Updated February 2021
During your time as a landlord, it is inevitable that you will eventually need to terminate a lease you hold with one of your tenants. Whether you plan to renovate the property, do not want to rent on a monthly basis any longer, or the tenant has violated the lease terms, you will need to know how to write the important 30-day notice to vacate.
Landlords are aware that many tenants fear receiving a lease termination letter, especially when it comes unexpectedly. For the sake of continuing a good relationship with your tenants, writing the notice clearly and sending it in a timely manner is essential.
The sooner you send the notice, the sooner you will be able to continue managing your property the way you want to. Of course, you can only send a notice of terminating the lease at appropriate times.
Learn more about how to write a 30 day notice to a tenant and how to properly send it out. Make sure you check out our template 30 day notice form in our complete landlord guide below.
A Table Of Contents For Lease Termination Letters
We know how difficult it can be to find clear information about creating lease termination letters, so we’ve done the hard work for you.
- What Is A Lease Termination Letter?
- When To Provide An End Of Lease Notice?
- Preparing A Lease Termination Notice
- The 30-Day Notice To Tenant Form
- FAQs About 30-Day Notice To Tenant Forms
- Final Tips & Notes
A lease termination letter is a letter that indicates the early ending of a lease or the ending of a month-to-month lease renewal cycle. This letter can be prepared by a tenant to give to a landlord or vice versa. When this form is in use, the lease is terminated.
New landlords (and tenants) can find the terminology of the real estate and property management world overwhelming. There are many conflicting usages of words in this industry, and the words ‘termination’ and ‘eviction’ are often confused.
Eviction refers to the legal, court action that is taken whenever a tenant will not accept that their lease is no longer valid. This usually happens after a lease termination letter is sent to the tenant outlining why they are being asked to vacate the property.
Termination, on the other hand, may be a completely positive thing. For example, the tenant may be aware that you plan to sell the property in two months. Still, you send them a notice of termination to officially document the end of their month-to-month agreement.
While lease termination notices can be used for eviction cases, we will be focusing on 30-day notices in today’s guide, which are rarely used in eviction cases. The notice period on termination notices that is eviction-worthy can be as little as one day or as long as three weeks, depending on the situation.
Just as landlords and tenants have different responsibilities throughout tenancy, they also have different procedures to follow at the end of the rental period. The notices, paperwork, and rules that need to be followed are going to have some variations depending on the role each person has in the end-of-lease process.
All end-of-lease notices can be divided into two main categories:
- End-of-lease letter to tenant from landlord
- End-of-lease letter to landlord from tenant
As we are providing resources for landlords at this time, we will be focusing on the former category mentioned above.
Landlords will likely need to turn to a 30-day notice to vacate in the following situations:
- Lease will not be renewed
- Month-to-month lease will be ending
- Lease terms were broken
- No cause termination (legal in some states)
- Property will be sold, demolished, or otherwise unavailable for rent
As you can see, there are a wide variety of situations in which you may need to put this form to good use, so pay close attention to how this notice is prepared and why every detail of it is important to your cause.
When you are putting together an end of lease notice, there are certain things that must be included:
- When the lease will be terminated
- Why the lease will be terminated
- If there is any cure (or fix) the tenant can undertake to prevent termination
- How long the tenant has to fix things, if applicable
As you can see, the notice to vacate letter doesn’t have to be very long to include this information. While many tenants will take this letter as an eviction notice, remember that this is not an eviction notice. It is a termination letter to end a lease that requires 30 days of notice.
For a landlord, the 30-day notice to vacate is an essential tool they need to be able to employ as needed. Having your own template on file is a good idea so that you can act quickly when you need to.
Now that you have a basic understanding of the 30-day notice to tenant form, it’s important to become familiar with the specific information required and why it is important to include in this lease termination letter. Let’s take a look at our 30-day notice to tenant sample form, which you can find here:
|30 Day Notice Form|
All notices sent to tenants should include basic information, including all of the following:
- Name and address of landlord
- Name and address of tenant
- Property in question
Without this information on the letter itself, it is possible that the letter won’t be considered appropriate or official by a court judgment if your case comes to that point. For that reason, you always want to include these kinds of basic facts. Additionally, send this type of letter by certified mail so you have a receipt.
The single most important piece of information you must include in this letter is when the lease will be terminated. If the tenant does not know when they are expected to vacate the property by, it will be impossible for them to leave.
Since this is a 30-day notice to tenants for termination, you may expect that the date should be 30 days from when you send the letter. Unfortunately, this isn’t exactly accurate.
In most states, the 30 days must include a full calendar month, so it is very likely that your date will have to be just over 30 days out. Additionally, some states require that you give extra notice in your notice of termination in specific situations, such as:
- You will be moving into the property (60-day notice)
- The original lease was not broken and was a term-lease (60-day notice)
- Additional notice as detailed in the rental agreement (30 days or the terms in the rental agreement, whichever is longer)
For that reason, it is good to plan ahead and be sure to send out this notice with accurate dates in a timely manner. Keeping this documentation very accurate is the key to succeeding if your case should be forced to go to eviction court.
