansas||3-Day Notice||§ 18-60-304(3)|
|California||3-Day Notice||§ 1161(2)|
|Colorado||3-Day Notice||§ 13-40-104(d)|
|Connecticut||3-Day Notice||§ 47a-23(a)|
|Florida||3-Day Notice||§ 83.56(3)|
|Hawaii||5-Day Notice||§ 521-68(a)|
|Idaho||3-Day Notice||§ 6-303(2)|
|Illinois||5-Day Notice||§ 9-209|
|Indiana||10-Day Notice||§ 32-31-1.6|
|Iowa||3-Day Notice||§ 562A.27(2)|
|Kansas||10-Day Notice||§ 58-2507|
|Kentucky||County Based||County Based|
|Louisiana||5-Day Notice||Art. 4701|
|Maine||7-Day Notice||§ 6002 (1)|
|Massachusetts||14-Day Notice||Ch. 186 § 11|
|Michigan||7-Day Notice||§ 554.134(2)|
|Minnesota||14-Day Notice (periodic leases only)||§ 504B.135(b)|
|Mississippi||3-Day Notice||§ 89-7-27|
|Montana||3-Day Notice||§ 70-24-422(2)|
|Nebraska||7-Day Notice||§ 76-1431(2)|
|Nevada (eForms incorrect)||7-Day Notice||NRS 40.2512(1)|
|New Hampshire||7-Day Notice||§ 540.3(I)|
|New Jersey||30-Day Notice||§ 2A:18-61.2|
|New Mexico||3-Day Notice||§ 47-8-33(D)|
|New York||14-Day Notice||§ 711(2)|
|North Carolina||10-Day Notice||§ 42-3|
|North Dakota||3-Day Notice||§ 47-32|
|Ohio||3-Day Notice||§ 1923.02(5a)|
|Oklahoma||5-Day Notice||§ 131(B)|
|Oregon||6-Day Notice||§ 90.394(2)(b)|
|Rhode Island||5-Day Notice||§ 34-18-35(a)|
|South Carolina||5-Day Notice||§ 27-40-710(B)|
|South Dakota||3-Day Notice||§ 21-16-1(4)|
|Tennessee||14-Day Notice||§ 66-28-505(a)|
|Texas||3-Day Notice||§ 24.005|
|Utah||3-Day Notice||§ 78B-6-802|
|Vermont||14-Day Notice||§ 4467(a)|
|Virginia||5-Day Notice||§ 55.1-1415|
|Washington||14-Day Notice||§ 59.12.030(3)|
|West Virginia||Immediate||§ 55-3A-1|
|Wisconsin||5-Day Notice||§ 704.17(2(a))|
|Wyoming||3-Day Notice||§ 1-21-1003|
It depends. As an example, if the notice is to terminate a month-to-month lease, it is a binding statement. However, if the tenant wanted to continue renting after receiving the landlord’s termination notice, they could draft a secondary agreement that states they agree to dismiss the previous termination notice and continue the originally-signed lease.
For an eviction notice brought on by a lease condition that the tenant broke (pets, for example), the landlord can withdraw the eviction notice if the parties come to an agreement regarding the pet. Although not every landlord would agree to this, the landlord could accept ten percent (10%) more rent in exchange for permitting the tenant to keep a pet in the property. Overall, in the majority of cases, the landlord can in fact personally withdraw the notice.
No. Because the judge will need undeniable proof the landlord (not someone else) sent the notice, the notice needs to be personally delivered or sent via certified mail, as covered in the how-to section above. Even if the landlord wants to use email as a secondary method of notice, using email should be avoided. Why? Because a landlord needs to maintain a professional appearance at all times, and sending a notice via email is unofficial and doesn’t convey the importance of the situation like an official letter does.
Download the Notice
Step 1 – Tenant Contact Info
At the top of the letter, enter the following:
1 – The date the notice is being completed (current date).
2 – The name(s) of all tenant(s). This does not include occupants – only those that signed the original lease agreement.
3 – The street address of the rental.
4 – The city, state, and ZIP of the rental.
Step 2 – Owed Rent
5 – Enter the amount ($) of rent the tenant(s) owe in full. This value should not include late fees.
6 – The number (#) of days the tenant(s) have to pay the outstanding rent. If the tenants do not pay rent within the days allotted, the lease will be terminated.
7 – The date (mm/dd/yyyy) that rent must be paid by.
8 – The time (hh:mm) on the date (above) that the tenant(s) must have the rent paid by.
9 – Select whether the time is in “AM” or “PM”.
Step 3 – Landlord / Agent Signature
10 – The landlord/agent will need to sign their name here, either using eSign or by printing the document and signing by-hand.
11 – The landlord or agent will need to print their full name next to their signature.
Step 4 – Certificate of Service
12 – Enter the date (mm/dd/yyyy) that the notice was served to the tenant(s).
13 – The name of the person that received the notice (not necessarily the name of the tenant).
14 – Check the applicable box(es) regarding how the notice was delivered.
15 – If applicable, the recipient of the notice will need to sign their name on the line provided.