» Eviction Notice Forms | Notice to Quit | Process and Laws

Eviction Notice Forms | Notice to Quit | Process and Laws

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An eviction notice is a letter sent by a property owner, commonly known as the “landlord” or “lessor”, to the tenant of their property for a violation of the leased premise. The document either gives the right of the tenant to “cure” the issue (within a given time-span) or an “incurable” notice that states the landlord wants the tenant to be out of the space by a specific date. Most notices are served due to a tenant’s failure to pay rent on-time or not paying rent in full on the due-date.

By State

Table of Contents

By Type

($) Non-Payment of Rent – The most common reason for eviction. This form may be given when the tenant has failed to pay rent.

Illegal Activity – Terminates the lease between the landlord and tenant immediately.

Month-to-Month Eviction/Termination – May be used by a tenant or landlord to cancel a tenancy at will between the parties. The document must follow the required number (#) of days of notice in order to cancel stated either in the lease or found in the State Statutes.

Non-Compliance (Lease Violation) – Should be given to the tenant for any lease infraction other than the non-payment of rent.

By Number of Days

What is an Eviction?

An Eviction (Unlawful Detainer) is the process of legally removing a tenant from a residential property. Failure to pay rent or rent on time, violating terms within a rental agreement, overstaying a lease (tenant at sufferance), and illegal activity are common ways an eviction can be triggered by a landlord. Landlords need to follow their State’s eviction procedure laws and can not physically remove a tenant from their property.

How to Evict a Tenant

As a landlord, do not take matters into your own hands by changing locks, physically removing the tenant yourself or by someone on your behalf, harassing, shutting off utilities or any other method of removal except by going through the court system. Each State has its own eviction laws, while many States use the Uniform Residential Landlord and Tenant Act (Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Connecticut, Florida, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Mississippi, Montana, New Mexico, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, and Washington). Do not try to evict a tenant without a valid reason (failure to pay rent, violating lease terms, etc. are valid reasons to evict a tenant).

Step 1 – Try to Solve the Violation

If a tenant goes 6 months into a 1-year lease without ever being late on their rent payment and has never caused a nuisance – this would be regarded as a good tenant worth solving problems with, on the other hand, a tenant that pays rent past due every month while throwing parties on weekends may be a “problem child” tenant. No matter the case, if the tenant simply does not have the money, as a landlord from a business standpoint, the tenant must be evicted. If a resolution cannot be found, the goal is to make the tenant leave on their own accord without having to go to court.

Step 2 – Send Eviction Notice to Tenant

In order to officially start the eviction process, you need to deliver an eviction notice (also known as a “notice to quit”) to your tenant. Deliver the notice by posting it to the tenant’s door while also sending it by Certified Mail with Return Receipt Requested via USPS. As the landlord, you need to send the correct type of eviction notice (30 day eviction notice is the most common) but you need to be 100% certain and check with your State. Once the tenant receives the eviction notice, they will have the opportunity to cure the violation within the allotted time frame – For example: A landlord in the State of California by law can send a 3-day notice to quit which allows the tenant to cure the violation within 3 days upon receiving the notice. The notice period is calculated from the day on which the notice is delivered.

Step 3 – File Eviction Papers with the Court

If the tenant has not cured the violation within the time frame set forth in the notice to quit, you can now go to your local county courthouse by bringing a copy of the Return Receipt and filing for the eviction. Here is a list of information that you will need to bring with you to the courthouse in order to successfully file for your eviction against the tenant:

  • The address and a description, if any, of the property you are seeking to possess;
  • A description of the reason for the eviction;
  • A detailed account as to how and when the notice to vacate was delivered;
  • An accounting of all unpaid rent and dues at the time of filing;
  • If attorney fees are being sought, include a statement with the filing;

Once filed, the court will serve a summons which orders the tenant to show up to court on a specified date.

Step 4 – Go to Court to Prove Your Case Against Tenant

Chances are, if the tenant doesn’t have enough money to pay rent, they won’t be able to afford an attorney and due to evictions being a civil matter, they won’t be able to obtain a public defender – therefore, the tenant will be defending themselves in court and that makes it a pretty easy case for you, the landlord. You should come to court prepared with all the documentation, including but not limited to: the original signed lease agreement, records of payments, communication records, written notices, and the notice to quit.

Step 5 – Moving the Tenant Out!

