Handling an eviction is never fun. Dealing with complicated laws only makes it more complicated, and the process can be further delayed if you make any mistakes in your notice, filing, or court procedures.

As a landlord, it is very important for you to fully understand when, where, and how 3-day notice to pay or quit forms should be used. With this type of eviction notice, you have a lot of control over regaining your property from a tenant, but you will only have that power as long as you know how to wield it properly.

Today, we’ll talk about the 3-day eviction notice, where you will most often see it and used, and when you can put it to good use on your properties. These best practices will help to ensure your continued success!

Table of Contents for 3-Day Notice to Vacate

What is a 3-Day Notice to Pay or Quit?

There are many different reasons that you can try to evict someone from your property. One of the most common reasons for eviction is nonpayment of rent. Various states and locals handle this type of eviction in different ways.

One common route to eviction for nonpayment of rent is the 3-day notice to pay rent or quit the property method. As the title suggests, this method gives tenants 3 days to either catch up on their overdue rent or move out.

This type of notice can only be used at specific times and in certain states. More information about when (and where) to use this method can be found in the rest of today’s article!

States with 3-Day Notice to Vacate Evictions

Before we get into the situations when using this notice is appropriate, let’s discuss where you can use this notice.

As previously mentioned, this notice isn’t valid in every state. Each state has their own tenant-landlord laws, and those laws dictate what will happen if nonpayment of rent by the tenant to you becomes a problem.

In the following states, nonpayment of rent can lead to the use of a 3-day pay or quit eviction notices:

Though all of these states share similarities in the 3-day notice to pay or quit methodology, each has their own set of procedures on exactly how you must write, deliver, and enact the eviction. Today, our article will cover generalized practices that fits in with the laws of many of these states.

To be confident that you are doing the most that you can do as a landlord, it is important that you check your specific state’s laws before carrying out this type of eviction. Clicking the name of the state from the list above will take you to the landlord-tenant law where you can check the applicable nonpayment of rent statutes.

When Should You Use this Notice?

Landlords like you cannot simply send out a 3-day notice to pay or quit anytime that the rent is a little bit late. Most states require a grace period, and your lease may even state a standard grace period that will be given to your tenants if their rent is late.

The notice should, however, be sent out as soon as the conditions for using it are met. Waiting to send out the notice will only lose your more money, and sending it out quickly can resolve your tenant issues faster than simply waiting around.

Besides nonpayment of rent, there are a couple of violations that can lead to a 3-day eviction notice being sent out. These are the other most common times that landlords use this type of notice:

  • Broke the lease
  • Health hazards on property
  • Trash not being disposed
  • Law infractions

Depending on what state you are in, some of these violations might not be enough cause for a 3-day notice. The states listed above specifically have 3-day notices for nonpayment of rent, but it is important to know your state’s specific notice periods and types for each of those violations.

Illegal Notice Usage

There may come a time when your tenant pays the rent late but still within the grace period. Let’s say that in the past, this tenant has caused you some stress because they reported that you did not keep the property up to the required code and you ended up needing to pay a small fine. When the tenant’s rent is a little bit late, should you send out a 3-day notice to pay or quit?

Absolutely not!

Unless the specific conditions for using a 3-day notice for evicting a tenant about nonpayment of rent are met, you should never send out this notice. Using it cannot be a form of retaliation or punishment towards your tenants.

Knowingly or not, using this form incorrectly can get you into both legal and financial trouble, so be sure that you are only using this form when it is permissible by law.

How to Write a 3-Day Notice to Vacate?

Now that you know more about this notice, you may be wondering how to write a 3-day notice to pay or quit.

Before we get started, remember that, as we have mentioned, every state has their own protocols and procedures about what information needs to be included in an eviction notice like this one.

Our guide will attempt to be as inclusive as possible, but you should always confirm your local restrictions before sending out a notice like this one to be safe.

What to Include

The 3-day notice to pay or quit should include, at the very least, the following information:

  • Tenant(s) name
  • Property address
  • Landlord name & how to contact them
  • Amount of rent owed
  • Date the rent must be paid by
  • What will happen if the tenant does not pay

You can also include some additional information such as the specifics of where in the lease and in the state’s laws further information about this type of eviction notice can be found.

Before you get ready to serve the notice, be sure that all of the following is true:

  • Any grace period for late rent has ended.
  • You have proof of when rent was (and was not) paid.
  • Your notice gives the tenant instructions on what and how to pay, if they choose to.

Once you’ve finished writing the notice, it will be time to serve it to the tenant.

Serving Your 3-Day Pay or Quit Notice

Dropping a pay or quit notice into a tenant’s mailbox might seem like the quick and easy solution to delivering this serious letter, but there are legal procedures that dictate exactly how you can and cannot get it to the tenant.

