An eviction process usually starts when a tenant who is under a lease agreement, written or verbal, breaks any part of the terms and conditions of that agreement. The process typically begins with the landlord giving notice that the lessee (i.e. tenant) has violated a portion of the agreement. Every State has its own process which is sometimes referred to as an “unlawful detainer”, “forcible entry and detainer”, or another related legal term.


Eviction Notice TemplateAdobe PDF, MS Word (.docx), OpenDocument

Use to send notice to a tenant for violating the lease for late rent, non-compliance, or illegal acts committed on the property.

State Required Notice Periods – Enter the notice period required in the State for the type of violation. In addition, all eviction notices should be sent via Certified Mail (with Return Receipt).

 


By State

By Type


Non-Payment of Rent – Typically this notice is different from all other types in the State as it only relates to the violation of not paying the monthly amount on-time. States offer either a number (#) of day’s notice to pay the rent owed including any penalties added on. If the payment is not made within the time stated the tenant will usually have to vacate the premises while still owing the landlord the funds.

Download: Adobe PDF, MS Word (.docx)

 

 


Non-Compliance – Notice is given to a tenant that has violated any part of a lease (except any terms that are in relation to the payment of rent). There are two (2) types of compliance notices; Curable which allows the tenant time to “cure” or fix the violation within a certain amount of time or else they must leave and incurable which does not allow the tenant to “cure” the issue and they must move-out within the timeframe suggested in the notice.

Download: Adobe PDF, MS Word (.docx)

 


Lease Termination Letter (Cancel a Month-to-Month Lease) – If the landlord and tenant have a rental arrangement where either may cancel at anytime a letter stating a termination date may be used to cancel the lease. The notice must be given with the State time-frame (if any), and once given, to landlord or tenant, the time period begins. Usually, the notice period is thirty (30) days.

Download: Adobe PDF, MS Word (.docx)

 


Table of Contents

What is an Eviction Notice?

An eviction notice is an official letter sent by a landlord notifying a tenant that they are in violation of their lease. This is most common for late rent but may also be used for other violations. An eviction notice is always recommended to be sent by USPS Certified Mail with Return Receipt to have proof the tenant was served.

Required Notice Periods (By State)

Depending on the State, the tenant will be given a specific number (#) of days to pay the outstanding rent or fix the violation. If the tenant does neither within the given time-frame, the landlord can begin eviction proceedings.

STATE NON-PAYMENT  NON-COMPLIANCE ILLEGAL ACT MONTH-TO-MONTH LEASE
Alabama 7 days 7 days N/A 30 days
Alaska 7 days 10 days 5 days 30 days
Arizona 5 days 10 days Immediate 30 days
Arkansas 3 day 14 days N/A 30 days
California 3 days 3 days N/A Time-dependent
Colorado 3 days 3 days N/A Time-dependent
Connecticut 3 days 3 days N/A N/A
Delaware 5 days 7 days N/A 60 days
Florida 3 days 7 days N/A 15 days
Georgia Immediate N/A N/A 30 days if given to landlord, 60 days if given to tenant
Hawaii 5 days 10 days N/A 45 days
Idaho 3 days 3 days N/A 30 days
Illinois 5 days 10 days 5 days 30 days
Indiana 10 days N/A N/A 30 days
Iowa 3 days 7 days 3 days 30 days
Kansas Time-Dependent 14 days N/A 30 days
Kentucky 7 days 14 days N/A 30 days
Louisiana 5 days 5 days N/A 10 days
Maine 7 days 7 days N/A 30 days
Maryland No notice required 30 days N/A 30 days
Massachusetts 14 days N/A No notice required 30 days
Michigan 7 days Written in lease 7 days 30 days
Minnesota Immediate or 14 days Immediate N/A Time-dependent
Mississippi 3 days 14 days N/A 30 days
Missouri No notice required 10 days N/A 30 days
Montana 3 days Time-dependent N/A 30 days
Nebraska 7 days 14 days N/A 30 days
Nevada 5 days 5 days 3 days 30 days
New Hampshire 7 days 7 days N/A 30 days
New Jersey No notice required 30 days 3 days 30 days
New Mexico 3 days 7 days 3 days 30 days
New York 14 days 10 days N/A 30 days
North Carolina 10 days Not defined N/A 7 days
North Dakota 3 days 3 days N/A 30 days
Ohio 3 days 3 days N/A 30 days
Oklahoma 5 days 15 days No notice required 30 days
Oregon 3 or 6 days (depends) 30 days 24 hours 30 or 60 days (depends)
Pennsylvania 10 days Time-dependent 10 days Time-dependent
Rhode Island 5 days 20 days No notice required 30 days
South Carolina 5 days 14 days N/A 30 days
South Dakota 3 days No notice required N/A 30 days
Tennessee 14 days 30 dasy 3 days 30 days
Texas 3 days 3 days N/A 30 days
Utah 3 days 3 days 3 days 15 days
Vermont 14 days 30 days 14 days 60 or 90 days (depends)
Virginia 5 days 30 days N/A 30 days
Washington 3 days 10 days 3 days 20 days
West Virginia No notice required No notice required No notice required 30 days
Wisconsin 14 days 5 days 5 days 28 days
Wyoming 3 days N/A N/A N/A

How to Evict a Tenant

To evict a tenant a landlord first needs to identify which term or condition of the rental agreement they are violating. If it is a non-payment issue, the landlord will need to complete a notice for the non-payment of rent, if it is a non-compliance issue, the landlord will need to download the standard eviction notice for their respective State.

