HOW TO WRITE AN EVICTION NOTICE: 4 ESSENTIAL COMPONENTS

When you’re dealing with a serious tenant problem, it might be time for you to stop fighting the inevitable and send an eviction notice. If this is your first time in this type of situation, however, you might not yet know how to write an eviction notice.

And that’s okay! Every landlord has to learn how to do this at some point during their property management career. The key is that you take the time to learn how to do so properly so you don’t make any costly mistakes.

While you can just rely on a tenant eviction letter template, it’s better to understand what needs to go into this document and why. Let’s learn how to write an eviction notice to a tenant!

A Table of Contents for Eviction Letters

Every Eviction Requires A Notice

If you want a tenant to move out of your property for a violation or other issue, you cannot simply tell them to leave, even if they have overstayed their lease.

Instead, you must tell them officially through an eviction notice or what some landlords refer to as a letter of eviction. This document will let them know why they are being evicted, how long they have to remedy the problem, and what will happen if they do not.

Every Eviction Has A Set Time Frame

Depending on the reason that you plan to evict your tenant, there are different amounts of time that you must give them to either move out or remedy the situation.

For example, you might give a tenant a 5-day notice to quit if they have caused serious and intentional damage to the property. With this notice, they will not have a chance to remedy the situation. They must move out within five business days, unless they want to fight the eviction in court.

These are some of the most common terms that you will need to become familiar with when dealing with eviction notices:

  • Notice to quit:
    Notice-to-quit eviction letters are for discretions that the tenant will not have an opportunity to remedy. These are used for more severe or repeat violations.
  • Notice to cure or quit:
    This letter is used when the tenant has a chance to fix the violation. They will have a set number of days to do so. If the problem is not remedied in the proper number of days, you can file to evict them.
  • Notice to pay or quit:
    This eviction notice is used when a tenant owes you rent. If they do not pay in the given period, you can file for eviction. If they pay you after that period ends, you can usually still file for eviction if you desire to do so.

State & Local Differences

It is essential that you realize that there are different rules about eviction in every state and even in some local counties. State law gives specifics of what types of violations tenants can be evicted for, how much notice you must give them before filing for eviction, and other important specifics.

To be fully in-the-know about eviction letters, you should become familiar with your state and local policies.

Writing Your Eviction Letter

Now that you’ve learned about three important components of eviction letters, let’s learn about the last and most important one: how to write an eviction notice!

Step 1: Determine the Violation

Why is it that you plan to evict the tenant? Is it for late rent or for breaking the terms of the lease? Determine the reason first and be specific because this is what you will need to know to actually write the letter.

Step 2: Check State & Local Laws

Based on the violation, check your state and local laws to find out the following information:

  • How many days notice do you have to give the tenant?
  • How do you have to deliver the notice?
  • Do you have to give the tenant a chance to fix the problem (i.e., notice to quit, notice to cure or quit, or notice to pay or quit)

Once you have gathered all of this information, you will be able to begin writing the letter.

Step 3: Write the Eviction Notice

When writing the notice, you do not have to follow a specific tenant eviction letter template as long as you clearly and accurately provide all of the information:

  • The property address
  • The full names of the landlord and tenants involved
  • The date the letter is written
  • The violation
  • What options the tenant has to remedy the situation (if any)
  • How long they have to remedy the situation
  • What will happen if they do not act
  • Who they can contact with questions about the notice

As long as you clearly provide all of that information in the letter, you can write it in any format you prefer. Most landlords find that preparing a few different variations that they can slightly alter for each situation is the easiest way to handle eviction letters.

How to Avoid Writing Eviction Letters

Does writing an eviction notice sound like a lot of work? It certainly can be!

The best way to get out of doing that work altogether is to avoid having to write them. And the best way to do that is to make sure that you are choosing the best tenants!

When you carefully screen tenants and choose reliable candidates, you’ll be less likely to find yourself in an eviction situation down the line. Researching who you rent your property out to upfront may save you a lot of time and money in the long run!

Conclusion

You have the skills that you need to write a quality eviction notice. Just remember to always do the following:

  • Be thorough.
  • Follow state and local laws.
  • Always be clear about how many days the tenant has to respond.
  • Keep records of when you delivered the notice and how.

By being careful about how you craft and deliver eviction notices, you are setting yourself up for a smooth transition process. Even if you have to go to eviction court, you’ll find that creating a clear eviction notice will help your case in the long run!

About the author

I believe the biggest mistake you can make in life is not learning from them. I've been a landlord since 2009 and still learning all the time.