Being a landlord or property owner can be hard work, especially when it comes to tough decisions and communications like eviction. Nobody wants to be the landlord who has to write an eviction notice. However, a lease is an agreement between two parties, and when a renter breaks the agreement’s terms, consequences need to follow.
While evicting tenants is challenging, you deserve renters who respect your property and pay on time. No matter the situation, you can figure out a way to get your rental property back on track.
Whether this is your first eviction or you’re looking to ensure it goes as smoothly as possible, having a system for how to write and deliver concise, efficient eviction notices will serve you well — even if you’re only brushing up. If you’re stuck or curious, here’s how you can write an eviction notice that works and gets the job done.
Know When You Can Evict
Knowing when you can evict your tenants is the first — and most crucial — step in the process. Luckily, you can find those details in the lease terms you wrote and presented to your tenants when they first moved in.
You have a right to stick to any particulars in your lease agreement — likely including the timely and full payment of rent from your tenants. When you know why you are evicting your tenant and have legally binding evidence to back you up, you can state it to them when you write the eviction notice.
However, evictions get tricky in circumstances such as the pandemic. During COVID-19, many states have placed legal restrictions on processes like eviction, as well as outright bans on the practice, regardless of previous agreements between tenants and landlords.
In this case, it’s always best to check with your state’s guidelines to ensure you can back your actions legally, even in the letter, if you find that necessary. Taking this step can make everything run as smoothly as possible.
Can You Evict Without Cause?
Most lease agreements forbid landlords from evicting a tenant for personal reasons, such as wanting the space for private use, renovating or developing. However, there is one way you can evict even without your tenants having violated any agreements — if you have a month-to-month policy.
If you do plan to do this, it’s customary — and even legally required in some states — to give 30 or 60 days’ notice before your tenants need to move. However, if this eviction is more about your needs than theirs and they have been respectful tenants, giving as much notice as possible before they need to be out is usually a good move.
Find a Template
When you start writing the eviction notice, follow a standard format. Whether you opt to go hard-copy or digital — or both, even — using a template can ensure you don’t miss any essential details.
Fortunately, you can find templates online for digital eviction notices, and physical templates for paper eviction notices. When you find one that works for you, all you need to do is keep it around in case you need to use it again — which, ideally, you won’t.
Give Tenants a Clear Reason For the Eviction Notice
There are plenty of valid reasons to evict a tenant from your property. While failing to pay rent is one of the best-known, damaging the property, disturbing other tenants and even using the space for illegal activity can be grounds for eviction.
In your notice, provide renters with your reason for evicting them from the property. While it’s possible to rectify some cases — such as late or missing rent payment — others may not have a straightforward solution, and knowing the difference can make the picture clearer. The last thing you want is for tenants to feel ignored or misled.
Include Specifics and Dates
You’re within your rights as a landlord to evict a tenant who is breaking your rules, but the crucial component of eviction is getting someone to leave the property. While expecting them out within a day is usually impossible — and often illegal — giving them too much time can infringe upon your rights, especially if they’re costing you money or behaving dangerously in your space.
Check the laws in your area to ensure you don’t need to follow any specific time limit rules, but 30 days tends to be standard practice.
Keep a Copy for Your Records
You never know when you may need to produce a record of eviction, claim something differently on your taxes or even defend yourself legally. You may even want to save it as a template to use later if you need to refer back to it. In any case, keeping a copy of the eviction notice for your records is always a good idea.
Guide to Writing an Eviction Notice
Getting someone off your property isn’t the most enjoyable thing you can do as a property owner. Still, it’s essential to do sometimes, especially if you have a tenant who isn’t paying rent or is otherwise violating your agreement. When you have a template and solid reasonings with specific details, you can ensure the eviction goes as smoothly as possible.