When And How To Supply A Notice To Quit To Your Tenant

If a tenant violates the terms of their lease it may be the right decision to send a notice to quit. We detail what a notice to quit is and when to send one.

What Is A Notice to Quit?

A notice to quit is the first step (or pre-step) along with the eviction proceedings. It is a notice to a tenant, the purpose of which is to give them a warning that the landlord has noted a lease violation, and a timeline to resolve the issue before eviction proceedings are formally begun.

For example, if a tenant is late to pay the rent then the notice to quit would detail the amount of rent outstanding, and how long the tenant has to pay before the landlord will file for eviction. The tenant then either has to pay the remaining in rent or quit the premises.

In most cases, a landlord needs to give the tenant a notice to quit and at least 3 days (though sometimes more) to fix the issue before filing for eviction, there are exceptions to this rule depending on the type of violation and the state in which you are located.

Visit our Landlord tenant laws by state page

Why Should You Send One to A Tenant?

There are several scenarios where you might supply notice to quit to your tenant. First, when a tenant has violated a clause in the lease agreement or secondly because of an external factor unrelated to the tenant, such as the property being taken off the rental market.

The following are a few examples of why you might send a notice to quit:

  • There have been numerous noise complaints against the tenant.
  • The tenant got a pet even though the lease stipulates that no pets are allowed.
  • The tenant has not been keeping their unit in a clean and habitable condition.
  • You have discovered that there are individuals living in the apartment who is not named as tenants on the lease agreement.

Whatever the reason it must be clearly spelled out in the Notice, and as mentioned above, most scenarios mean you have to allow the tenant a period to rectify the issue.

Failure to present a tenant with a Notice to Quit is a common eviction mistake landlords make.

Who Should Be Named on The Notice?

All adults who are named on the lease need to be included, with their full and correct names on the notice. In addition to naming the tenants, you should also include the following details:

  • The full property address
  • The floor the unit is on as well as the number of the unit.
  • This should then be signed and dated by the landlord.

How Do You Send a Notice to Quit?

Every state has slightly different rules when it comes to delivering a notice to quit so you should carefully check your local state laws.

Some states, as an example, require the notice to be hand-delivered by the landlord. Others that it should be delivered by certified mail.

You can quickly get customized legal documents from our partner Rocket Lawyer.

When Should You Send the Notice to Quit?

This is dependent on two things. First, where you are located, different laws have varying laws around serving a notice to quit as we mentioned in the sections above.

Second, it depends on the reason you are sending the notice to quit. In most cases, a notice to quit needs to be given at least 3 days before you file for eviction.

In other cases, you may need to supply a notice to cease before you supply the notice to quit.

What Happens Afterwards?

One of two things happens after you supply a notice to quit.

The first possibility is that the tenant obeys the notice. Meaning they resolve the issues detailed, or they voluntarily leave. For example, if you have serviced them pay or quit notice as they are overdue on rent, they decide to pay the overdue rent before the time period is over. In doing this both parties avoid time-consuming and expensive eviction proceedings.

- Or -

The tenant may choose to disregard the notice. Maybe they think they’re in the right and are thus willing to fight it out in court, or they know that it could take months to evict them and they are buying time as they don’t have anywhere else to go.

If the tenant does choose to ignore the notice, you will want to begin the eviction process. It is advisable to seek appropriate legal counsel from an eviction lawyer.

When the necessary waiting period as outlined in your state laws, ends, you need to file a tenant-landlord complaint in court. In many places, it is illegal to evict a tenant until all court proceedings are over. This process can take months.

Before you get a date for a hearing you will need to pay a fee and complete all the necessary paperwork. When the day does come, make sure to bring all evidence and paperwork showing the reason and evidence for the eviction, and clearly showing that you have gone through all the correct legal steps in the right order. On top of this, you will want to prepare ahead of time what you’re going to say in court.

Related: Why Are Evictions So Costly? (And How To Avoid Them)

Using Landlord Studio to Avoid Late Rent

One of the most common reasons that a landlord will need to give a tenant a notice to quit is because a tenant is late with the rent. There are several ways to encourage timely payment, such as having a clearly outlined late fee and grace period policy.

However, the most effective way to avoid late rent payments is to combine a comprehensive tenant screening process with a powerful property management system, like Landlord Studio, to allow tenants to easily pay their rent online.

With Landlord Studio you're in control, you set the rent amount, can block partial payments, and rent payments are delivered directly into your account. Tenants can log into the tenant portal at any time to view historical and upcoming rent payments as well as to set up automatic payments (so they never forget again). You can set up automated late fees, rent reminder emails, and collect tenant payable expenses and deposits.

By automating the entirety of the rent collection process you save both yourself and your tenants a huge amount of time and stress and it's proven to dramatically reduce the chance of late rent.

From listings to rent collection to tax time. Create your account with Landlord Studio today and manage every aspect of your rentals in one easy to use platform - all for FREE.

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