When it comes time to evict a tenant from your property, it’s crucial you follow the legal requirements regarding written notice. It would be great if you could slap a sticky note on your tenant’s door that says “please leave by tomorrow,” but this would get you in some serious trouble. Instead, you’ll need to write a proper eviction letter.
An eviction letter, also known as an eviction notice, informs a tenant that they must vacate the rental property. As a landlord, you must supply your tenants with this letter before you file for eviction with the local court system.
Still have questions? Don’t worry, we’re going to cover all you need to know about writing and delivering an eviction letter.
Do I really need to write an eviction letter?
Yes! All states require landlords to provide tenants with adequate notice before they file for eviction. If you file an eviction lawsuit without first providing your tenant notice, you will likely run into trouble in court.
Not only do you need to provide notice, but you need to provide proper notice in the form of an eviction letter.
Can I write an eviction letter without cause?
The answer to this depends on the type of lease agreement.
For fixed-term leases, you must have just cause. If a tenant has violated the terms of the lease agreement, you can ask them to vacate before the end of the lease term.
Month-to-month leases are different. You may ask a tenant to leave your rental property without cause if they are renting with a month-to-month lease. However, you must provide adequate notice as outlined in your lease or state statutes.
What should an eviction letter include?
The exact contents of your letter will depend on your state, your lease agreement, and the reason for eviction.
With that said, all eviction letters should include the following information:
- Date letter is written
- Your name
- Your tenant(s) name(s)
- Address of rental property
- Reason for eviction
- Date the tenant(s) must vacate the property
Are there different types of eviction letters?
Yes. Depending on the reason for eviction, you may supply one of three types of eviction letters.
A notice to pay or quit is provided when a tenant has failed to pay rent. This letter provides a date a tenant must pay rent or vacate.
A notice to cure or quit supplies a tenant with a set period of time to fix a lease violation. If they do not fix the problem during this time, they will be evicted. Some instances where this type of notice is used include cases where tenants violate no-pet policies or cause excessive noise.
The final type of notice, an unconditional quit notice, does not supply the tenant with an opportunity to avoid eviction. This type of notice is used to end month-to-month leases as well as for serious lease violations.
When should I supply an eviction letter?
It’s not only essential that you write an eviction letter correctly, but you also must deliver it on time. While it would be great if you could supply an eviction letter and then file with your local court the next day, this isn’t normally the case.
The amount of notice you must supply your tenant before heading to court depends on the reason for eviction. Generally, the more serious the reason for eviction, the less time you’ll have to wait between providing an eviction notice and filing for eviction in court.
To see how much time you’ll need to provide between delivering a letter and filing in court, refer to your lease and/or state statutes. Each state is different, so it’s important to know the laws where your property is located.
Eviction Letter Template
If you need some help writing an eviction letter, check out the following template for evicting a tenant due to a violation of the lease terms.
[Property management address]
[Your phone number]
Dear [tenant’s name],
This a notice to let you know you must vacate [rental property address] by [date tenant must vacate].
You have violated the lease agreement signed on [date lease agreement was signed] by [lease violation]. If you do not [pay/fix] or vacate by [date tenant must vacate], I will be forced to pursue legal action.
Please contact me at [your phone number] with any questions.