If you win the case, the court will allow the tenant a small amount of time in order to pack up and leave, typically 1 weeks time. In the event that the tenant does not move out at the end of their allotted timeframe, you may contact your local sheriff’s department and the sheriff will escort the tenant out of your property along with their possessions.

Step 6 – Collecting Past-Due Rent and Court Fees

The prevailing party is typically entitled to recover all court costs. Most of the time, the security deposit can cover most of the loses incurred by the landlord. If the security deposit isn’t enough, collecting is handled by going through a small claims court. Although, it might take a while for you to collect your money. Depending on how much is owed to you, you may want to consider whether collecting is worth your time.

Eviction Process By State

FAQs

How long does an eviction take?

To legally evict a tenant, from the very first action taken by a landlord by sending a notice to quit to obtaining a judgement in court, it will take a minimum of 1 month but realistically it can take up to 2 or 3 months if the tenant holds out.

What is an Unlawful Detainer?

An Unlawful Detainer is an Eviction and an Eviction is an Unlawful Detainer, there is no difference. People are often confused that one term means different from the other but in fact, the term Eviction is more widely used to describe a landlord bringing a case against a tenant to obtain a court order (civil case) to legally obtain possession of a property from a tenant.

What happens when you get evicted?

From the tenant’s perspective, going through an eviction is never fun and it can be quite stressful as you are dealing with debt while also trying to find another place to call home. In most cases, you will not receive your security deposit, as that money is used to pay for unpaid rent, legal costs and moving costs (in the event you are unable to remove your furniture and belongings). When you are officially evicted, the landlord will have obtained a court order to legally enforce you to leave the property which will give you about 7 days to remove your belongings and leave. If you fail to leave after the final day, the landlord can order the local sheriff to physically remove you and your personal belongings out and onto the street curb. By all means, you never want the situation to escalate that far and it’s always best to try to resolve the situation from the beginning.

How long does an eviction stay on your record (credit report)?

There is good news, an eviction is not stated on your credit report. Most landlords use special tenant screening software which, if you have had an eviction in the past, has the possibility to show your rental history. If a landlord decides to take you to a small claims court for unpaid rent and wins, a collection account could show up on your credit report if the debt goes unpaid. Be aware that collection accounts stay on your credit report for 7 years.

How to get rid of tenants without eviction?

Unfortunately, there are not many ways to remove a tenant without having to legally go through with the eviction process as it is illegal to forcefully remove a tenant without a court order. Alternative ways to rid tenants without going through an eviction:

  1. Allow the tenant to break the lease without penalty. Return their security deposit pending that the tenant returns possession of the property back to you. This might save you money as you won’t potentially lose 2-3 months of rent while going through the eviction process.
  2. Communicate and be flexible with the tenant, allowing them more time to cure unpaid rent.
  3. Setup a payment schedule allowing the tenant to gradually pay back unpaid rent.

Can a writ of possession be stopped?

A writ of possession is a court order that gives permission to the local sheriff to remove a tenant from the landlord’s property, which is the final act in the eviction process if a tenant refuses to leave their dwelling. In most cases it can not be stopped, unless somehow the tenant wins the lottery and pays back all dues, but even in that unlikely scenario – a landlord would want the tenant gone.

How to Write an Eviction Notice

In this example, we will show you (the landlord) how to fill-in your notice to quit. You will want to have the original lease handy as you will need the information in order to complete the eviction notice.

Step 1 – Enter Lease and Tenant Information

In the first blank space after the word “To:”, enter the name of the primary tenant on the lease agreement. Complete the first paragraph by entering the address of the property and the number of days the tenant has to cure the violation (In our example, we entered 10 days due to that being the minimum amount of time needed in the State of New York).

Step 2 – Lease Violation

There are mainly 3 different ways a tenant can violate their lease: Failure to pay rent, non-compliance issue, or by committing an illegal act on the property. Check the appropriate violation statement and enter the information accordingly. In this example, the tenant failed to pay rent on-time therefore we selected the first paragraph which demands the tenant to pay past due rent.

Step 3 – Month to Month Tenancy (Not mandatory)

Only fill this section out if the tenant is renting on a monthly basis. If this is the case, enter the starting date in which the lease first began and also the termination date in which the lease will end. In this example, the landlord must give the tenant at least 30 days notice.

Step 4 – Certificate of Service

The certificate of service is a written oath by the landlord stating when and how the notice was delivered to the tenant. Enter the day the notice was delivered, tenant’s name, check the appropriate delivery method, and lastly your signature.


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