The next part of the letter details what will happen if the tenant does not take some action within a specific amount of time. In our example, you can see the following potential outcomes of the letter:
- Pay your rent
- Vacate the premises
- Cure the breach
Whichever of these items applies must be done in a specific amount of time (usually shorter than the full notice period) in order to prevent the termination. The letter then states that if the tenant does not take action, you will file for eviction.
If you are sending this 30-day notice because of a breach of contract, you would want to add another sentence or two detailing what clause of the lease contract was broken and what the tenant can do to amend that breach. This is important to give your tenant the proper chance to make things right.
If this is a no cause termination, the end of a month-to-month lease, or another situation for which there is no cure, you do not need to worry about giving the tenant a chance to repair any issues.
Writing most documents as a landlord relies on conveying a few important pieces of information: who, what, when, why, and how. Answering these five simple questions will help you to write a 30-day notice that makes sense to all parties!
- Who: Start with the tenant names, rental property address, landlord names, and the names of any other involved individuals.
- What: State clearly what the notice is conveying. Is this a notice to pay rent or move out? Is this a notice to move out within 30 days, no matter what? Explain what is going on.
- When: Cover when the tenant must take action or move out of the rental property by; make sure to give an exact date that complies with your local laws.
- Why: Explain why this is happening. If possible, reference the specific part of your lease agreement that is in question or allows this notice to be sent.
- How: Talk about what will happen if the 30 days passes and nothing changes (i.e., file for eviction). Let the tenant know they can contact you with any questions.
For more thorough examples of what this type of notice will look up, you can view our sample template form here.
Once you give your tenant a 30-day notice, it is time to sit and wait. Unfortunately, there is not much you can do until the tenant contacts you, takes action, or overstays their tenancy period. If the tenant decides to challenge the 30-day notice early, you may be able to move forward with an eviction case.
If the tenant pays up or fixes the breach of lease, you can move on with your normal landlord duties. The 30-day written notice will no longer be in action, but it is a good idea to keep an eye out for future violations.
Finally, you can file for eviction proceedings as soon as the tenant overstays their lease period after receiving the written notice. From there, the court system will guide you through the eviction process.
Yes; you can give a 30-day notice at any time during a tenancy period. However, there may be state or local laws that require tenants to have at least a full calendar month to prepare to move out.
This means that if you were to deliver a 30 days written notice mid-month, the dates the tenant would need to leave by would be more than 30 days out. To find out how you need to date and utilize your 30 days notice, make sure to familiarize yourself with your local and state laws to be sure you follow what notice is required.
If you are looking to get rid of tenants without sending a 30-day notice or filing for eviction, you will need to be smart and careful about how you handle things. Doing anything to intimidate your tenant or force them into leaving is illegal, so be sure you are not doing either of these things.
That being said, you are allowed to come to an agreement with a tenant for them to leave early, and there are two methods that may be successful in this way.
The Cash For Keys Method
Are you planning on filing for eviction but hoping for the tenant to leave sooner on their own? It is possible to offer them a cash-for-keys arrangement. In this situation, both you and the tenant will sign an agreement which says you will not file for eviction or collect any further rent, and they will turn over the keys.
This can be beneficial in situations even with good tenants. If you want to stop renting the property but the tenancy period is up, you may be able to offer your tenant a lump sum up front to move out early. Depending on your financial situation, this may or may not be beneficial to you. Regardless, it is an option.
In some cases, you may be able to simply ask your tenant if they would be willing to shorten their lease period. Clearly explaining why you are requesting this is sure to help your case, but not all tenants will be comfortable with the idea.
To further incentivize your tenant to consider the idea, you may offer to help them cover moving costs or help them get in contact with other local landlords who may have properties available.
What can a landlord do when they are ready to end the tenancy period? Ultimately, the method you will need to follow will depend on what situation you are in.
Lease Period Is Ending
If your lease period is going to end soon, you can give the tenant notice that they will not be able to rent the property any longer. Often, long-term leases are set to auto-renew at the end of a tenancy period unless one party gives notice. For terminating month-to-month leases, notice can be given at any time.
As long as you follow what is legally in the agreement, you can give notice and that will begin the process of ending the tenancy. Just as you are careful about security deposit terms, be sure that all of your rental agreements are very clear so this will never be an issue.
Tenant Violated Lease Terms
If the tenant violated the lease agreement, you can give them notice to fix the issue or leave the property. Your state laws will determine if this will be a 30-day, 60-day, or another type of notice. If your tenant does not agree to leave the property, you can move forward to file for eviction and regain control of your property.
Tenant Seriously Damaged Property
In certain cases, you may be able to file a very short notice to quit the property to your tenant. Tenants who seriously damage the property, commit crimes at the property, or otherwise jeopardize the property through their actions can be asked to leave much more quickly than standard lease breakers. Check your local laws for the exact terms of this type of eviction.
Using the 30-day notice for a tenant to move out over a contract breach or another issue isn’t difficult. As long as you put together the necessary information as outlined in our guide and template above, you’ll have a legally correct document ready to send to your tenant to help you to regain possession of your property quickly.
Remember, when sending this type of notice, every state and locale may have their own rules about how much notice you need to give to a tenant depending on the issue. Be sure to cross reference those laws before sending out your document.
Finally, we want to reiterate that sending your complete termination letter via certified mail is your best choice to ensure proper delivery and proof of delivery. You never know if you might need it!