Use these steps to deliver the notice:

  • Give it to a tenant over the age of 18 directly.
  • Mail a copy via certified mail to the tenant’s address
  • Post a copy to their door in a conspicuous location.

No matter how you deliver the notice, you must do it in a way that ensures the tenant is practically sure to receive the note. If you do not deliver the notice to the tenant in the proper way, you might need to start the eviction process from the beginning again.

Once the tenant has received their copy, the 3-day waiting period begins.

After 3-Days Pass

The tenant has 3 days to respond to your notice. They can respond in a few different ways:

  • Pay any unpaid rent, plus applicable fees to remain in the property; you can continue to rent the property to this tenant.
  • Dispute the allegations; you will need to file for eviction.
  • Refuse to pay; you will need to file for eviction.
  • Ignore the notice; you will need to file for eviction.

If a tenant tries to pay you a partial payment, you must refuse it in order to continue with the eviction process. If you accept a partial payment, a court may not approve your eviction case.

The Court System

If you do not receive full payment from the tenant, it is time to file for eviction. You will need to do this according to your local laws usually by visiting the local courthouse and paying a fee to file for eviction. The court will then contact both you and the tenant with court dates, and you will need to go to court to present your evidence for eviction.

It is important to have all of your documentation ready, and be prepared for a bit of back-and-forth with the court system.

Common Questions About the 3-Day Notice to Pay Rent or Quit

Do you still have questions about this type of eviction notice? The answers to these FAQs may help you to better understand this 3-day notice and how to use it most effectively.

What Happens After a 3-Day Notice to Pay or Quit?

Once the tenant receives the notice, you will have to wait 3 business days. During this time, the tenant has a chance to pay you back. If they do not pay you back or respond to the notice, you can then file for an eviction. The court will then issue a court date and make the decision about the eviction.

How Can I Remove Someone from My Property?

If you have a tenant that isn’t paying rent or has overstayed their lease, you are not legally allowed to remove them by force. This is called self-eviction, and it is illegal. Even though you are the property owner, the law requires that you follow a specific reporting procedure to do this transition instead of doing it yourself.

Instead, you must follow eviction proceedings. As explained in today’s guide for landlords, you will need to write and serve a 3-day notice to quit or another eviction notice according to the specific situation you are in. Once you win the court case, a constable will be able to help you enforce the eviction.

Can I Accept a Partial Rent Payment?

If you want to complete the eviction process after serving an eviction notice, you should never accept a partial payment of back paid rent after serving the 3-day notice to pay or quit.

If you accept any partial payments, you could ruin your entire eviction proceedings. Even if the tenant wants to start paying you back, it is best to get a court judgment before you accept any money.

Am I Going to Get Paid Back for Rent?

Many landlords worry about whether or not they will ever get paid for the rent that they are owed. The truth of the matter is that there is always a chance that you will never get back payment for missed rent or even have your legal fees for eviction covered.

Even with a court order, collecting funds that you are owed can be very difficult. If the amounts are higher, you may even need to move to a small claims court to try garnish wages and get your money back.

Ultimately, the real goal of eviction is not to make back your money but to regain control of your property. Even if you have to take a small financial loss in the moments of eviction, you will be able to rent the property out to someone else.

How Can I Evict Someone for Another Issue Besides Rent

Serving a notice for eviction that is not related to nonpayment of rent will be a little bit different.

Rather than writing up a notice that requests that the tenant pay you or leave, you would write up a notice that requests the tenant to perform a specific action or leave. This what is known as a curable notice. In a curable notice, you will let your tenant know how they are violating your lease agreement and give them a specific period to fix it.

For example, a tenant that has allowed an extra roommate to move in without permission, they would be asked to have this extra person move out within the allowable time period. If they do not, you could file for eviction.

There are many legal reasons to evict someone from your property. The most common ones, as we listed above, are:

  • Nonpayment of rent
  • Broke the lease
  • Health hazards on property
  • Trash not being disposed
  • Law infractions

If you are unsure about whether or not you would have a valid case for eviction, it is best to consult with a local lawyer or property manager who is familiar with the applicable landlord-tenant laws in your area.

The 3-Day Notice to Pay or Quit Process

As you can see, the process for writing and serving the 3-day notice to vacate is relatively simple. The overall eviction process, on the other hand, is far less simple. Depending on the specific situation, what state you are in, and what the court decides, you might never see the rent that you are owed.

Still, following through with eviction when a tenant isn’t paying rent is important to regain the financial security of your property and business. Follow these steps to success:

  1. Write up a notice.
  2. Deliver it personally, or mail it via certified mail.
  3. Wait for the holding period.
  4. File for an eviction hearing.

Once the tenant leaves the property, you will be able to repair any damages and rent it out again. Getting through an eviction can seem like a battle with no end, but we promise that getting through it will be worth it!