As a landlord of a commercial property dealing with tenant turnover is a part of the job. When you want your tenant to move out of the property, you can either discuss it with your tenant and reach an agreement or give the tenant a notice to vacate. Whether a tenant’s lease is up, issues have risen, or you found someone more suitable to rent from, you need to serve your tenant with a notice to vacate if you want to remove him from your property. In most cases, both landlords and tenants can send a notice to vacate informing the other party about a specific move-out date.
So, it’s time to say goodbye to your tenant for one reason or another. How do you make sure you give proper notice, avoid legal pitfalls, and protect your profits and property?
What is a Notice to Vacate?
A notice to vacate is a formal written document that advises a landlord or tenant of a move-out date from an apartment, condo, house, or any other residential rental property. The tenant has enough time to prepare for their move after receiving a notice to vacate letter. It may also provide ample time for the landlord to arrange renovations and begin looking for tenants. If the tenant gives the landlord a notice to vacate, the letter should explain where the security deposit should be sent if the property has not been damaged beyond reasonable wear and tear.
When is a Notice to Vacate Needed?
Typically, notices to vacate are sent 30, 60, or 90 days before the lease expires. The leasing agreement should include the lease’s termination date. A notice to quit is still required if a landlord or tenant decides to end the lease arrangement before the agreed-upon termination date. Regardless of the situation, go over the lease to see how many days you have to provide notice without incurring a penalty.
You must be aware of your rights as well as state and local rules when it comes to notifications to vacate timelines. Knowing this information will help to determine when a notice to vacate a property is required.
Landlords can and cannot give notice |
Landlords must provide a reason when they give someone notice to vacate. They cannot give notice without a reason. In some situations, a landlord can give the notice to tenant to vacate before the end of the leasing agreement.
A landlord cannot give someone notice for doing something or saying they will do something; they are legally allowed to do.
For example, a landlord cannot give a tenant notice to vacate for |
- requesting repairs
- asking to have a pet
- challenging a rent increase
- A notice to vacate is not valid if it is unlawful discrimination
Agreement to leave without formal notice
A landlord may ask a tenant to leave without giving them the notice to vacate. The tenant does not have to agree to leave. If they do, they should record this in writing.
Landlords can give a tenant a notice to vacate immediately if the tenant does any of the following |
- intentionally or recklessly causes serious damage to the property, including safety equipment and common areas
- puts neighbours, the landlord or the landlord’s agent, or their contractors or employees, in danger.
How to give notice?
Landlords should serve the Notice to vacate to tenant/s of rented premises before the end of the tenancy.
The notice must |
- be addressed to the tenant
- give the reason the Landlord is ending the agreement
- be signed by the Landlord (or their agent)
- be sent with enough time for it to get to the tenant
- state the date the tenant has to leave by (the termination date)
Delivering a notice to vacate
The notice to vacate must be delivered to the tenant at the rented premises, either by |
- registered post
- electronic communication (such as email), if the tenant has given consent to receive notices and other documents this way
- hand (giving the notice personally to the tenant).
Allow for mail delivery times, which depend on |
- your delivery method
- where you are mailing your notice from.
It is important to allow enough time for mail to be delivered if you are posting the notice. If you are delivering the notice by mail, you must use registered post.
Types of Notices to Vacate
There are several types of notices to vacate letters for different scenarios. The below sections will help both landlords and tenants differentiate between these types of notices and when to write which one.
Landlord to Tenant | Cause Notice to Vacate
A landlord may give a tenant a notice to vacate with cause if the tenant has broken the lease agreement by not paying rent, subletting the property without permission, having unauthorised pets or guests, or other lease violations. Consider a cause notice to vacate as a warning rather than an eviction notice, which is issued when a tenant continues to occupy the property after their lease has expired or been cancelled.
When drafting a reasonable notice to vacate as a landlord to tenant, you must frequently indicate the amount of time you have to fix the wrongdoing or issue that breached the lease agreement.
For example, if a tenant fails to pay rent, landlords typically give a set number of days (3–5) for the tenant to make payment along with any late penalty fees.
Tenant to Landlord | Cause Notice to Vacate
When a tenant gives his or her landlord a cause notice to terminate the lease, it means the landlord has broken the lease agreement or the premises has become unfit or unsafe. For example, the home became uninhabitable as a result of needed repairs that were not completed promptly. Other examples of essential repairs include neglecting to fix a damaged HVAC system, failing to deal with bug infestations, and failing to repair a broken toilet.
Both landlords and tenants should be aware of the difference between essential and non-essential maintenance. Time-sensitive repairs, such as a damaged HVAC system in the winter or summer, should be completed within 1–7 days. Non-essential repairs, such as leaky faucets, minor damaged appliances, or screen tears, take longer, typically 10–30 days.
Tenant to Landlord | No-Cause Notice to Vacate
The most typical notice to vacate letter is one sent by a tenant to a landlord without cause. These notices to quit are frequently sent a certain number of days before the lease expires. Or they’re sent when the tenant wants or has to break the lease owing to circumstances beyond the landlord’s control. In any situation, the no-cause notice serves as a termination letter to the landlord, informing him or her that the tenant will not be renewing his or her lease and intends to vacate the premises.
Note that a no-cause notice to vacate from a landlord is uncommon. It does happen in situations where the landlord wants to either move someone else or themselves back into the premises, they plan to fix or remodel the property, or they hope to sell the property.
30-Day vs. 60-Day Notice
The 30-day and 60-day notices are the most regularly used notices to leave forums. It’s not common, but some states demand 90-day notifications in lease agreements, which are most popular in subsidised housing. The amount, of days you have to serve your notice to vacate a property is mostly determined by local and state rules.
Both tenants and landlords should allow as much time as possible to prepare for quitting a property. Giving plenty of warning makes it easier to reach an amicable conclusion.
Challenging a notice to vacate
A tenant can challenge a notice to vacate if they |
- believe it was not given to them properly
- disagree with the reason given on the notice
- were given the notice as a result of family violence
When a renter does not leave
If a tenant does not leave after being given notice, landlords can apply for a possession order.
The tenant background check performed by Shergroup will confirm the tenant’s current address and ability to pay the rent. If you use our service, you’ll be less likely to run into rent arrears or other rental agreement issues caused by tenants.
Of course, if your screening method fails to prevent tenants from entering your property who do not meet their rental obligations, Shergroup can assist you in preparing a claim for possession and then carrying out the eviction process. Our solutions hub is always developing new services for landlords.
So, by trusting us with a tenant’s background check, you can feel more confident in your tenant selection.
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