Step 1 – Choose the Notice Type

Download and complete the eviction notice that best serves the landlord’s situation.

The above forms are standard notices given to a tenant which usually acts as a warning of something they have not done, such as forget to pay rent or if they played the music too loud on a weekend. This gives the tenant official notice that they better get in-line with their lease or the landlord will have to take matters into another level by enforcing the local laws.

Step 2 – Sending Notice (Certificate of Service)

After completing, the landlord will now need to send the lessee notice. This is recommended to be completed using the mail with a Certified Letter (with return receipt) although some States allow for this to be completed by slipping it under the door of the premises or another legal route.

Best Method (recommended)

USPS – The United States Postal Service (USPS) is the best option as it will prove that the letter was mailed and received by the tenant with delivery dates. This will be detailed in the “return receipt” that will be given to the sender after the form has been successfully delivered. If the tenant does not respond to this notice, the return receipt may be used later in court to show that an effort was made to contact the tenant about the lease violation or termination.

Other Methods

Delivering to Tenant – Other than certified mail this is the best option. When delivering to the tenant it’s imperative that the landlord obtains a signature to prove it was delivered and accepted by the tenant.

Hanging on Door – This is not recommended although is considered legal in some States. The issue with delivering the notice by hand without acceptance is that it may not prove in the court of law if it becomes the landlord’s “word” versus the tenant.

Other Mailing Providers – Some landlords will opt to using another mailing provider, such as FedEx or UPS, believing that all carriers are the same. This is not true. According to a case filed in 2007, Leatherbury vs. Greenspun, the court determined that certified mail is only considered legal when sent via the United States Postal Service (USPS).

Step 3 – Resolve the Matter with the Tenant

Curable Notices

If the notice is curable the tenant has a time-frame to repair the issue, such as repay the rent, fix the damage on the premises, sound violations, etc. If the tenant does not fix the issue then they will be required to leave the property or face an unlawful detainer.

If the matter is complicated it is always best to level rather than go the eviction route as they can be costly and the judge may view the tenant’s situation and not approve the re-possession by the landlord. For example, if the tenant is behind on their rent it is best to make a payment plan that is reasonable for both parties.

Incurable Notices

If the type of notice is incurable then the tenant must leave the property and has no option other than to vacate the premises. This is common if the tenant has made the same violation in the past or if the tenant was found conducting illegal activity on the property.

Step 4 – File Eviction Lawsuit

If the tenant does not leave the property or fix the issue stated in the eviction notice then the landlord will have to file a Complaint (or Petition) and Summons with the court in the jurisdiction of where the real estate is located. There is usually a filing fee and it may be submitted either by the landlord or their attorney.

Step 5 – Serve the Tenant

After the eviction lawsuit has been filed the clerk will administer copies of the filing along with an Answer that the landlord must give to the tenant. This will notify them that a legal case has been filed against them and allow them to state their response through the Answer which should be filed before the hearing date so the court is able to review all the evidence.

The notice that a lawsuit has been filed against the tenant is known as “serving” the defendant through the State process. This is usually completed by using the Sheriff’s office or sending through Certified Mail (Return Receipt) as instructed in Step 2.

Step 6 – Attend Hearing

The landlord will attend the court hearing along with the tenant, now the defendant. Both parties are instructed to have all available documents at their disposal along with any evidence that they believe will help their chances in determining the outcome they deem fair.

Ruling in the Landlord’s Favor

If the judge should rule in favor of the landlord, the tenant will either be instructed to leave the premises (Writ of Possession) by a certain date or have the right to cure their leasing arrangement. If the tenant does not obey the judgment of the landlord they will be considered in illegal possession of the premises and the landlord will be able to hire the local sheriff to change the locks and begin moving the tenant’s personal property out of the space.

Sample Eviction Notice

Download: Adobe PDF, MS Word (.docx), OpenDocument

How to Write an Eviction Notice (4 Steps)

Download: Adobe PDF, MS Word (.docx), OpenDocument

Step 1 – Enter the Header Information

Enter the following:

1.) Date of Notice – The date the notice was made (and usually given to the tenant).

2.) Tenant(s) Name(s) – Enter all the individuals named on the lease.

3.) Lease Date – The date of the original lease agreement.

4.) Property Address – Address and name of the property (if any).

Step 2 – Enter the Notice Type

5.) Non-Payment of Rent – Select if the tenant has not paid rent on time. Enter the number (#) of days the tenant has to pay the back-rent by looking up the Required Notice Periods. Afterward, enter the back-rent, penalties/late fees, other fees, and calculate the total amount due.

6.) Non-Compliance – Select if the tenant has violated the lease OTHER THAN late rent or illegal activity. Enter the number (#) of days by looking up the laws under the Required Notice Periods.

7.) Illegal Acts – Select if the tenant has been or is performing illegal acts on the premises.

Step 3 – Sign and Contact Area

8.) Sign and Date – The landlord or their agent should sign and date the notice.

9.) Contact Info – To better communicate with the tenant, it’s best to enter the landlord’s contact information. Specifically, their mailing address and telephone number.

Step 4 – Certificate of Service

10.) Method of Service – Select the method the tenant will receive the eviction notice. It’s recommended the notice is sent via Certified Mail with Return Receipt in case of an eventual eviction filing with the local court.