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Finding the Right Words: How to Write an Eviction Notice to a Tenant

Finding the Right Words: How to Write an Eviction Notice to a Tenant

Millions of evictions occur every year.

Chances are you've landed on this page because you're in a situation of needing to do the same. Even though you've asked tenants questions before accepting them, you can't foresee all potential issues that may arise.

Going about the eviction process in a concise, straightforward manner is crucial. It's fair to the tenants and to yourself later down the line, if you end up going to court over the matter.

Here are some considerations when writing and delivering an eviction notice.

Terms of the Lease

There has to be a legitimate reason as to why you're evicting your tenants.

The only reason is that they've broken their lease. This could mean the destruction of property or failure to pay rent.

Double check the lease agreement before moving forward with the eviction process. If the situation is vague, you may wish to speak to an attorney about how to proceed.

If your tenants did break the lease, you should speak with them about the issue before drafting any formal documents.

Speak to your Tenants

It's best to address issues as they come up. This is not only the right thing to do but a way to make sure the tenants are on the same page as you.

If issues aren't resolved after you've brought them up, it's time to write an eviction notice.

Before You Begin

Before you begin drafting a notice, check your local and state laws for regulations on the matter. 

In California, for instance, you can evict someone for being a serious nuisance. This means they've disturbed other tenants or neighbors and haven't stopped when asked.

Some states have different laws regarding reasons you're allowed to evict a tenant. Also, there are laws outlining the way you have to deliver the notice (i.e. by hand).

Check these before proceeding to make sure you're covering yourself legally.

Write the Eviction Notice

Eviction notices must include a few components:

  • Name and address
  • The offense committed
  • The time to remedy the offense
  • Consequences of failure

Addressing

As with any formal document, you must write your name and the date you wrote the letter. When writing the tenants name, make sure it's their full legal name provided in the lease and the address at which they live.

Offense

The offense can be nonpayment, breach of lease, or a serious breach of the lease.

If it's a serious breach of lease, you don't need to include the option to remedy the offense. This is a "notice to quit" eviction for repeat or severe offenses.

Otherwise, you'll need to provide an opportunity to fix the issue.

Remedy and Consequences

When discussing the remedy, include all options, procedures, and dates, and consequences.

This is a " notice to cure/pay or quit". You'll write that if the tenants don't resolve the issue in a certain number of days, the consequences will be an eviction.

Including a distinct and fair time frame allows you to stay in accordance with the law. Plus, if the tenants remedy the offense and it's after the time frame, you'll still be able to evict them due to those set dates.

Provide Contact Information

At the bottom of the letter, leave your contact information for any questions or concerns. You'll sign your signature after this and you're set to deliver the notice in accordance with local and state legislation.

Find New Tenants

If your tenants fail to remedy the offense, you can proceed with filing a formal eviction notice at your local courthouse.

You'll need to find new, more reliable people to fill your property. After the nuisance of dealing with bad tenants, it may be easier to hand over that part of property management to us.

We can find quality tenant placements and keep your property running smoothly.


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